I want develop the Surface of a 3d model?

I have reducing pipe structure which needs to be developed so that a flat sheet can be used to manufacture it in the site.I have attached the file here.Can any one tell me how to do this in Solid Works (preferred) or Auto Cad.
PS : I also use a software named plate n sheets which easily develops the surface of pipes structures but I am not able to import a 3d cad model into it and perform the development task.If any body has some insight about this software please inform me.

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3 Answers

Here is the surface "flattened" that FredSWUG speaks about. See the file in SW 2016 with the functionality of the Premium version. Of course, it will be necessary to make 4 surfaces, bend them in the circular part and weld them forming them on the edges of the corners. See example of an application: Unfoldable sheet metal, use surface flatening

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The simplest procedure would be to fold with an optimized number of folds by going from the square to a polygon say to 8 sides. There is a passage from the octagon to a polygon with 32 sides. Obviously a high number of faceting (and folding) approximates the circular shape. There are several SW sheet metal tutorials on Youtube and in SW Help. See part file.

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I don't believe the sheet metal tools in SolidWorks will work on this piece due to its compound curve.
You might be able to get very close to your goal with the newer Flatten Surface tool though.It is an add-on product for the Premium version of SolidWorks, which I do not have. Maybe someone else could flatten it, or suggest if it will work?

From the SolidWorks help file:
SOLIDWORKS can any face, surface, or set of faces to create templates for manufacturing. This is useful when working with developable surfaces such as sheet metal parts with non-standard bends.
The SOLIDWORKS software can flatten developable and non-developable surfaces and faces. A developable surface is a surface that can be flattened onto a plane without distortion. Non-developable surfaces and faces deform when flattened.

You can select curves and sketches on the surface to flatten. You can also select curves, sketches, and edges on the surface to be relief cuts or split lines. When you flatten a surface, SOLIDWORKS generates a flattened surface body tangent to the edge it was flattened from.

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