Almost everybody loves chocolate, right? That’s exactly what I was thinking when I was working on some models for our previous Halloween and Christmas candy articles. As I was working on those projects, I came across a surprisingly quick and easy way to apply full-color patterned textures to CAD models for 3D printing on the Stratasys J750 and J850, using SOLIDWORKS Visualize, and had the idea to use this method to make chocolate bars for Valentine’s Day!
Applying Full Color Textures Has Gotten Easier!
So, over the span of many articles in 2019, I spent some time filling everyone in on interesting methods to create full-color models that we would print using the Stratasys J-Series. Some of these methods were somewhat simple, some of them were more complex, but all of them took a bit of time to learn how to execute and master, regardless of your software skill level. Now, with the latest version of SOLIDWORKS Visualize, applying texture to your models will be easier. You will not need to spend time in Photoshop lining up images to flatten onto 3D objects or break your model up into incredibly small bodies to pick and choose colors individually.
How to Use SOLIDWORKS Visualize for Adding Colors and Textures
SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2019/2020 has been enhanced so that adding full color to your models is much easier than it used to be. Visualize now has the ability to take in a part or assembly with no color or texture data, slap on a texture from a library of available options to each body or part in the model and export this data as an OBJ file that looks great on the J-Series! This is all you need to do:
1) Open your part file:
2) Open the File Library and Click and Drag an Appearance from the available Textures onto the part:
3) Click File > Export > Export Project and Select OBJ Scene as the file format:
Once you do this, it’s easy to open the OBJ files that you’ve created in GrabCAD Print and send them over to the printer!
In our case here, chocolate isn’t an option from the texture library in Visualize, but the next best thing we have readily available in large quantities are types of leather, and most of them do a great job of having a non-uniform brown texture that would reflect the minor imperfections in the chocolate, so they end up working quite well for this application!
Making these chocolate bars was a ton of fun, and unlike most of the projects I work on, this wasn’t a major investment of time in either design or trial and error to get it right. Everything worked out great the first time, and the results look fantastic! While using leather to create “chocolate” may not be the most exciting application, this easy-to-use core concept will work great the next time you need to create something like a multi-part assembly that includes an oak shifting knob, a leather grip and a clear dome top with shifting icons embedded inside, either printing on your own Stratasys J-Series printer or reaching out to our Rapid Prototyping Services Team here at TriMech!
Are you interested in learning more about the new J850? Check out all its features and details.