In as we speak’s episode, Tom Hazzard talks about 3D Printed Surface Textures. This episode was based mostly on a query submitted by a listener, which is the thought of including delicate or shallow floor textures to 3D fashions for 3D printing and strategies that may protect an object’s primary geometry.
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3D Printed Surface Textures
I needed to answer a listener’s e-mail, who wrote in very just lately, March 22nd. Truly, I additionally needed to only level out, and this can be a good instance, that we do get your emails. We do get your social media posts. For those who’ve acquired a query or a great suggestion for a podcast matter, please write in and tell us. We simply might very properly put it on the present and typically with out a lot delay. I assumed this one which wrote in simply this previous week was a very good one. One thing we’ve touched on somewhat bit in some previous episodes, however I feel a few of these episodes could also be so previous now that they’re not even actually out there on iTunes as a result of we’re getting up there now in episodes.
The topic is floor textures. That is written by Casey Snyder. Casey, I recognize you writing in. Casey writes and throwing on the market an concept for a present matter that many individuals may profit from. The thought of including delicate or perhaps shallow floor textures to 3D fashions for 3D printing. Casey is basically in search of strategies that might protect an object’s primary geometry. Casey primarily makes use of SOLIDWORKS and would love to have the ability to knurl, fish scale, dimple, and so forth. over curved and irregular surfaces. Casey realizes it may be a tall order in SOLIDWORKS and has tried floor textures in Mudbox and Blender, however feels it’s too uncontrolled. It all the time tends to change the half in ways in which have been unintended.
The thought right here is to interrupt up the layer strains, the seen vertical layer strains on an element, however ideally nonetheless keep the core geometry. It’s truly a very good query and concern that Casey is having. I’ve had the identical situation many occasions myself and I’m positive lots of our listeners have. I’m going to ask any of our listeners who’ve provide you with good methods to do that to please write in and touch upon the weblog publish or attain us by way of e mail at email@example.com.
I’m going to inform you simply what I’ve executed from my perspective. I’ve had the very same challenge. This can be a robust one. Let’s speak about knurling to begin with, as a result of knurled surfaces are fairly distinctive on the earth of geometry. Knurling is a strategy to create a diamond patterned grip floor often executed on metallic, though I’ve seen it molded on plastic. It’s a course of that has existed so long as actually metallic lathes have existed. There’s an precise device referred to as a knurling software. It’s fairly fascinating as a result of when you flip a bit of metallic and let’s say you need a deal with on the finish. The simplest instance I can consider is in the event you’ve ever used a vise grip pliers-type of device, the Vise Grip model. There are others that aren’t their model. However that’s the simplest instance I can consider a knurled floor. For those who don’t have one, subsequent time you’re in Residence Depot or Lowe’s or any ironmongery shop, yow will discover one.
A vise grip is an adjustable pliers, it has an adjustable grip of a pliers made from chrome steel of some variety. They’ve this screw in one of many handles which you can regulate in or out to vary that adjustable grip vary of the pliers. On the very backside of that, what you truly flip has a little bit of a diamond patterned grip on it. That may be a knurled floor and it’s shaped with a software referred to as a knurler. The thought is that huge screw is a screw machine half. It’s produced on a lathe. They’ll minimize the threads in it after which have this little pronounced deal with on the backside. That begins out, it’s only a flat radius floor. This knurler software, which has two totally different wheels on it, they’re actually a slicing software and a forming software in a single. Should you push it in because the half is rotating slowly on the lathe, you push the knurler into it and it concurrently cuts and digs into that floor and reforms that metal right into a diamond formed sample which makes it grip actually simply. Clearly, the intension was make a floor that’s straightforward to grip.
Now, relating to creating one thing like that in a 3D printed half, that’s slightly totally different as a result of clearly we’re not forming materials because it’s rotating in the identical method. You would need to truly create it in geometry. Right here is the place you must be rather more exact in creating your geometry than you’d utilizing a knurling software. It’s an fascinating instance and it’s a part of why I needed to speak about this in the present day. There are numerous issues which were created in normal manufacturing because the first industrial revolution. Manufacturing strategies, ornament strategies, manipulation of fabric strategies which are constructed round how issues are historically made, on this case a lathe turned half.
