Lets say I want to replicate a shovel spade. Due to the circular curvature of the spade in combination with the bent ridge down the middle, measuring this will be quite difficult. However, what I could do is tape some paper to the shovel and trace the outline, giving me a flat pattern. Could I then take that flat pattern and bend it while retaining the proper dimensions?
Edit: A backwards way to do it would be to start with a really small base flange, add a small bent edge flange, then add another 2 edge flanges with huge bend radii, then flattening the shape and cut-extruding the profile from the paper. While this is no simple part, I was hoping the solution would be simpler than what I figured out