Creating surface textures from photos or bitmaps for 3d printing

Hi group
is it possible to create surface textures from photos or bitmaps and apply them round a surface for 3d printing?

i.e if i had a cup and on the outside face of the cup i wanted to add a 3d texture taken from a photo is it possible?

I think this is the tutorial you’re looking for:


Hi John

thanks that looks good, i was hoping to find a way to turn a photo / image into a texture and then apply it to a surface

like this one for example.
is this the same set of tools to do this?

you can use Displacement map / Normal Map to do exactly that

1 Like

great thankyou.
i think my initial issue was size? at first i couldn’t see anything but playing with settings i have started to get results.
i am assuming the bitmap size is relative to the model size, is there any guidance on sizing?

Hi Adrian -

No, you’ll have to scale that to fit your requirements.

if you want to be quite precise, basically set the displacement map with the same Channel map as your UV Texture. here is the example of displacement checkerboard with dimension of 1cm x 1cm x 0.5cm.

  • First prepare your texture map. (in this example 100 pixel x 100 pixel) you can use cm, or, m etc.
  1. set mapping channel to whatever u like (in this example, channel 1)
  2. use correct projection type (in this case box type)
  3. set XYZ to the desired texture map size in the 3d model units. (i put 10cm x 10cm)
  4. set displacement map with the same mapping channel (in this example channel 1)
  5. set displacement height. (i put 0.5cm)

then your displacement should match with your UVW map texture.

note: i dont recommend doing this way for 3D printing. easier to do is to just model the pattern.