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Conceptual design is OK - here we can knock up a quick simple model and apply a texture map to mimic the form for visuals. The problem is at the prototyping stage getting parts cut or built via RP. Here we need the data that defines the surface. This is why texture application tools are important.
The question is - just how good are these tools in VX? I was at the UK user day in February or March this year and Bob demo'd v13 and it appeared to have much better capabilities in this area, but are they up there with say, Artcam (I know a modelmaker who uses this and they machined some claw feet for us)? I have to say that in v12 whenever I have tried to use this stuff it ends up a mess. Is 13 really that much better/easier to use?
Earlier this year I bought a Next Engine 3D scanner and this provides tools for scanning and conversion to 3D to STL - which is great if you already have a pattern. My nightmare is when a customer spots some kind of traditional pattern and says "apply that to this foot or that product". The patterns are either flat artwork and have to be mapped onto the surface, or they are already on something and this has to be extracted then remapped onto the surface!
Failing that does anyone else face this problem? What do you do? What solutions are there out there (aside from, of course, model making and scanning to stl - which we already have done). I would rather not have to switch from the systems I have in place - namely VX and SolidWorks.
As I said, I have seen Artcam in use and I know several Artcam users who rave about it - ideally v13 will bring Artcam like functionality and results?
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What I am trying to build into the process is flexibility whereby we can experiment using RP processes before committing to 3rd party tooling. We can already successfully reverse engineer via laser scanning to stl data, but the missing stage is applying the detail to new forms in the first place.
I suppose what I am after is something where I can take a graphic and convert it to relief surfaces on an underlying surface. I have tried this in v12 unsuccessfully ( and Bob did say that it was underdeveloped in v12), hence my original query about the enhancements in v13. Bob;s demo, as I recall, was a JPEG of his dog onto a flat surface so maybe VX can't handle mapping onto a more complex surface? Be interested to try it out.
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We make moulds for the glass container industry. A lot of detail and decoration. VX should have no problem modeling all the examples you have. One solution in VX for the texture would be to use: Wireframe, Wrap based on face, Wrap based on surface. You could make a curve represenation of the texture on a flat surface, then carry the curves to the modeled surafce then extrude them .005-.010", which when machined would look very much like your examples.
One software package that will texture the surface is Type3. We also use Icem for some of our deco as it allows us to not only carry curves ( same as VX ), but an entire 3d model. I have attached a movie showing that capability. Take away the 3D and it is how VX carries curves.
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I tried a new approach with a Lizard.jpg instead of my dog.
1. Used V13 Emboss with a large (?) deformation, 15 to 20mm but kept the resolution really loose, 1mm. That created a underdefined but raised 3D surface.
2. I then used morphing tools to raise or lower areas that didn't look quite right (morph with a curve worked well)
3. I then Embossed again to get a good texture and used a tight .2mm tolerance.
This is similar to the Point Cloud technique of projecting to a sub-surface instead of the XY plane. (sorry for my difficult-to-understand scribblings, I'm on my way to Chile and it's late).
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