How to Create a Knurl Texture

Follow these steps to learn how to create a knurled texture on CAD surfaces using a Conformal Lattice from CAD Face.


Set up the faces and bodies

  • Start with any imported CAD Body
  • Select the faces for knurling and create a  CAD Face List Variable 
  • Convert the CAD bodies (main bodies and knurl body) to Implicit bodies by Implicit Body from CAD Body to be used in the last two steps

Create the Knurl Pattern

  • Add a Conformal Lattice from CAD Face 
    • Double-click in the Face Parameterization input and select Reparameterize CAD Face 
      • In the Reparameterize block, set the CAD Face: CAD Face List Variable
      • Origin Position: 0,0
    • In the Conformal Lattice from CAD Face block, set the Unit Type: Square honeycomb Rotated
    • UVW divisions: 15, 15, 5
    • Offset distance: -0.1 mm


A negative offset distance will move inward, while a positive offset distance will move outward

  • Add a Thicken Body (the thickness will define the width of the knurl grooves)
    • Body: Conformal Lattice from CAD Face
    • Thickness: 0.001 mm
  • Boolean Union the Thicken Body to convert from a list to a single body
    • Blend Radius: 0 mm

Why Boolean Union?

The parts are Boolean Unioned together in order to convert the list to a single body because it will be input into a list later on. Always remember that a list can't be input into a list.

Create the Knurl Texture

  • Boolean Subtract the thickened lattice from the knurl section. This will cut into the surface and create the knurling texture
    • Blend Type: Chamfered
    • Blend Radius: 0.125 mm
    • Primary Body: Implicit Knurl Body (from setting up the faces and bodies)
    • Subtraction Body: Boolean Union (from creating the Knurl Pattern)

Bring it all Together

  • Boolean Union the knurled part with the remaining bodies to complete the part
    • Blend Type: Sharp
    • Blend Radius: 0.0

Download the example file to follow along and try re-creating the steps on another section of the pen model. Watch the video below to see the knurling process in action.



Download the example file here

  nTop Version 2.4.5 - Methods and Interface may have changed if you are using a different version


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