The knurler is fascinating as a result of regardless of diameter or half you need to knurl, regardless of how giant or small that diameter is, the knurler software will work each time. It’s not one thing you program in to a course of to ensure all of it matches up. It simply does it. It’s arduous to elucidate why that’s. It’s an interesting facet of physics and geometry and manufacturing. However when we have to make one thing like that and 3D print it, it’s a must to predetermine that sample and the 3D printer has to only truly go and make the geometry. It’s a completely totally different course of. It’s rather more troublesome to get that repeating sample to repeat completely across the circumference of the half. Let’s say, on this case, you’re going to do a spherical cylindrical sort of half with that sort of texture. You must predetermine that and be sure that that diamond sample will completely match up and have constant gaps and distances with no overlapping if you get round that complete 360 levels of the half.
It’s not all the time straightforward. You’ve received to know what your circumference is, design your three-dimensional diamond sample to truly meet up completely round that distance after which create some geometry that you simply’re going to in all probability use a device like an array or revolve software or there are a selection of various instruments you need to use to realize this in CAD. However you’re going to both reduce into or add to a three-dimensional floor in that sample you need. It’s a completely totally different course of and it’s not straightforward. It’s not like you’ll be able to simply go, “I’ve made this cylindrical surface, go add a knurled surface.” Perhaps a number of the packages on the market, a number of the perhaps larger finish CAD packages, particularly ones the place you possibly can specify threads and say, “I want an M6 thread on this part,” and it’s going to know what to do to make that thread or any one of many commonplace thread sizes you are able to do. I don’t know if any of them do knurled surfaces the identical means. They could as a result of it’s such a standard factor. However let’s say for a second that they don’t have that automated, it’s a tough factor to go and mannequin in geometry.
I assume what I might do in that case, when making a knurled floor, I might make my cylinder what I would like. I might in all probability use both a Helix or a spiral geometry software to create a curved path that’s in a spiral formation. Spiral might be the proper one. You’ll be able to outline the variety of turns that spiral does across the object after which over a given peak distance, after which I might take a V-shaped or a triangular formed, two-dimensional formed after which extrude it. Extruding is probably not the appropriate time period for following a path. Totally different packages name it various things. I exploit Rhinoceros primarily, so that might be sweeping a rail with a sure form. It will create this V-surface in an object that may be a continuous, spiraled extrusion of a triangular form or a V-shape. You’d have the purpose moving into towards the middle of the cylindrical object that you simply need to reduce away from. You’ll have to regulate the place your form is relative to the trail you’re sweeping it on or extruding it alongside. However you will get it so that you simply’re going to chop in to the cylinder you’re doing. You are able to do that with a spiral in a single path after which a spiral within the different path to crisscross it and create your diamond formed sample.
It’s going to be a multistep course of. It’s not one thing it’s going to work rather well in your parametric packages like SOLIDWORKS. Casey, I hate to inform you this, however the best way of parametric packages and the way they work, they’re not likely made to deal with one of these operation in a simple means whenever you’re creating one thing in your thoughts from scratch. They undoubtedly would need it to be some type of a program or script that’s going to someway outline this geometry that you simply need to create and have one thing programmed in. You actually need it to be a device that already exists to do one of these factor. I don’t use parametric packages fairly often for this actual cause, as a result of a number of the types, shapes and textures that I need to create will not be that simply outlined in parametric packages. I might be beating my brains out if I attempt to do it on a regular basis. Creating one thing in additional of a program like Rhinoceros and even Blender or a few of these different packages that permit extra freeform geometry creation can be simpler to do it in. However it’s nonetheless going to be a really guide course of. There are few packages that may show you how to do it in an automatic method.
