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I have many ideas for openlock. Most involve adding different textures to the basic panel set.
There is no point to re-inventing the wheel.
How do people add textures to tiles?
(I have tinkercad and Sulptris)
3d Coat for textures actually now that I've tried a whole bunch of things.
Update: So basically for me it's now down to modeling in viacad pro, using 3d coat to add textures ( and simplify while keeping topo, etc ), then save as stl and print. meshlab is still useful for fixing things and some more arcane stuff like adding noise to your mesh, etc.
Will still use silo for mesh editing.
@Hardlec - I just started down this path so I have the same question. I've done 3d mesh modeling for games and solid modeling for industrial design work (both mostly hobbies at this point) so I'm not starting from scratch but I might be doing things the hard way because I don't know the easy way.
Here are the tools I'm using (note: I'm on a mac, and not a pro):
ViaCad Pro v11 (https://www.punchcad.com/punch-viacad-pro-v11-download-macintosh) - solid modeler that is probably too expensive for hobby use ( I bought it on sale when it was much cheaper and upgrades aren't to expensive every few years ). Is a decent parametric solid modeling CAD tool - I've designed and printed multiple design prototypes using it and it's perfect for that job. ( ie, I would use it to design the basic tile set, then use other tools to texture, etc) - not the best support or manual, but adequate. Solid modelers are the way to go for that sort of stuff - no messy broken meshes and headscratching topologies.. ;)
Cheetah3d (https://www.cheetah3d.com/) - $99 mesh modeler that integrates really super well with Unity3d. This has a 'Relief' from image mode that is the easiest way to map an image of a texture into a mesh that I have found ( yes blender can do it, key word here is 'easiest' - blender is not intuitive to me - I refuse to use it unless I have to ). Good manual, excellent community and support ( one guy makes it )
Silo (from Nevercenter https://nevercenter.com/silo/) - This would be my 'you only can have one' choice I think for pure mesh modeling and manual repair, etc. It's a great value ($99) and the latest version has a zbrush like mesh displacement painter mode that pairs nicely with it's good subdivision tool. Using Silo is a pleasure, simple, intuitive. If I ever need to create/edit meshes it's the first thing I reach for. good manual and a set of learning videos.
Substance Painter (https://www.substance3d.com/) - really the only way to texture models for video games - this is a pro tool and will freakin spoil you. But... super difficult to learn IMO. And I haven't figured out yet how to use it's displacement map, which is what you would need to do to change the mesh - I'm guessing you paint a height map, bake it and export it, then use that in something like cheetah3d to deform an actual mesh, but really I have no idea. Just mentioning this tool because my suspicion is that it's probably the way to go for someone who knows how to use it. I'm still learning this tool and am lost.
MeshLab ( http://www.meshlab.net/ ) - this is the tool for repairing and simplifying your meshes. I use it a lot on meshes -> solid model for printing. A lot of the free meshes like you can get on the sketchup site, etc aren't watertight or low poly, this can help you get there easily. @JBeagle - have you tried meshlab for your problems?
So right now my workflow is:
Cheetah3d create Relief from image(s) -> export as OBJ
-> Silo to mash that mesh(s) with the basic tile set and cleanup, detail, edit, etc the mesh(s)
-> MeshLab to clean it up, simplify it, make it watertight, etc (might make a short trip to ViaCad to export for final check and export to .stl)
-> QIDI Print to slice it into gcode and print
I haven't taken anything beginning to end, but I have done each of the steps in detail so I know it will work. I'm now working on sketches of what I want to create before I spend anymore time fiddling with tools. ;) ( my design teacher told me computers are just for final implementation of your design, not for creating it.. that advice has probably saved me countless hours - paper and pencil FTW )
I'm open to learning, just posting what I'm doing for others to teach me something new or to learn something from it.
I take the templates for the connectors and stitch the textures on to those. I typically work in blender to do this.
The short version of the process is to reduce to bottom edge of the texture to a rectangle with only 4 vertexes, then merge those vertexes with the corners of the connectors. The hope is to have only 1 mesh in the STL when its done.
I run into a lot of problems where the geometry of the texture is a bit of a mess and confuses the slicing software. I haven't quite figure out how to work around that yet.