algorithmic modeling for Rhino

How can I apply a displacement maps to Meshes for 3D printing?

example: I want to create an embossed pattern that wraps around the surface of a simple wine glass, using a displacement map.

Then save the wine glass with the embossed pattern geometry for 3D printing. How would I do that in GH?

The following pic shows the process in Maya.Note: the traditional use of Displacement maps is for rendering, such as the pic of the Head, where it is used as an opacity map.

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Try morphing the mesh as well

Hi Peter:

As you  can see my Favorite Martini Glass has a knurled pattern at the top of the stem. A displacement map would certainly improve on the time it would take to do this using normal Geometry.

Hmm ... you mean that this thread of yours is in fact a case for a proper Martini glass? If so ... it's rather paramount to find some solution.

BTW: Plan B:

No!.... However my glass is from Murano. Some of their Crystal is unbreakable even when smashed against each other as demonstrated by the Murano Sales Guy.... Yikes!

Even in the colonies we are starting to develop a higher standard. :)

BTW: Speaking about higher standards ... er ... I would strongly suggest to switch camp (at least for freaky mesh adventures and/or nurbs ones).

Yes, I believe Blender is also capable.

Blender? No thanks. This:

eats them all (for breakfast)

From Peter Definition i made this 


GH isn't really ideal for this kind of stuff since you easily need millions or billions of polygons for detailed displacement and GH does not handle this gracefully.

ZBrush is one of the best tools in that area and handles insane amounts of polys:

Many renderers can handle displacement rather well at rendertime but not many of them allow to export the finely detailed render-mesh.

Any specific reason why you want to do this in GH? Rhinos built in Displacement can do it and you can export the Rendermesh at a given resolution if I remember correctly.



Hi Thomas
Thanks for the heads up about Zbrush. This thread is primarily about how to apply displacement maps to meshes for 3D printing. I'm also aware there is limit for the amount of polygons allowed per model by those that provide the printing service. So currently its a juggling act between a good looking high quality render, and a mediocre 3d printed product. :(

It took a few days to understand how Displacement works, and is applied to surfaces, in my 45 day Trial of Zbrush. Zbrush certainly has the ability to produce much crisper displacement, along with higher Polygon counts. Also Decimation Master can be used to reduce the polygon count, in areas where it does not affect the models basic geometry.

Yeah, ZBrush is pretty much the master of this area. Getting the hang of how it works is one of the worst parts, it's GUI and workflow follows very unique roads...
Otherwise it's really brilliant and second to none.

Great you got it working for you!








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