How do I add a texture to a Catia part for 3D printing?

I need to add a textured design to a part that will later be used for 3D printing. I'm relatively new to Catia, but I understand this is a new feature in SolidWorks 2019.

See Video:

Are there any similar parallels in Catia, or will I need to use additional software? (such as Blender)

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

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2 Answers

I can't comment regarding Catia as I am not a user, but with regards to 3d printing, whatever texture you wish to use needs to be extremely coarse, like a shoe or tire tread, or it isn't going to print well. Aesthetic textures found on most plastic goods, the kind used to hide fingerprints and whatnot, are generally much too fine to print.

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I have not tried that tool in SW 2019 yet. It looks cool, but I've only heard complaints about it so far. Most are saying the tool is very basic. No doubt it will get a little better with each release.

Catia I've never used. But, you could export your model to a program like Zbrush. It is a nightmare to use (for me), but it has some rather outstanding tools for applying textures.

Again, I've not used it, but the new version (8) of Keyshot (the rendering program) has an option where textures can be applied, and then used to deform the actual model, and not just show up in a rendering.

The biggest limitation with Zbrush, or Keyshot, is you'll be left with a mesh model. It is fine for 3D printing, but it won't work well for mass production.

The quality of the 3D printer will play a big role in how the final part turns out. A typical FDM machine is going to produce terrible results, unless the texture is large (like Robert mentioned). If you go with a much finer printer like the Objet line, you can get some great results. The last Objet machine I worked with was terrible, but it was able to print layers with a thickness of .0007" (.018mm).

We used it for one project to duplicate fingerprints on rubber (tango) print material for use on a robotic hand. The goal was to use real, to scale fingerprints, and not just a "fingerprint" looking feature.

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