Manuel Kretzer 2016
Draw or import your geometry into the Rhino workspace.
Use _Mesh to transform NURBS geometry into MESH geometry. Fewer polygons will result in a coarser mesh, more polygons in a more detailed representation. More info on meshes can be found here: http://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/meshfaqdetails
Use _ReduceMesh to adjust the amount of polygons. Meshes of about 120 – 150 polygons can be easily manufactured. A higher number will result in a higher ‘resolution’ but also more complex fabrication and assembly.
Check the appearance of the geometry. Turn on control points (_PointsOn) to adjust mesh polygons manually and – if desired – transform the geometry.
Use _MeshToNURB to change the MESH back into a NURBS geometry. More info on the command can be found here: http://wiki.mcneel.com/rhino/meshtonurb Use _TriangulateMesh or _TriangulateNonPlanarQuads to ensure all mesh polygons are flat and developable.
Depending on the complexity of the geometry it might not be developable in one piece. The command _UnjoinEdge can be used in order to break the object into several smaller parts. The command needs to be repeated until all parts can be unrolled without overlaps as shown in the following step.
The Command _UnrollSrf will then flatten the developable surfaces onto the X-Plane. Select ‘Explode=No’ to keep the parts connected.
The unrolled surface needs to be checked for overlaps. If overlaps occur the geometry might need to be split more or differently (see step 6). Sometimes also the flattened surfaces can be separated (_Explode) and resolved by turning and moving the individual parts to other positions. This has to be done with care. The command _Length can help to find common edges. Lastly the previously exploded parts should be joined back together (_Join). Turning off Isocurves (_DisplayProperties -> Isocurves) can help to identify edges and borders.
The previous steps need to be repeated until all parts are unrolled. Organizing the different parts into separate layers helps to identify them again later. Using the command _TextObject they can also be labeled to simplify assembly.