Brett wrote in looking for a way to accomplish a diamond grip pattern wrapping around a cylinder, like the one shown above. It’s easy enough to trace a photo, but what if you didn’t have one, or it wasn’t at the right angle?
The technique I’d use is similar to mapping a label to a can.
1. Create the artwork you’ll need. The diamond pattern matches the angle and density of the original. The black circle is the same diameter as the reference part, and is filled with no stroke.
2. Make the pattern a symbol. Drag the pattern into the Symbols palette.
3. Extrude the circle. Go to Effects > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Click the Surface dropdown at the bottom and select Wireframe. This will help you orient the cylinder to the desired angle. I usually start by entering 0° for all the rotation angles, then rotating one axis at a time by grabbing the edges of the preview cube.
You may need to reposition your cylinder to line up better with a reference image. To do this, Click OK, move the cylinder as needed, then open your Appearance pallete and double click on the 3D Extrude & Bevel item. You may need to turn Preview back on.
When you’re happy with your geometry, click Map Art…
4. Map Art. Click through the Surfaces to find the rectangular side surface. Then select your pattern from the Symbol drop down. Next, select Scale To Fit at the bottom and check off Invisible Geometry. Click OK.
5. Change Surface to Flat Shading. Click OK. You can now edit the artwork as needed by going to Object > Expand Appearance. In my example, I changed the yellow fill to white, then drew the rest of the lineart on another layer.
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