3D model of a cone

Cone Layout is a program to unfold a frustum of a cone and generate a sheet cutting layout or flat pattern projection that can be rolled or bend up into a truncated cone shape. Either side of the truncated cone can be tilted. To help you visualise the cone you are editing, a rotating 3D model shows the dimensions.

The layout pattern can be printed directly on paper for use as a template for cutting out the shape from a plate of metal. Or you can write the layout pattern to an AutoCADĀ® DXF file which is the world standard among computer controlled cutters. Other supported file formats are Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) or a plain text file with coordinates.

The program has a minimization routine, which will minimize the amount of wasted material by varying the seam along which the cone is cut open. The program automatically selects the smallest rectangular piece of material big enough to hold the pattern.


flat pattern projection of cone

Click here to find out what's new in the latest version of Cone Layout.

  • Minimization routine to reduce amount of wasted material.
  • Supported units include: meter, inch, foot, yard, radians, degrees, gradients, minutes, points
  • Writes cone layout to AutoCADĀ® DXF file, or Encapsulated PostScript EPS file
  • Capable of printing large flat layout patterns distributed over multiple pages of paper
  • Extensive help file and context-sensitive help
  • Requires Microsoft Windows 95 or later


screenshot of dimensions window

Cone Layout has initially been designed for building an exhaust pipe for a racing motorcycle. The traditional way to accomplish this is by developing an exhaust pipe consisting of several truncated cones or conic sections including cylinders. To conform to the shape of the motorcycle frame the conic sections will meet at a variety of angles and will be of different lengths.

However, soon after Cone was released on the internet, people have been using it for completely different creations:

  • Biomechanical device for the arm
  • Paper model aircraft
  • A remake of a metal medival helmet
  • Conic stand for displaying jewelry in a store
  • An 8-foot metal rocket
  • Exhaust pipes