Musings from Carbon’s Engineers


By Robert Sage and Hardik Kabaria, July 6, 2018

Consumers expect aesthetic and functional textures on production quality parts. For injection molded parts, textures are applied very late in the process, often etched directly (and manually) into the tool. For 3d printed parts, there is no easy way to apply textures to digital models – at Carbon or elsewhere.

At Carbon, expert print engineers have created textured parts using a time-consuming and clunky combination of tools for different stages of the problem:

  • Rhino (convert input digital model to a sufficiently high resolution mesh)
  • Netfabb or Magics (select surface patches)
  • Carbon (support, orient)
  • ZBrushZRemesher/UV Master (remesh, UV map, apply noise or image-based texture)
  • Netfabb or Magics (merge model, patches)
  • Carbon (print)

At Carbon, we believe it’s important – and possible – to streamline this process, to make it easier for more customers to texture their parts. We are working to enable a Carbon software user to easily select a surface patch to texture, then click Generate to automatically:

  • UV map patches
  • Retriangulate existing models for high enough resolution
  • Re-stitch patches ensuring manifold mesh
  • Apply textures

We’re using a combination of open source tools (e.g., and our own algorithms to implement this capability. See a demonstration of our current version of the texture tool here: