Preferably, with a non professional free software, such as Gimp or Paint.net.

In essence, I want to turn this: this

into this:this

  • How can I portion the image in multiple pieces with the same area?
  • How can I "pinch" the tips to make them smaller, like in the second pic?

I am using one of these pictures from Nasa. Any better idea for my project is welcome.

(I don't want to use the second picture as it is because I want to use one with a good resolution.)

  • You should know that there exist NO way to make slices of a plane so that the slices, when glued together, are a sphere. It's a math fact, no orders nor opinions can make it nonexistent. In all cases the slices either need stretching to make them 2-way curved or the result will have corners. You should at first make some tests with blank material how narrow slices you can handle properly and are they small enough to make the wanted form accurately enough. If you find proper slice size, then "how to print them" is a valid question. If you cannot draw a slice, you should ask it. – user287001 Apr 26 at 14:31

With those programs... you can not.

Turning a flat projection into another flat projection, intended to be folded into a 3D solid requires some transformations that are not easily achievable.

There is a chance Hugin can make some of those transformations. I think it can turn that spherical projection into a cubical one, but I am not sure if you can choose another solid.

One option could be using Blender which is free.

  1. Project the texture into a UV sphere.

  2. Cut the seams.

  3. Edit and peal methodically the vertexes into a flat arrangement.

But as you can see it is not a "non" professional work.

You can also try to model a 3D object and let this program to peal it for you https://tamasoft.co.jp/pepakura-en/

Some other options here: https://alternativeto.net/software/pepakura-designer/

P.S. Gimp and Paint net, or any program for that matter can be professionally used.

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