I have a low poly helmet model that was auto generated by a tool. I am attempting to learn Blender which I think is probably the best free tool that I can use to accomplish my goal.

My goal is to use the low poly model to accomplish two things.

a) Export my helmet for use in Pepakura, unfold it, turn off tabs, and print it out to use as a pattern to cut foam.

b) Make the visor object more suited for 3D printing, I will fill and sand this piece to use it as a vacuum form mold.

For the visor I know I need to extrude to add depth to 3D print it, and I understand why.

What I don't know is:

1) How to improve the helmet object for Pepakura? Should I extrude it? Should I convert triangles to quads? What should I do, and what terms should I search for tutorials on? If you said, turn the triangles to quads, I've seen that and I could figure it out. Do I increase the roundness somehow so I get good patterns?

2) The visor looks chunky, and I am sure I want to print it as round/smooth as possible so there is as little fill and sand as possible. What do I do? What terms do I search to teach myself. I can consume lots of different videos and techniques, and then figure it out by trial and error. But I don't know what methods I'm searching for because I don't know what steps I should take.

I've tried to ask multiple experts, but it is tough getting a basic overview of methodology to use to accomplish my goals. I know people do this, I've seen several posts, but nobody goes on to discuss the basic direction to move like this.

If I can learn at least the basics, I'd like to give something back and create some tutorials online. If you are REALLY knowledgeable in this area, I'd love to have a brief discussion. I'm a software engineer, but am very new to 3D modeling.

Reference Image

Helmet and visor model

Helmet for Pepakura Visor for 3D Printing

  • $\begingroup$ for better roundness you should try subsurface modelling. I think for pepakura low poly models are better, so you should try to remove some edges in the model with Ctrl+X in Edge Select Mode. In the end you could try the function Make Planar to avoid facesplitting in pepakura $\endgroup$ – HenrikD Apr 26 '18 at 6:41

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