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I like Tinkercad so far for it's very simple UI. (I'm new to 3D modeling and very confused by Blender and the like.) However, I'm not using it to do 3D printing just yet. For I'd like to be able to be to slap textures on the models I make and get images of that. What is the easiest beginner way to do that (for Linux OS)?

Alternately, displaying the .obj directly in the browser with a texture would be great, too.

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  • $\begingroup$ textures? Why you need textures, when the print will be monocolored (unless you have one of those new printers that add ink)? $\endgroup$ – Trish Dec 3 '18 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ I think the part "I'm not using it to do 3D printing" takes care of the textures needed aspect. $\endgroup$ – fred_dot_u Dec 3 '18 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @fred_dot_u That part makes it Off Topic, but yes. $\endgroup$ – Trish Dec 20 '18 at 19:24
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For your purposes, consider that Meshmixer (free) can open .OBJ files and display them in any position you desire.

I use Meshmixer quite a bit for model editing, but have not used it for .OBJ files with textures. I searched my drive and found quite a few .OBJ files, but was not able to present or add textures, due to my own ignorance, I'm sure.

I found a useful link to a support page on the 'net which indicates that there has to be a texture file as well as a definition file (.MTL) in order to display the textures in Meshmixer. Using that reference, I was able to add a randomly selected .PNG file and apply the texture to a test model.

If your creations do not include those support files, this may not be a good answer. There's little to lose, however, as the program is free and you may find use for it in the future, or you may find that it works as you require.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Unfortunately, Meshmixer does not appear to be supported on Linux, which I am on. $\endgroup$ – Jim Dec 3 '18 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ that does throw a wrench in the works! $\endgroup$ – fred_dot_u Dec 3 '18 at 10:06
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If you need just a graphical 3D look at them, opening them in any slicing program should create a graphic visualization in relation to the print grid - in glorious 3D. Slicers don't allow to place textures on them though.

One of the most common slicers among hobbyists, Ultimaker Cura, comes also as a linux distribution, just like a couple more reviewed on all3dp.com

If slapping textures on your model is a strict demand, then you have to get a proper graphic-design program. Blender, which is a mess, as you mentioned, is one of the most powerful ones out there. But even with blender you don't need to go all deep into learning: if you just want to check out a rough fit of the looks, it can be used for a 3D visualization. It can be helpful to use the vertex-paint mode to mark some areas as you spin the model around. And if you dig deeper into the matter, you can make an UV-map easily.

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Consider using Clara.io (100% free):

  • Export your Tinkercad project as OBJ.
  • Import in Clara.io
  • Texture and render.

Clara.io is 100% web based. It is simple to learn if you have prior experience with other 3D renderers. If you don't, the learning curve might be steep though...

But : you have access to VRAY which in a free-to-use package, is simply awesome...

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protected by Trish Dec 20 '18 at 19:29

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