Texturing models

I use solidworks for all me 3d design work. My question is, is there a way to texture solidworks model surfaces. With having to buy any other software? Or is there an inexpensive software package out there that can add a textured surface to a solidworks model and then print that model?

Of course Solidworks has built in textures. You can apply the textures either at face, feature or part level. This way you can control the textures on any given surface of your model.

To see the actual texture, you will have to render your model, using the Render Tools/Final Render

I’ve tried this before with no luck. And I think it’s just for show. I don’t think it transfers to the stl file.

Are asking if there is a way to transfer textures to an STL file? Then the answer is no. The STL file format doesn’t support textures. PLY, OBJ, and others do, but not STL.

If on the other hand, you’re hoping to transfer the physical texture to a surface, meaning the bumps, cracks and roughness of a surface, then I’m afraid that gets a lot more complicated. Most textures are just simulations, they don’t actually affect the geometry of the surface.

Certain textures contain a “bump map”, or sometimes a “normal map”. These images, when processed appear to give the surface a 3 dimensional look, and help the rendering program apply shadows and highlights based on the orientation of the model and the light source.

Some programs, like 3D Studio Max, allow you to use the Bump map, as a “displacement map”, and it will take the cues from the bump map to actually “displace” the geometry of the surface, recreating the cracks and bumps and roughness of the texture.

As far as I know, Solidworks doesn’t have that possibility.

If someone more familiar with Solidworks knows how to use a bump map as a displacement map I would be very interested too.

That’s what I thought. didn’t hurt to ask. I’m also wondering if there’s a program that can take a solidworks file or some other format that solidworks can save to and add texture to it that can then be 3D printed.

I don’t know. Solidworks can export to a lot of formats, but I don’t know if the textures make it through.

As I said the only program that I ever used that allowed for surface displacement was 3DS Max, but I was using a native 3DS MAX model. Solidworks can’t export directly to 3DS Max.

I think that with Zbrush you can use a texture (color texture, or uv map, greyscale, etc.) to apply a real 3d texture to the mesh (once texture is in place there is an option to apply it to the model).
You can also use alphas (greyscale) to modify the mesh manually in certain places.

Might be worth trying.

(I’m not a zbrush poweruser :slight_smile: ) but I’m using it (the zbrushcore version)