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Applying Decals with Background Masking in SOLIDWORKS – Part 1

Article by James Swackhammer created/updated August 11, 2019

Have you ever applied or used decals in SOLIDWORKS? What I learned is that not everything has the background colour you need for the decal you have. Sometimes you just want the background of the decal to match the colour of the object you’re putting in. Thankfully SOLIDWORKS  has a solution for that and it’s called (background) masking.

What I have here is a basic mug and I want to add the Javelin Logo as a decal to it as shown in the image below:

SOLIDWORKS Mask Applied

SOLIDWORKS Decal Mask Applied

To add in a decal go to the Display Manager tab –> select the Decals button –> right click in the open area below and choose Add Decal

Add Decal

Add Decal

Next, we need to browse for our picture and click open.

Browse for mask image

Browse for mask image

Now we need to select the face we want the decal to be on, I’m going to select the round face of the mug.

Select a model face for the decal

Select a model face for the decal

Next we need to go to the Mapping tab to size and position the decal. For my decal I rotated the position 108° around the mug, changed the width to 1.5″ and left the aspect ratio to fixed.

Mapping Properties

Mapping Properties

When all the parameters are changed to your liking hit the green check mark.

Model with decal applied

Model with decal applied

We noticed this isn’t what we want. The background is black and doesn’t match the colour of the mug. If we edit the decal we can do a mask to see if we can hide the background. When editing the decal under the Image tab, you’ll notice that part way down is the masking area. Here we can select Use Decal Image Alpha Channel to hide the background. I found this to be the easiest way to hide the backgrounds of images.

Decal Mask Applied

Decal Mask Applied

Get more information

For decal related tech tips please subscribe to be notified, and review Part 2 of my decal project. Also check out these other SOLIDWORKS Decal articles.

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James Swackhammer

James is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office

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