For Rhino 3D
Minimum hardware required:

PIII 600,256 Mb,2GB, opt:1gHz

Operating system(s): Windows 95,98,ME,NT,2000,XP
Most recent version date & number: December 2003,
Number of installations:


Plug-ins and Renderings for Rhino3D

- RhinoMarine
- Penguin
- Flamingo



What is Expander?
is a Rhinoceros 3 Plug-In to expand surfaces for production of many types of industrial goods such as ship hulls, shoes, upholstery, clothing, airplanes, and more.
Expander's technology has been developed from ShipCAM's plate expansion routine, which has proven its power and reliability in succesfully expanding thousands of ship plates over the past 12 years worldwide!
Expander is capable of expanding even the most complex compound-curvature as well as developable surfaces; trimmed and untrimmed.

What is Expansion?
Expansion is the key step in the solution to the question : "Now that I have designed a 3D model, how do I make it?"
Is it the conversion of a 3D surface into a 2D shape as required for the production of many industrial items made from flat material such as sheet metal, fabric, leather, or
re-enforced fibers. There are two distinct types of surfaces - developable, which can be expanded without stretching the material, and compound curvature surfaces, which require stretching within limits allowable to material and the forming process that is used.

Expander - Not limited to the Marine Industry
will be a very helpful tool at a very reasonable price for designers and producers of any kind of 3D surface goods that will be produced from any kind of flat raw material, such as sheet metal, leather, fabric, re-enforced fibers and more.

How does Expander work?
Expander's intuitive user interface makes surface expansion simple even for an inexperience user.

Support :

Please email/fax the Support Form to +33-4-9291 1338.

Help is also available at:
Rhino Plug-In Support Newsgroup—24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Rhino Plug-In Support Web Newsgroup—the same as above in case you can't access Newsgroups.
Rhino Plug-In Search Newsgroup Archives for quick answers.

Pricing & Policies are subject to change without notice.

    Capabilities & New features ________________________________________________________________

Surface Expansion
Small surfaces that can be produced in one piece can be directly expanded. However, larger surface or surfaces that should be split for design reasons are first divided into individual patches.
Simply define seams on the 3D surface as required by the complexity of the surface, design requirements, the type of material, and the forming process to be used.
Now select the surface patch for expansion, set the desired expansion parameters in the dialog, and click "Expand". The expanded shape is automatically displayed near the 3D surface

Map Curves
To aid production, Expander has functionality to map curves (marking lines) from the original 3D surface to the expanded 2D surface. For example, supports inside of a sheet metal surface will first be marked on the 3D surface and are then automatically transferred to the 2D expanded shape.
Additionally, makings can be transferred back from the 2D shape to the 3D surface. This function is for example important should the expanded shape exceed the size of the available material or to vizualize anything in 3D that may be printed or otherwise affixed on the 2D shape.

Text Labeling
Furthermore, Expander also makes matching reference curves a snap with its text labeling of making lines on the 3D surface and its 2D expanded counterpart. NC cutting equipment can mark these text labels automatically on the cut material for ease of identification.

Strain Analysis
Compound curvature surfaces always require stretching or compressing the maerial to obtain the shape, which causes strain in the material.
Strains are displayed in colors on the 2D and 3D surface allowing identtification of areas, which exceed the maximum allowable strain. This is an invaluable tool to optimize seam placement before problems occur in the production process.

Exporting Expanded Shapes
Finally, Expander provides a function to export expanded shapes with all marking to the DXF file format, which is the basis for most nesting and NC cutting programs. For ease of processing shape outlines, markings and text labels can be placed on user configurable layers.
Layer creation options for Export to DXF and same surface in AutoCAD transferred via DXF

Expanding a small patch of a larger surface - previewing the untrimmed result

The circle and rectangle are mapped from the 2D expanded back shape to the surface

Strain analysis for a ship surface

Strain analysis for a shoe surface

Link to ShipConstructor.com

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