Still a bit experimental, and it’s only for planar panels but I feel like I’m finally getting a reasonable automated surface unfolder using Repeat/Divide. And once you have a rationalized surface (also look here) and the panel itself, the creation of accurate unfolded geometry is ridiculously easy.
The last real problem was figuring out a sensible way to control the layout of the unfolded panels.
It leverages the same panel shown in this post on the reporter pattern:
Where the green surface is essentially a projection of the yellow panel geometry. The yellow panel is created in point 1-4, measures its self, then redraws another quadrilateral based on these measurements on the workplane of point 5 (point 6 isn’t used). A single instance of the panel is placed on 2 divided surfaces, points 1-4 on your base surface, 5 and 6 on a surface to structure your layout. Select the component and hit Repeat.
Ready for layout on a sheet for annotation.
Not everything that is needed for fabrication certainly, but would be interested to hear any feedback. It works for flats, but it doesn’t have real geometry for compound miters. That can be recorded in tabular format, if not made graphical.
For whole flat surfaces that just have plain extruded panels without compound miters, you could do complete shop-drawing-ready unfolds