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Applying Texture for 3D Printing

Applying Texture for 3D Printing

Bringing 3D printed part to the next level by adding texture to the model makes it feel and looks like injection molded part. Since 3D printing is printing layer by layer, the cosmetic surface of the 3D printed part may not look as nice as molded part but if texture is added, the result hides the layer lines and improved the looks.

CAD software like SOLIDWORKS, NX, Maya, 3DS Max have feature for applying textures easily and many of us may not be aware of it.

Bringing you back to this feature added since SOLIDWORKS 2019.

Let us take a look at how easily designers can apply textures to mechanical parts.

Guideline to create your 3D Texture in SOLIDWORKS:

  1. Open your 3D model.
  2. Highlight the face/s that you would like to apply the texture and choose the “Appearance” in the mini toolbar to edit the appearance.
  3. On the right panel in SOLIDWORKS interface, open the “Miscellaneous” folder and select “3D Textures”.
  4. Select your preferred texture.
  5. Drag and drop the texture to the face/s and adjust the scale of the texture and click OK.
  6. On the top menu bar, click on “Insert” and under the “Features”, select “3D Texture”.
  7. Now in the “3D Texture” dialog, under the “Texture Settings”, you can edit and adjust your “Texture Refinement” and “Texture Offset Distance” to your preferred setting. Click OK to confirm.
  8. On the newly created mesh, right click on your mouse and select “Convert to Mesh Body”.
  9. If you are satisfy with the mesh, you can save the part as .STL and send for 3D printing.

If you do not wish to create 3D Texture using CAD software, alternatively you can also apply texture using 3D printing software and apply to the slicer.

Let us learn from Andrew Sink on how to apply Texture to your 3D part using Ultimaker’s Cura software.

You can find the “Fuzzy Skin” feature under “Experimental” under “Expert” or “All” Print settings.

Hope this helps.



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