Question - Export Planar Mesh to 2D path


I have a low poly model consisting of a number of planar faces. I wish to export the faces as a 2D path such as a .DXF or .AI. When I do so, however, the path exported is from a left/front/top projection rather than along the plane of the face itself.

I eventually want to use the path as a cutter guide to create a real life model from wood.

How do I export each of the shapes to a cutter path along the correct plane?

Thanks is advance.

Use ExtractSrf (option copy) to extract the surface, then UnrollSrf. You will find the surface on the world-X-Y plane, near the origin. Select the surface, then use DupBorder to create an outline that can be exported as a 2D toolpath.


Thanks Max.

When I try to use ExtractSrf, I am unable to select the surface. Same goes for UnrollSrf.

When I select it normally, the lower right hand indicator reads ‘1 mesh added to selection’.

Does the fact that it’s a mesh rather than a surface make a difference? Or are these 2 terms for the same thing?

Hi Thomas - you might need to jump through a hoop or so - Select your meshes, DupBorder, then hide the meshes. Select the border curves and run PlanarSrf - if the curves are in fact planar, you’ll get surfaces that you can then UnrollSrf.If those have thickness, you may want to only ‘process’ one face on each, not all 6 sides.


No they are not the same thing. Rhino surfaces are NURBS surfaces, it will recognise meshes but you have to use different commands to manipulate those. I don’t know much about meshes, so I would not know how to create tool paths from those. Follow Pascal’s advise.


You should select all meshes to work with and use the command MeshToNurb first, then go on with @maxz´ Steps.

Yeah, MeshToNurbs is perfect here, I don’t know what I was thinking…


1 Like