It’ll be named something like flatterer-v1.0.0.zip in the “Packages” section.
Start Blender and go to Edit ➜ Preferences ➜ Add-ons.
Press Install… and select the ZIP file you just downloaded.
Go through the settings (see below) and configure the add-on defaults.
Add a plane and shape it.
Press the Add Solidify Modifier (available in Object mode) to add some thickness.
Press the Flatten to SVG Outline button to export to an SVG file.
3D Viewport Panel
The add-on adds a panel to the 3D Viewport side-bar, in the Export tab.
These settings are stored on the Scene; in other words, they can be adjusted for
each blend file you’re working on. The default values are set in the add-on
The width of the cut the laser leaves behind, also known as tool size in
CAD/CAM software. Each exported edge is moved outward by half this width, such
that the final shape matches the Blender design exactly.
The shape packing algorithm won’t go wider than this width. Set it to whatever
the maximum width is you want to use, depending on the material you’re cutting
and the margins you want to keep.
The thickness of the material you’ll be cutting. This is used by the Solidify
modifier (see below).
The shape packing algorithm will keep this much space between the parts.
When enabled, the shape packer will choose its own Material Width setting,
somewhere between 50% - 80% of the configured Material Width, in such a way
that as little material as possible is wasted. This assumes that you’re okay
keeping a strip of unused material on the side of the cut-out shapes, which you
could reuse for other/smaller projects.
Configure the Scene to use 1 unit = 1 mm. This configuration is assumed by the
exporter; it doesn’t actually take the Scene scale into account. This operator
also updates the 3D Viewport grid size to match.
Exclude from Export
Prevents this object from getting exported. Enable this on helper objects if
you just want to do “Select All, Flatten to SVG Outline”.
Select Export Edges
Select the mesh edges that will be exported. This is actually Blender’s
Select Manifold Edges operator with a different label. Because of that it can
produce some false-positives (i.e. select edges that will not be exported) when
you’re using a Mirror Modifier.
Add Solidify Modifier
Add a Solidify modifier to the active object, with a driver on its thickness
so that it follows the scene’s Material Thickness setting. Only available in
Disable Kerf Compensation
Mark selected edges such that they are exported as-is, instead of moving them
to compensate for the laser width. Actually this is just Mark as Seam in
disguise. Only available in Mesh Edit mode.
Enable Kerf Compensation
Removes the effect of Disable Kerf Compensation from selected edges. Only
available in Mesh Edit mode.
Flatten to SVG Outline
Takes the selected mesh objects, applies kerf compensation, packs the
resulting shapes, and writes them to an SVG file.
There are some limitations that I want to lift at some point, but which at the
moment of writing are still in there:
Scene scale settings are ignored, hence the Setup Scene operator.
The mesh must be planar (as in, flat) and aligned to local axes. It doesn’t
matter whether it aligns with the XY, YZ, or XZ plane, but it has to align
with one of them.
Flatterer doesn’t slice 3D shapes. Instead, it requires that you yourself
already work with flat surfaces. For slicing, use