Image Mapping

Image mapping is an innovative feature of voxelizer that allows you to map an image on your model and get a multi-color or multi-gradient print, depending on your machine.

image_mapping.gif

You can apply image mapping material like any other material:

  • By drag and drop from the Colors tab;
  • By right clicking on the object;
  • From the Tree structure tab, by right clicking on the object name;

When you create or modify a texture material, you will get a number of options:

  • COLOR COUNT:

This is the number of gradients that you want to apply to your mapping.

Depending on your machine, you may be limited to a maximum of 2 or 4;

If your extruder allows color blending, like ZMorph DualPro, there is no limit, although we recommend not to exceed 4 gradients, in order to avoid overflooding of filament and excessive printing time. (The maximum that we tested with good results is 6.) From our tests we have seen that 4 gradients gives nice results even with pictures.

Always check your g-code before printing and verify that there are no areas where the filament crossing is too dense: this might happen because of too few gradients, especially if your texture in an area is particularly complex - as in the picture. If you see such areas, or the print doesn’t come out as expected, you might want to reduce the gradients, change the pattern or modify the mesh.

 

  • COLOR SOURCE:

- Internal:  if your original file has a texture linked to it  (for example an OBJ).

- External: if you want to map a separate image to your object. Click on the folder icon to select it from your files.

- Vertex color:  vertex color allows you, for example, to take a 3D scan and get a realistic print out of it.

  • MAPPING TYPE and TEXTURE ROTATION:    

This determines how the image is mapped on the model. If the Mapping type is Side you can modify the look with Texture rotation.

  • FILAMENT DISTANCE:

This value should be between 0.2 and 0.4.

During image mapping, the different gradients cross each other like a fabric, moving in continuous outlines. The filament distance parameter controls what distance there is between each outline. A value of 0.2 will allow you to print more detailed models with sharper angles at the cost of a slight loss in color brightness and “cleanness”. A value of 0.4 will result in nicer colors but you will have to check your gcode preview to verify that parts of the gradients that are supposed to be inside of the model at a certain point are not sticking out of it. The default value is 0.3 and it will work well in most cases.

  • THRESHOLD:

When the outlines are getting too small for all the gradients to fit in, only the external one is printed with extruder 1. The threshold parameter controls when this has to happen.

  • GAMMA:

The overall color saturation of the image.

  • COLOR SWAP THRESHOLD:

When a color line segment is below this threshold it will be merged with the adjacent one. This is useful to avoid the kind of glitches described in the Filament distance point.

Some further elements should be considered:

  • Printing speed: Image mapping involves continuous micro-movements for the extruder. In order to achieve a good print quality it is recommended that you reduce the printing speed of the outlines, especially if you choose a complicated pattern or image, or many gradients.
  • Object’s shape: Always check your g-code before printing. Very complicated shapes and an excessive presence of sharp angles may result in glitches and low quality prints.

When you have set all the parameters, you are ready to generate your G-code and print.

Happy Image Mapping!