Shifting away from knurling, let’s simply speak about a few of the different issues. Let’s say you need a dimple texture, such as you needed to make a golf ball and have dimples on a golf ball or some other actually general textured floor. Mudbox truly is a very good software to try this. I’ve tried it. I even have Mudbox and that’s what I might do. I might create my geometry in a single program, convey it into one other like Mudbox and apply floor texture to it. There are methods to do it so that you simply don’t alter the underlying geometry however it’s nonetheless not straightforward. I do know definitely there are methods you possibly can mess up your underlying geometry.
Right here’s the opposite drawback you’re going to have. When you deliver it into Mudbox, if you wish to convey it again into SOLIDWORKS, I consider you lose all of your parametric properties at that time. Exporting one thing from SOLIDWORKS right into a Mudbox program or Rhinoceros or different program, you’ve acquired to be taking what could be very sensible geometry and making it dumb. That’s what we name it. You’re going to be making it right into a dumb strong with a purpose to do that floor texture modification to it. You actually need to have utterly completed your whole geometry within the parametric program. The very finish course of is what you need to be doing the feel in. You don’t need to be having to then return and do different issues to it.
If I have been you and I have been doing one thing like this, utterly end designing or engineering your half in SOLIDWORKS, save that file in SOLIDWORKS as a result of you might want it once more to do a special texture or should you take the feel too far and harm it, you’re going to wish to export it once more. Then, make that be the final step within the course of, placing a texture on it and go proper to STL for 3D printing. That course of is sensible. It’s like a one-way road although. You actually usually are not going to have the ability to come again.
I’ve one other instance. To not push Rhinoceros, it’s simply what I’ve probably the most expertise in. Rhinoceros is a program that there are numerous corporations that write and make plug-ins for it. I truly bought a plug-in, fairly darned costly one, I’m afraid to say. It was about $1,000, which was craziness until you’re knowledgeable. There’s a plug-in referred to as RhinoEmboss. I purchased that plug-in particularly to do that actual factor. Take geometry that I had created after which apply textures to it. You’ll be able to apply any type of texture you’ll be able to think about through the use of a 2D picture, like a JPEG or one thing, of the feel. Any photograph that you simply like, you could load it in and virtually undertaking it excessive of an object you’ve made and you may mask-off areas you don’t need to be affected and primarily paint, if you’ll, or draw with a brush or no matter, within the areas that you really want the feel to be utilized. You’ll be able to select if you’d like it to be embossed or debossed, or in one other method, if you would like it to be added texture away from the floor you’ve created or if you need it to chop in, principally making one thing convex or concave. You possibly can select and determine that.
It lets you create very limitless sorts of textures. I feel Mudbox does an analogous factor. I feel additionally ZBrush I’ve seen has that very same sort of performance. However once more, it’s not on the planet of parametric modeling. In each case, each instance that I do know of that I’ve used, it’s going to be an end-use course of, like I stated, a a method road. You don’t need to do this till you consider you don’t have some other modifications it is advisable to make to your half as a result of it’s going to be terribly troublesome to try this after the very fact.
RhinoEmboss, a lot of different nice instruments for manipulation, creating aid buildings, that’s actually what we’re speaking about. I come from the artwork and design world, regardless that I do engineering of issues. I’m not a degreed engineer. Within the artwork and design world, we’re speaking about aid right here, which is admittedly reliefs have existed so long as artwork has within the type of sculpture. You’re speaking about pushing and pulling materials, creating totally different shapes and patterns and all types of various particulars. You possibly can create aid in many various methods with sure totally different packages making use of interpretation of 2D photographs to create three-dimensional geometry. You’ll be able to change the diploma of depth via which it goes and the way exhausting or tender it’s created. You would change the size of those patterns. That’s one of the simplest ways that I discovered.
Right here’s the factor. It takes some work to discover ways to do it. However in case you actually need to create 3D printed elements which might be constructed layer by layer and utterly disguise these layers, that is actually the easiest way to do it and making use of it to your vertical faces or surfaces that exist in your half, particularly for those who’re making a pleasant object. Let’s say you’re making a lampshade. A few weeks in the past within the episode the place I visited MakerBot in New York, there’s a few photographs in that weblog publish of some issues that MakerBot had made, some fashions they product of audio system, like a big Bose-type of speaker wanting object. That they had a number of dimpled surfaces like that. I by no means requested them how they created that. I’ll should go and do this. They in all probability created that one as a result of it was a easy dimple.
