Texturing parts - cool stuff!

My customer wanted end-use parts with a texture for ergonomics. The results are below. This was a very interesting and time-consuming process. In order for the texture to print, it obviously has to be in the model. If you understand the structure of STL files, you’ll understand the challenges with creating the resolution for a textured surface. In this case, the textures were added in SolidWorks. Not only does this provide options for textured surfaces, it provides an opportunity to hide touch points within the texture. In general, the process goes like this:

  1. Find a grayscale texture map you like. These need to be specifically tailored to produce a texture effect for rendered objects. The renderer translates the grayscale into topology to give the appearance of a texture on a surface.
  2. Apply the texture to your surface. They type of mapping is key. With the ergonomic shape here, the ‘Surface’ option was used
  3. Convert the model to a mesh
  4. Adjust the resolution of the mesh. This is where it can be quite time consuming as the mesh will need to be small enough to accomodate the grayscale texture map. It took nearly a full day to adjust the resolution on this model
  5. Print the mesh model. Good news here is that the mesh is instantly translatable to STL.

Standard knurled texture available in SolidWorks

“Blue Noise” texture

Leather texture + knurled


Great texture