If you’re trying to mimic a material for a presentation model, you may want to check out 3M’s DI-NOC Architectural Finishes. With over 600 patterns ranging from metallics, fabrics and carbon fiber, these films may give you an opportunity to try out how a particular finish might look before committing serious money in materials and fabrication. In addition to architectural applications (think fake metallic wall in posh, overpriced eatery), these films are being sold as huge automotive stickers that you can apply to your hooptie just in case those ground effects don’t quite get the job done. Check out Sticker City to see what I’m talking about.
It’s basically the same thing as creating a fake finish using an image of the material. That’s what I did to change my Dell M4400 into something slightly less boring. Using the ScotchPrint film from 3M and Skinit.com, I went from this: