I just wanted to share my first experience with some relief texturing to give a wood-like appearance while using HDU (high-density urethane) board instead of wood. This sign is part of a larger series of signs for a client and I'm really happy with how it turned out.
If anyone would like more details regarding how I did it, please let me know and I'll try to post steps. Fair warning though - I use Fusion 360 rather than Vectric, so I can only speak to the Fusion 360 method:
Last Edit: Sept 7, 2019 10:38:12 GMT -5 by dadealeus
Wow; my apologies, everyone. For some reason, I never received notices that people had replied to this thread. Just happened to see the large number of views on the thread and thought I'd see what was going on.
It's been a little while since I did this, so I need to give myself a little refresher course. Then I'll update with some step-by-step instructions.
Ok, the good news is that it's coming back to me. The bad news is that it's a decent number of steps using a couple of different programs. I'll try to outline everything:
1) First, you're going to need to download a program that converts black-and-white images into mesh surfaces (a 3D surface that you can import into Fusion 360). The one I used is called "heightmap-to-stl" and it can be found here:
2) Next, you need to find a good image to use. I just searched Google for a decent looking black-and-white picture of some wood grain. It would also work if you simply took a black-and-white picture of some wood grain you wanted to replicate. Basically, using this program, the darker colors are set deeper in the mesh and the lighter colors are the peaks. While simple black-and-white images are not true heightmaps, they work quite well for this effect.
Here's a link to some example images that should work well (it's a Google image search):
3) Next, you use the program to convert the image into a mesh that you import into Fusion 360. There are some important things to note, however:
As far as I can tell, this program generates a mesh that contains as many points as there are pixels in the image you reference. This means that if you use a high-resolution (large) image, it's going to take FOREVER to generate the mesh. Even if you're patient enough for the mesh to be generated, it's going to figuratively melt your workstation when you try to import it into Fusion 360 unless you have a super-computer. I wouldn't use an image that's much larger than 500 pixels in width and height to protect your sanity (and your computer).
So, basically, you run the program you downloaded, select your image you downloaded as the source, and then create the mesh. You'll probably want to reduce the "model height" field from its default of 50 mm to something much more subtle. The "model height" is the maximum distance between the peaks and valleys in the resulting mesh. I think I used 2 or 3 mm for the sign I referenced.
Once all your settings are input, click the create button and your mesh should be generated and placed in the "Output Path" you selected (or that was selected by default).
4) If everything went well, you should now have an STL file (this is the mesh object of your image). Head to Fusion 360 and import that mesh (Fusion 360 updates frequently, so it's best if you search Google for how to do this as my instructions might be outdated in the future). Once that's done, you can generate the cut path just like you would for any other shape. I wrapped mine in a frame and had the letters and logo for the company sticking "through" the mesh, then cut the entire thing using a round, tapered end-mill with about a 1/16" cut diameter.
It took a number of hours, but I'm really happy with the results.
I hope that helps!
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2020 6:26:40 GMT -5 by dadealeus: Bolded numbers for readability.