Tabs for laser-cutting

tab (16.9 KB)

Hiya, longtime follower, first time poster. I’ll provide the larger aim, then the specific problem I’ve hit.

I’m trying to make this object out of paper – and would like each module to have tabs (with “chamfered” edges) that connect to corresponding tabs on adjacent modules. I’d like to be able to unroll the modules with tabs for laser cutting. (You’ll notice then when baked, each module is individual and unrolls nicely when ‘explode’ setting is off in rhino).

I’m having trouble making the tabs. You’ll see I’ve tried just scaling the edge curves both as a whole and individually, then lofting them with the original edges but neither gives the desired result. (I’m not so good with tree structures, so maybe the answer is there? Also note, I haven’t been worried about the tabs being the ‘correct’ location, since they are foldable, but it would be nice to have them bisect the angle between adjacent modules).

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!

This script should do the job, but the tabs are at different angles in the 3D model. It would take me a little more time to work out the correct angle thing. As you’re making it out of paper it shouldn’t be a problem.

Happy making!

tab (47.2 KB)


There is a way to use paneling tools for this:


Works like a charm, thanks for the guidance!

Thanks Mark - I had no idea about this function in paneling tools. Will definitely try it out!

I don’t know if this is possible with panelling tools or if this is relevant to what Bobbywhipples wants to achieve.
But I was wondering since this is made of paper, like papercraft, would having some of the faces joined together resulting in less gluing and cutting as you can fold over the joint edge.
One of the software out there that does this is Pepakura.
Although I wonder if it is possible to do something similar in Rhino.

Ivy uses graph theory to help unroll mesh geometry. I would think it would supercede the need for Pepakura now.