I've used Solidworks for a while now, though very little surfacing work.
I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction with this challenge.
Our machinery punches tractor holes in continuous paper webs (think pin-fed printers!).
The holes are punched at 1/2" pitch while the paper is flat, and are (for modelling purposes at least) 1/8" diameter circles.
When I come to model paper paths through our machines, I tend to use a 2D sketch, and create an Extruded Surface.
Up until now, I've never bothered to put the punched holes in, but I have started to investigate how I would achieve this.
My surface has constant radius sections (around cylinders), freeform splines, straight sections etc.
Essentially I want to take my Extruded Surface and pull it flat, put the holes in it, then rebend it back to its initial shape.
I've thought about modelling the paper flat, but then I would have to idea how to accurately wrap it around the complex web path.
The holes are only for rendering purposes, so don't need to be too accurate, but they should be realistic.
If anyone has any suggestions, they would be most welcome.