How can I model a metal mesh in Blender? I have tried to create a texture with opacity, but I cannot seem to get that to work. Is there another way to create this?

I am using cycles.


Metal Mesh EDIT: Hey thanks everyone for the great advice! Before this I was not sure where to start, but now I have plenty of ideas about how to tackle this!

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    $\begingroup$ Did you try wireframe or skin modifiers on subdivided plane? $\endgroup$ – Denis Apr 13 '16 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ ¿¡ How can everyone ask a question like yours and get 400 views !? ¡ I wish I knew your secret ! $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Apr 14 '16 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Denis This was the info I was looking for! I really had no idea where to start. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Taylor Apr 14 '16 at 23:14
  1. Create a plane and subdivide it few times.

  2. Select the plane and poke the faces using Alt+P shortcut.

enter image description here

  1. Select all the horizontal and vertical edges and dissolve X > Dissolve Edges

enter image description here enter image description here

  1. Add a Wireframe or Skin Modifier

enter image description here


Create a base object with the shape of the mesh.

enter image description here

Then use a couple of array modifiers to extend it as much as you need.

enter image description here


If polygon counts are nor an issue and you wish to keep your workflow as modular and non destructive as possible (which I always strive to accomplish) you could achieve this easily with only a bunch of modifiers on a simple plane, no modeling or texturing required.

It should also keep it relatively simple if you later need to make more complex shapes or bend your mesh in more ways.

  1. Add a simple plane
  2. Add a Subdivision Surface modifier
  3. Set it's subdivision type to Simple
  4. Set the number of both render and view subdivisions to a number that suits your mesh size.
  5. Add a Decimate modifier
  6. Se it's type to Un-Subdivide
  7. Add a Wireframe modifier to build the actual mesh
  8. Optionally scale it horizontally to make the mesh with the correct proportions.

Mestal mesh with modifiers


To make this using textures.

Create a texture with an alpha channel that has the basic form of the wire mesh.

On a simple UV unwrapped plane use the texture and the alpha channel to control the transparency.

With a solidify modifier and a couple of array modifiers you can create a large mesh:

enter image description here click on the image to enlarge

A solidify modifier is used to add some thickness.

For a very low polygon count:

Use a single plane and make the texture repeat many times using a mapping node to control the scale and setting the texture to Repeat:

enter image description here click on the image to enlarge

  • $\begingroup$ So far this is the only answer that makes a mesh that looks like the one in the question. $\endgroup$ – candied_orange Apr 13 '16 at 22:58
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    $\begingroup$ @CandiedOrange All other answers (including this one) are to give users ideas and outline a workflow. To make somehting exactly like the example is not the goal. It is expected that the work that goes into the real project is done by the person asking the question. It is presumed also that people can use their imagination to reach the specific goal are after. The fact that I used the actual image as reference (which does imply extra work for the person answering) does not make the other answers less valid. $\endgroup$ – user1853 Apr 13 '16 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton Thanks! I am applying this to a cylinder, so this is a great place to start! $\endgroup$ – Matthew Taylor Apr 14 '16 at 23:23

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