Those who have subscribed to my SketchUp Projects of the Month since September got my project on how to take a simple SketchUp model and unfold it, in order to create a paper model. (If you're a subscriber who signed up after September, email me and I'll send you this PDF.)
Today I looked at a plug-in that does this unfolding for you, called Waybe.
Waybe can take a simple or complex SketchUp models, and unfold it into a printer-friendly format, maintaining all of the model's colors and materials. It's not exactly a one-click operation; for anything complex you need to divide your model into groups which get unfolded one at a time. (This is actually a good thing: it requires you to think and plan which sections of the models should be separated.) Waybe also includes fold tabs; very helpful.
On Waybe's home page you'll see this cool example of a tank model in SketchUp and its 3D paper model:
Teachers: there is an educational version of Waybe available for $80. But check out this page - it looks like they are having a promotion where you can get this version for FREE during the 2009-2010 school year. What a no-brainer!
If you've used a similar plug-in for creating paper models, let me know! I'm looking at Pepakura next...
Anyone can design anything in 3D! www.3dvinci.net