How to convert a 3D model into separate faces to cut

Is there a straightforward way to take a 3D model in Fusion and have it generate separate panels to cut? I’m not looking to bend the metal into shape which is what the sheet metal mode appears to be useful for, rather I want to cut the individual faces of a 3D object to later weld together.

The simplest example of this would be to make a model of a cube and cut out six identical squares, but one could do that by creating a Setup in CAM for each of the faces, which would work but would be tedious, especially for any more complicated model. Is there a less tedious way to get fusion to do something like this?

What if the object is one that could be cut as flat panels, but assembly would require twisting or curving the panels? For instance a simple cylinder:

This is a 12" diameter, 1" thick cylinder. It could be built by cutting out two 12" discs, plus a 1"x(12 x pi = 37.68") rectangle (well, 1" minus 2x the material thickness). This is simple enough to sketch and parameterize, but again that would quickly become tedious for anything mode complicated:

I’ve seen various folk constructing fairly complex sculptures by assembling a bunch of individual polygons they’ve cut on a CNC machine, and while I’m certain I could do something like that manually in Fusion this seems like a problem that should be very solvable programatically.

I have not found a simple way to do yet. but have found ways to do it depending on the geometry.

Lo polygon sculpture is very cool.

Here is an example of what you are talking about, i think?

Here is a small plastic sheep I scanned.

I had another method in Sketch up but I haven t used it for awhile.

I haven t search lately but I have search edout a method a few times in the past , If you come across a easy way to do this please post it.

you could but the panels would need to be a sheet metal body with a flat pattern.

this square to round is pretty twisted

Did you have a project in mind?


Here is an example of what you are talking about, i think?

Yeah, that is a good example. For my purposes I wasn’t planning on taking an external model, rather building up a 3D object using Fusion and then figuring out how to cut it.

Did you have a project in mind?

I’ve done lots of art that involves putting together lots of regular polyhedra, but more manually engineered to use standard sized panels and connectors (mostly with my laser cutter). I’m looking to branch out to less regular forms, which would be a pain to do if I need to generate unique connectors for every angle and unique CAM setups for every polygon. I feel it should be possible to take a 3D object composed of polygons in Fusion and automatically flatten it into separate polygons. Back when I was in grad school (for computer science, admittedly the 20+ years ago) I think I could have done this from a 3D model in projects I worked on then, so I’d think somewhat would have done this by now in a form where I don’t have to write code to accomplish it.