Flattening a full-size template in SketchUp
SketchUp master Tim Killen demonstrates how he "flattens" shapes in SketchUp to use as templates in the real world.
I’m currently building a Sheraton Folding Table and it is full of veneer and banding decoration as you can see in the following model.
Below you see the Front Apron component, and to shape those ellipse and rectangular patterns of crotch veneer, I need full-size templates in the shop. Because of the serpentine shape of the Front Apron, these ellipse and rectangular patterns (the ellipse is shown selected) are curved. I need these curved faces flattened so that the full size template can be placed on the curved surface of the Apron and provide an accurate full-length shape.
Below, I’ve copied that curved surface of the ellipse. You can see the hidden vertical lines that identify each of the flat faces. But these flat faces are angled to create the curved surface. They are not lined up on the same plane.
To re-orient those 23 faces so they all line up on the same plane, I use a free plug-in for SketchUp called Unwrap and Flatten Faces. You can find this plug-in by using the Extension Warehouse.
When executing the plug-in, it places a flattened face on the “ground”. You can see that flattened face in the lower part of the following image.
That flattened image in on the “Ground” so I change the Top View in the Views Toolbar, and also change the Camera to Parallel Projection and print the full-size image as shown below. I glue the print-out to thick poster board, and cut with an X-acto knife.
You can see the white elliptical template on the bench behind the Apron. Also, note the waste pieces trimmed from the original rectangular shaped veneer.
Here is status of the veneer decoration as of mid-March.
Here is the video showing how to do this full-size template in SketchUp.