18 April 2009

Ultimate Papercraft 3D

Ultimate Papercraft 3DBeen wanting to post this for a couple days now, keep forgetting though, thanks to everyone that e-mailed it in. Please take note that this post is a preview and not a review.

This is the Ultimate Papercraft 3D software from Brad Bolthouse. Those in the 3D community might know Mr. Bolthouse from his previous works such as the Ultimate Unwrap 3D and LithUnwrap.

Details about Ultimate Papercraft 3D from the official site.
Ultimate Papercraft 3D is a specialty Windows tool for creating papercraft from 3D models. It includes an easy-to-use layout editor for bringing your papercraft designs to reality and a 3D window for viewing your 3D models. It is ideal for artists, professionals, modellers, and hobbyists, and easy enough to use for all levels of computer users.

Create papercraft from 3D models.
Easy-to-use layout editor.
Easily unfold edges with a single click.
Print your layout directly to the printer.
Export your layout to high resolution bitmaps.
Mark vertex edges for cutting prior to unfolding.
Customize the shape, size, and color of edge flaps.
Add edge padding to offset paper cutting errors.
Layout includes gridlines and object snapping.
Identify adjoining flap edges by numbers.
Align and orient parts automatically.
Add text and pictures to your layout.
99 level undo system by number or storage.
Export your layout to BMP, DXF, EPS, and EMF formats.
DXF files compatible with ROBO Master and ROBO Master Pro.
Material editor for editing material and texture properties.
3D editing tools include triangulating, flipping, welding,
unwelding of vertices and faces.
Import formats includes Collada DAE, Autodesk FBX/3DS, Autocad DXF, Lightwave LWO, WaveFront OBJ, DirectX, Stereo Lithography STL, Metasequoia MQO, and Ultimate Unwrap3D U3D.
Export formats includes Windows Bitmap BMP, Autocad DXF, WaveFront OBJ, Encapsulated EPS, Windows Metafile EMF, and Postscript PDF(using PDFCreator).

Some screenshots:
Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Ultimate Papercraft 3D is a promising new alternative to the de facto standard Pepakura Designer (PD), it pretty much has the same features but with some new stuff (outlined above). I encourage the designers to download the demo and try it out. It's free to try and $39.95 to buy.

Will it unseat Pepakura in its unfolding throne? only time will tell. Do remember that Pepakura has a 10 year head start - it was called Tenkai back then.

Ultimate Papercraft 3D v.1.0


  1. This software will need to be rewriten before anyone in their right mind buys it.
    It has issues with DEP which will cause it to malfunction if DEP is on.
    DEP should always be turned on in XP to help stop viruses and other random code causing problems.
    The other major issue is the need for a workaround for Vista and any other upcoming WinOSes. Who would buy software that will be difficult or useless when they buy their next PC.
    If I want software that only works on last generations OS I would buy a MAC.

  2. I agree with top poster, those issues need to be fixed before they even start selling it.

    But my complaint isn't about that, what about Mac version, there's many of us Mac-based designers that would really want something like this, especially since Pepakura told me that they don't have plans to support Mac.

  3. It's only version 1.0, so hopefully the author will address those issues on future updates.

    Have you tried using Parallels or Boot Camp?

  4. is it just me or does the website have problems? I cant download the program, getting a webpage not found.

  5. @fico86

    I tried to download it and it seems fine, let me know if you're still having problems I can download it for you.

  6. DEP is an issue with Vista, not XP. I have no problems running it on XP with DEP turned on.

  7. And your computer can still be infected regardless of your DEP setting! That's what firewalls (hacking,intrusion) and anti-virus software (stop viruses) are used for.
    DEP is no substitute for AV software.

  8. DEP is Not a full solution but it is part of a complex group.
    The poster 2 above is incorrect, if DEP is not just a vista based issue for this software.

  9. Turning off DEP is not a big deal. Your computer is protected by other means (firewall,anti-virus). And you don't have to
    turn it off completely. You can turn it off for specific programs only, and leave it on for everything else.

  10. Software like this takes all the fun out of designing papertoys. I'm much happier with a drawing set and a sharp pencil.

  11. A program like this has many uses. People who have an interest in papercraft as a hobby can use it,
    but also professionals can use it, who value their workflow. Doing things quickly and efficiently is important to them.

  12. I didn't play much with it, but so far, I'll keep to Pepakura. They would need a better interface and easier tools before they even think beating Pep... but if they get a Mac version to work, that would be a great alternative.

  13. @PMF

    Thanks for that info., coming from one of the most featured designers here on the site, that means a lot.

  14. This program has several updates and improvements over Pepakura Designer v3. It offers high resolution output, higher texture resolution up to 4096x4096,
    (Pepakura is limited to 1024x1024), improved file format support, and new unfolding tools that you probably haven't seen anywhere else.

  15. This is obviously a very old thread by now, but I'll still weigh in. I'm what you might consider a "higher end" user... I build models in 3ds Max and do most of my texturing in Photoshop. I tend to use huge 4096px textures for excellent print quality. Ultimate Papercraft 3d is now at Version 1.2 (Mar. 2011) and I recently purchased it after extensive demoing over a period of weeks. I am also familiar with Pepakura. While this software is not perfect (I've encountered the odd bug here and there), and the interface takes some getting used to, I still think this program is an absolute bargain for the price. Once you get used to the interface and assign hotkeys to different selection modes (vertex, edge, face)you can work very fast. I actually prefer to flexibility offered by the complexity of this program... a little steeper learning curve has its payoffs. Considering its capability of handling hi-res textures (compared to Pepakura without the expensive hi-res upgrade), this is easily my new choice of papercraft software. Oh, and the few times I've had a problem, I've emailed the programmer and he personally contacted my back right away. Top marks for customer service.



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