I'm trying to model a sphere from sheet metal, well two half spheres, as shown in the attached image. Using the swept flange feature makes modeling the actual sphere simple, and it generates the correct curved flat pattern.
My problem comes in when trying to remove material from the sphere. If I want to generate some form of art/lettering by cutting away from the semi-sphere, this information is lost when the flat pattern is generated. The same problem occurs when trying to cut from the flat pattern and returning to a folded state.
I have seen that the best practice for this, usually, is to utilize the fold/unfold features. The problem with this is that I have no straight edge to base the unfold/fold on as the swept flange is made up from a small straight line and arc.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.