How would one model this hat in 3DS? The first thing that came to mind for me was just shape using a sphere > edit poly (scale), then edit edge topology using polygon modeling tab and choose the honeycomb looking pattern... this did not work for me lol.
I'd probably take a sphere, make it wireframe, then take top of the sphere and (for blender) press o and scale inwards to get a the shapes of each space similar to the image. Then shape the rest of the hat to be flatter. Just a thought, havn't actually tried it.
Or alternatively draw the pattern as texture, extrude the said texture into plane of noodles then deform and trim it into a hat.I think this approach more accurately emulate the manufacturing steps