Wood Grain Issues

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Keegan3, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Keegan3
    Keegan3 Member
    Good day All.

    I trust you are well.

    I am currently in the process of drawing scale models for the Rail Industry, Items that either cannot be bought or just dont have the detail I require.

    At the moment I am drawing a wooden sleeper complete with Rail Chairs, My issue at the moment is drawing a wood grain to be 3D Printed right onto the part. I am drawing on Autodesk Inventor 2016. Does anyone know how I can achieve the wood grain I am looking for?

    The textures cant help because we need the wood grain printed onto the part to actually show up after the print. I dont want to have to sand it and so on. I want to put it into the drawing and use it as templates for parts in the future.

    Total Dimensions of the current part are 48.3mm L x 5.75mm W x 3mm H.

    I only need the wood grain on the very top because the sleeper will be covered with ballast.

    Any replies would be highly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
  2. NoahLI
    NoahLI Well-Known Member
    if Inventor is can do textures, I'd try some wood grain textures applied as a displacement map. Bump maps may or may not as it's often only a render effect rather than actually changing the underlying geometry.

    plenty of royalty free wood textures available here http://www.textures.com/category/wood/427
  3. Keegan3
    Keegan3 Member

    Hi There Noah,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have downloaded a texture off your reference but it is a jpeg file.

    How would I acheive this displacement map?

    Thanks in Advance.
  4. NoahLI
    NoahLI Well-Known Member
    I don't know how to do it in Inventor. You'd have to look through the texturing documentation for displacement mapping.
  5. DoctorOctoroc
    DoctorOctoroc Well-Known Member
    I haven't used inventor as I work primarily in Solidworks so I don't know exactly how to do it in inventor, but I had a client awhile ago that wanted a wood grain 'etched' into the surface of the model to look like it was made out of wood and achieved this with surface cuts. Luckily, they were all flat, so a simple cut extrude accomplished the goal but if you have a curved surface, it may get trickier. In SW, this would be accomplished by trimming a duplicate of the surfaces with a sketch that resembles a wood grain and then cut-thickening each trimmed section into the surface.

    This was my result for the commission:


    It took awhile but the result was effective. Since you're only implementing the wood grain on one surface, it shouldn't be too bad.

    One thing to remember is that the resolution of the print, depending on the scale and material you choose, will hide any 'defects' so it doesn't have to be perfect. Just look up some wooden textures online and find one with more contrast between details, then use it as a reference image to trace the most prominent shapes and cut into the surface using alternating areas. You can even create a secondary 'level' of deeper cuts for more depth. Just be mindful of how deep you're cutting that it doesn't thin the walls of your design too much, but that they're deep enough to show up as per the material guidelines for embossed and engraved details.
  6. jlteam_lee
    jlteam_lee Member
  7. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    The one challenge you are going to have is that such textures will drive the triangle counts up, and you still have a 1 million triangle limit on your files.