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How to create a SOLIDWORKS Custom Material

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated January 10, 2011

SOLIDWORKS comes pre-loaded with a great library of materials ranging from ABS Plastic to Zirconium.  The information contained in each of these material library entries includes tensile strength, density and many more material properties that can be used by SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation.  However what if the material you are using isn’t available from the SOLIDWORKS Material Library? It’s easy to add an additional material to your own custom library in SOLIDWORKS.

With a part file open you can access the Material property manager by right clicking on the Material feature in the FeatureManager design tree and selecting Edit Material.

At the bottom of the list of material libraries, in blue, is the Custom Materials Library.

SOLIDWORKS Custom Material

SOLIDWORKS Custom Material

Right clicking on the library will allow you to add a new category.

New Category

New Category

Right clicking on the new category will allow you to add a new material.

Add Material Properties

Add Material Properties

Any material properties known for the new custom material can be entered into the appropriate fields.

Set Custom Appearance

Set Custom Appearance

Custom appearances can also be assigned to the custom material, either by choosing from one of the preset appearance available,

Set Colour

Set Colour

Or a custom texture can be applied to the material.

Specify a texture

Specify a texture

These custom textures are image files (.jpg, .bmp ect) that are located in the folder listed under Textures in the File Locations area of the System Options.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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