If I used to be making a golf ball for example, I might create the sample of dimples, I might simply truly use commonplace instructions in CAD program. I wouldn’t be utilizing a texture interpreted from a 2D picture and venture it on to it. Dimples are in all probability a bit of simpler as a result of you are able to do a polar array round one thing that’s spherical and even spherical of a sample that may be a half drop repeat. I feel golf ball dimple form is a little bit of a half drop repeat that’s repeated radially across the sphere of a golf ball. I feel it’s an precise definable, repeatable sample that you are able to do. Should you’re going to do something that has that sort of definition, create the three-dimensional shapes that you simply both need to add or subtract from one other object and use a command like an array, both rectangular or a polar, creating that repeated sample then use a Boolean operation so as to add it or subtract it from what you’re doing. That’s actually the one different approach. Utilizing SOLIDWORKS, that’s going to be in all probability probably the most sensible option to attempt to do it, particularly if you wish to keep all your constraints and your sensible geometry.
I might have an interest to know, as soon as you probably did that in a SOLIDWORKS and even Inventor or all these different packages that use parametrics, when you create that dimpled sample, in the event you ended up making the half bigger, I’m wondering if it’d truly stretch the dimples. I don’t assume it’s going to create extra for you. These are the complexities and challenges with parametric modeling versus other forms of modeling. This additionally actually factors out the primary cause why there are such a lot of totally different CAD packages on the market. There’s not one absolute proper or flawed approach to make an object. The extra engineering sort of packages are fantastic for creating geometry merely and with the ability to make modifications in that geometry with out having to rebuild the entire half. However you’re operating up towards the place they turn out to be restricted and it’s extra on the inventive sample ornament aspect of issues that they have a tendency to fall just a little brief or simply aren’t capable of obtain a number of the similar issues because the extra inventive packages.
Then you’ve gotten the extra inventive packages. ZBrush for instance is means on the far finish of inventive. You’ll be able to create all types of fantastic natural textures and shapes. However you possibly can’t be very particular in that program aside from usually how massive or small one thing is. You’re not going to have an incredible diploma of precision. If you might want to make a change to one thing, you could have to largely remake a big half, if not the whole half. There are execs and cons to each software program. That’s why I don’t assume there’s a superb or a nasty software program on the market. When it comes to CAD creation, there are simply totally different sorts and totally different packages have totally different higher capabilities or not so nice capabilities in sure areas. It actually will depend on what you’re making an attempt to make. We all the time say in WTFFF, it’s all concerning the “what”. What the FFF do you need to make? Figuring out that forward of time will assist you out.
It doesn’t assist you numerous in the event you spend an entire lot of time studying SOLIDWORKS, you don’t know these different packages so properly after which it is advisable do extra, I assume, much less geometrically inflexible creations since you’re going to need to study one other program or no less than study sufficient of it to make use of it. However you are able to do that. I exploit Photoshop, in all probability about 5% of all of the instruments in Photoshop I exploit. I exploit them for what I have to and I’ve discovered how one can do it and that’s it. I don’t attempt to do every thing inside Photoshop once I’m working with photographs. I’ve obtained a few totally different CAD packages and I exploit some greater than others. It simply will depend on what I’m making.
Sadly, I don’t have absolutely the silver bullet right here as absolutely the reply for you, Casey . I’m sorry about that. I want I did. However it’s an awesome query, it’s an incredible dialogue. There are in all probability some new instruments on the market I don’t even find out about. We’re all the time taking a look at new software program. We’re all the time making an attempt them out, reviewing them every now and then. I don’t know every little thing that’s on the market, but when there’s one thing higher on the market, I guess one among our listeners is aware of and I’d love to listen to about it. Please share with us. In case you’ve received what you assume is one of the simplest ways to do it, or even when it’s not the easiest way, it’s only a method to do it, depart a remark or ship us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or attain out to us anyplace on social media, @3DStartPoint. Thanks a lot for listening. I hope this episode was useful.
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