I am designing a yacht in Blender to construct in plywood. This means that the shapes I create need to be cut from flat stock and bent into shape. There is (expensive) ship design software that can develop the plates from a 3d model. So it can be done. I just can't figure a way to do it in Blender.
What is essential is that the quads not get distorted in any way during the process. Mesh --> cleanup --> Flatten; Loop tools-->Flatten both distort the quads.
I've attempted it manually by triangulating the quads, using normal orientations, calculating angles to rotate etc. etc. I've even tried softbody with max stiffness as well as scanned all the responses to related questions here and elsewhere. I'm enjoying this greatly as an exercise in exploring Blender's capabilities as a marine cad tool, but it's time I called for a little help.