8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2013 9:57 AM by Shan Lentine

    I want to cover a body with "fish scales"

    Jason Turner

      I have a client that would like to put a "fish scale" pattern on a cylindrical/circular surface for a part that is to be printed. First of all is this the right forum? Secondly, how would this be accomplished?


      The only information I have found on this topic is located in the following discussion.




      Unfortunately there was no resolution to the question.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.





        • Re: I want to cover a body with "fish scales"
          Anna Wood

          Do you have any pictures of the shape you had in mind?


          Are you talking a true circular shape for your base part?





          • Re: I want to cover a body with "fish scales"
            Kevin Quigley

            This is exactly the sort of complex surface design that SolidWorks (or indeed any general modeller) is NOT designed for. Even if you could model it, you would end up with a model so clogged up it would be a pain to work with.


            Applying surface textures like this is often best done at the tooling stage using specialist suppliers to texture the mould cavity. In general we wouldn't attempt to model this detail in SolidWorks. It could be done, but it would make the job totally unprofitable, unless your customer has very deep pockets. Frankly there are better tools for this type of work and we would generally sub contract this out to specialists who do this sort of stuff all the time.


            Take a look at Delcam Powershape with ArtCAM. Many toolmakers doing mould tool work have this application and can help. Another option is SensAble Phantom. In general most of this work is done by adding a mesh to the NURBS base, or converting the whole thing to mesh/voxels then converting back.


            FYI our workflow for this stuff is to model the base form, take it into a rendering system, apply a bump map to visually texture the surface (or in some cases we can apply a displacement map to actually add the texture as mesh geometry. This way we can get a render out, and in some (note "some") cases a 3D print. Then we hand it over to the surface texturing experts to finish.


            One of the interesting slides I saw at last year's Develop3D Conference was a presentation by Gian Paolo Bassi  http://www.develop3dlive.com/videos/gian-paolo-bassi/


            He outlined work on the next generation SolidWorks and how surface patterning was going to be a feature in one of the tools. In the meantime...

            • Re: I want to cover a body with "fish scales"
              Shan Lentine

              I believe that my first post did not go through, so let's try it again.  If this ends up being a duplicate post, I apologize. 


              I may have missed something as I skimmed through the posts.  If I have please forgive me.  Does the customer need actual models of the scales, or would a visual representation of the scales meet his expectations.  Could you give them what they want by applying an appearance to the faces of the model?  It won't give you any mass or other properties that an actual model would, but it sure does look pretty.  Just my $.02, take it for what it is worth.