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3dsmax transfering map to mesh for stl output

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steve jankovic
3dsmax transfering map to mesh for stl output
on Jul 12, 2010 at 10:40:36 am


Ok I dont know how clear I will be with this but Ill give it a try. If one were to make a chess board in 3dsmax - simple process is to create a plane import a map that has a checker board and voila we have a chess board.

If I were to save this file as an stl for 3d printing of course I would get only the shape of the plane without the bitmapping.

Is there a way to transfer the bitmap to the 3dsmax mesh ie actually carve the mesh by using the bitmap.

Or is it the old school hard way actually work on the mesh to make it look like a chess board.

What I am trying to do is in a nutshell setup bitmap param's that will actually influence the surface of the mesh permanently so that when the mesh is viewed with or without textures it will have the chisled features of the texture?

I hope this makes sense and there is a tutorial out there that can aid in this or a plugin that can be purchased to help achieve this task.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: 3dsmax transfering map to mesh for stl output
on Jul 12, 2010 at 2:48:19 pm

Steve -

It sounds like what you need is a displacement map. You will find that as one of the choices in your Materials (M key) menu (it will look different with Max 2011 - I'm going through that growing pain right now). Set your bitmap to be the Displacement map, and render. Once you see what you like, convert the model to an editable poly. I'm not sure whether the STL export likes to see meshes or polys, but my guess would be polys (you can look that up on the Autodesk site under Exporting, or in the help file - also try "displacement map and Max in a google search). Another option is to use the Displacement modifier in the Modifiers menu.

I take STLs in regularly from my CAD clients, but don't output them. I do know that you want to make your mesh high poly count, and make sure your distortion map for the chess board is high resolution, or you're going to get nasty jaggies. Good luck.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia

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