We introduce an algorithm for approximating a 2-manifold 3D mesh by a set of developable surfaces. Each developable surface is a generalized cylinder represented as a strip of triangles not necessarily taken from the original mesh. Our algorithm is automatic, creates easy-to-assemble pieces, and provides L∞ global error bounds. The approximation quality is controlled by a user-supplied parameter specifying the allowed Hausdorff distance between the input mesh and its piecewise-developable approximation. The strips generated by our algorithm may be parameterized to conform with the parameterization of the original mesh, if given, to facilitate texture mapping. We demonstrate this by physically assembling papercraft models from the strips generated by our algorithm when run on several polygonal 3D mesh data sets.