During the flattening process, a curved surface is transformed into a flat horizontal projection area. Depending on the selected method, the flattening process results in certain location, distance, angle and size distortions.
In the cartography, the flattening is considered an important mapping condition for the transformation of the curved surface of the earth into a flat map. In structural engineering, the flattening is used to determine flat cutting patterns for prestressed membrane structures.
A numerical planarization of arbitrary surfaces is possible using the RF‑CUTTING‑PATTERN add-on module. In addition to the pure flattening, this program also provides the option to consider compensations and allowances.