If you have ever tried to layout a conic section on sheet metal, cutting just the right piece, that when rolled over and joined on edge, you have a cone with the exact shape, size and angled openings desired, you know it’s not easy. Who might need to do that? If you’re designing an exhaust pipe for your motorcycle project it could come in very handy to get it right the first time with little waste of materials and effort.
Got this link from Andy pointing to a software program called, amazingly enough, “Cone Layout.” You feed in the dimensions needed for your pipe, diameter, angles and length and the software creates your pattern which can be output in AutoCAD DXF files or encapsulated postscript. Supported units are meter, inch, foot, yard, radians, degrees, gradients, minutes and points. You can print the pattern across multiple sheets of paper if your project is large. It runs on Windows. It even has a minimization routine to find the best place to locate the seam so it can be laid out on the smallest piece of material possible.
This software was initially designed for building an exhaust pipe for a racing motorcycle but people have found a whole lot of other uses since then. A nice little something for your builder’s toolbox.
Link: Cone Layout