Online software exists to create 3D objects, then translate the surfaces to 2D, 

such that any 3D object can be constructed in paper. 

An Open source program called blender is one way to create 3D and map a texture 

upon it’s surface. In this case, a Nasa picture is mapped onto a globe. The result

can be exported as a 3ds file. The how2 files on how to do this can be found here.

An inexpensive online program called Pepakura can map that 3ds file into 2D surfaces

for paper construction. And a free online program called CutePDF Writer can

create a simple universal pdf file. The how2 files on how to do this can be found here.

A problem comes up when trying to join curved surfaces together. Two curved surfaces are

joined together by alternatively gluing tabs from one side beneath a surface of the other

side. Since the surfaces are curve, the two surfaces need to be held in place for the gluing

to be done to any degree of alignment. An easy solution to this problem is shown below.

A patent application has been filed a on an easy way to auto-align curved surfaces. Since 

this method makes joining curved surfaces considerably easier, it would be nice if a 

patent for this method could provide some needed legal leverage in making this method 

freely available to everyone. It is not obvious that taking people to court is the 

best way to promote innovation. Could inventions be made to go Open Source? The  

application number is 13157914, and it was filed at 2011-06-10 under the name of 

“An Auto-Aligning Joint Architecture. The application files can be found here.

The Pepakura files by themselves don’t need any changes. The tabs only need to be cut 

slightly different as T shape cuts between what is printed out. The two curved sections 

are brought together like a zipper. Each tab on one side wants to go between two tabs 

on the other side. When done, all the tabs want to fall into place and lay flat.  

On the side opposite all the tabs, all of the sections will be somewhat

aligned and held in place. Below each section will be a tab from the opposite section.

Now the sections can be glued to their tabs, and aligned to the other section as

best as possible.  

This makes creating seamless seams dependent on how well the paper gets cut 

and how well two sections get aligned while they are being glued together. 

The final globe is shown on top of a laptop keyboard for scale purposes. 

The application and source files can be found here.


Don Sauer