Creating SOLIDWORKS Custom Appearance Files [VIDEO]

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated May 13, 2015


SOLIDWORKS installs with a large library of appearance files that you can apply to your models, but you can also create a SOLIDWORKS Custom appearance file from any image you wish.

Create a Custom Appearance File

To create a new custom appearance file, you need to start by editing an existing appearance with a texture.  Make sure you are editing the appearance using the “Advanced” option, this way you can change the path for the texture file.

Edit Existing Appearance

Edit Existing Appearance

Go to the “Image” section of the dialogue and click browse to select the image file that you wish to use as the basis for the new appearance.  Select the image file and click “Open”.

Once the image file is applied to the appearance you can make any additional changes you wish, such as adjusting the color tint or the scale of the image mapping.

Edit Texture

Edit Texture

To save these setting to a new appearance file, go to the “Appearance” section and click “Save Appearance …”.  A new custom .p2m appearance file will be created with the setting you have specified.  This appearance can then be applied to other SolidWorks models.

Save new P2M file

Save new P2M file

Add to the Appearance Library

Once you have saved the appearance file to a folder location you will be given the option of adding that folder location to the appearance library list.

Add Folder Location

Add Folder Location

New Custom Folder

New Custom Folder Added

Want to learn more?

Attend a Rendering Tools in SolidWorks and PhotoView 360 training course to learn how to create photorealistic renderings of parts and assemblies for electronic and paper output.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew Lidstone is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Application Engineer specializing in Data Management systems. He has been working in the SOLIDWORKS reseller channel since 2010 helping clients get the most from their CAD tools.