Displacement texture or other texture options for 3D printing?

Hey all. I’ve made this helmet but I need some textures to go on the side of it. I also want to 3D print this helmet when I’m done. Currently using the displacement modifier, I know a higher resolution model is needed but its making me use level 6 subdivision and when its exported, the file is 1.65gb. It also doesn’t let me open it in Cura!

Is there any other way I can add textures, or sculpt the texture on without it being a big file? I’m up for suggestions.


If it’s for 3D printing I assume that modelling without textures is fine, so try this.

Take your displacement map as a monochrome image and import into Inkscape. Trace bitmap to create an .svg of the texture. Import the .svg into blender, convert to mesh, and extrude to give it depth. Fix up non-manifold (I’ve found a very low number of non-manifold is not a problem).

Position it on your model and, once you are happy, join them with ctrl-J.

Worked for me for this (NB. It looks better to the naked eye).

You could try Blender’s built in decimation tools. Meshlab and Meshmixer can decimate as well (both are free).
If you have ZBrush or 3Dcoat, you could give their decimation a try for comparison.
Some of the paid apps might have a better decimation.

Geomagics’s decimation has been the best in the industry for decades, and I have yet to find anything that works as well, unfortunately it comes at a high cost.

Thanks for commenting! I’ll try this and see what happens.