Unwrapping models

Hello I am working with wrapping graphics around a shape , then need to transfer that distortion to the original graphics in Illustrator.
So that when I print the job I will be printing with pre-distorted graphic element that will look perfect or close to it on the final shape .
Can anyone help

Hi Anthony - is the shape developable? do you know?UnrollSrf or Squish may be of some help but it depends on what you’ve got.


I’d second Pascal’s question regarding the original shape. If it’s for standard graphics using sheet materials (stiff-ish) then you’ll be able to develop them to a fairly accurate degree for printing and use in other packages.

If you’re distortion printing for something like vacuum forming then maybe something like ArtPro (Esko) power warp module would be better



Hi Pascal, here’s the problem .
I will be printing on a cylindrical surface , then shaping to a new design , not always symmetrically . I have tried to unwrap the surface but the two directional curves wont unwrap. I’ve tried squish ad squash ,but the results are sometimes weird.
I need a way to be able to unwrap the graphics from the final shape so that I can see the distortion on a flat surface.

Hi Andy , actually I am printing on a cylinder then shaping that . I need a way to see what that deformation of graphics looks like . If wrap a decal on my final shape then unwrap the surface , will the graphics come with it ?

I would say the only way you’re going to be able to do it is break it down into developable surfaces otherwise it’s an impossibility… The best way to do it is to work backwards from how you’d do it in reality - how are you going to print and then apply the graphics?

Simple shapes can be done easily and wrapped easily in reality but if it’s heating using vinyl application etc then it’s not something you’re going to be able to do in Rhino.

Do you have an example of the form you’re trying to develop?

Hi Anthony - if you apply a material to the shape and Squish, the resulting flat shape will have a distorted version, dunno if that helps. If it’s a decal. use Bake to make that into a material with a texture. It may pay to make sure the render mesh is pretty dense, or Mesh the object fairly densely and squish the mesh - the process uses the render mesh by defaut and if this is sparse, the texture may not look very clean on the squished object.


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Is there a bake feature in rhino?

Is there an easy way to manipulate a surface once its done. I see in blender that they can shape different areas of a surface . There must be something in rhino that allows us to do that no ? Like f I wat to add a detail

You can use the _Bake command as @Pascal suggested. This will create eg. a texture from a decal and assign it using surface mapping (UV).

After baking, you might use the _UVEditor and create a square UV layout which will show the unwrapped meshes so you can edit them in UV space, similar to how this works in Blender. By turning on Points of the islands you can drag individual mesh vertices to change the mapping.

For larger edits, you may use the _Cage and _CageEdit commands to edit individual UV islands, then remove the cage object and click the Apply button to assign the changed mapping through the UV Editor.


Dear @Pascal, I could reproduce what you suggested to Anthony for a surface. However, I could not do it using a mesh. It seems the “bake” command only works for surfaces. I would appreciate if you could help me with that.

Thank you!