3D Textures and the 3D Texture PropertyManager

You can use 3D textures to transform textural appearances on parts into 3D geometry. You can use the resulting graphics body for manufacturing, especially 3D printing, or you can manipulate the geometry further by converting it into a mesh BREP body.

3D textures can add repeating geometric features to models. For example: dimples, knurls, bumps on a shoe tread, and textured patterns on a cell phone case.

Overview of the 3D Texture Process

Original model
Apply a textural appearance
Create a 3D texture using the 2D textural appearance
Final model

2D Textural Appearances

You add any type of image as a mapped textural appearance to the model. Grayscale heightmap images are preferred. You then use the 3D Texture PropertyManager to create 3D Texture features that use the grayscale values of the mapped textural appearance to physically displace the geometry.

You can specify white or black as the top of the texture. Each color gives a different 3D texture result. White represents the maximum elevation along an axis, while black represents no elevation. This image depicts black down, then black up.

Use these sliders in the PropertyManager iteratively to create the 3D texture:
  • Texture Refinement

  • Texture Offset Distance

  • Maximum Element Size

3D Texture PropertyManager

To open this PropertyManager:

In the Solid Bodies or Surface Bodies folder, right-click a body that has textural appearances and click 3D Texture .

Body to texturize Lists the selected solid or surface body. You can texturize one body at a time.
Dynamic Help Displays tooltips for each property.
Texture Settings Lists these items:
  • Available textures
  • = white up, black down
  • = black up, white down
  • Refinement value
  • Distance value
Convert this texture to 3D Selects the texture to convert. The model can have multiple textural appearances but you can modify only one at time with the 3D Texture tool.
White up Black down Specifies the color in the appearance to use as the top of the texture height. For example, if you clear this option, black is up. Black colors in the appearance represent the top of the texture height. White colors remain on the body surface with no displacement.
Texture Refinement Adds facets to better match the contours within the grayscale image. Higher values add more facets to the model. Highly detailed grayscale images typically require more-refined meshes.
Texture Offset Distance Specifies the maximum offset of the texture from the body. Increased offset distance increases the texture offset from the body.
Maximum Element Size Specifies the maximum size of the largest mesh facet in the mesh. Lower values create smaller mesh units and smoother models.