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    by David Gate

    When working in Inventor there are a large number of materials available. Not only in the Inventor Material Library but also the Autodesk Library of Materials and Appearances.

    There will be some occasions though that the material or appearance you want is not available and you will need to create a new one.

    This guide hopefully will give you a few quick tips on creating your own material and appearance.

    Firstly head to the material or appearance manager.

    I would first recommend loading a similar material/appearance into your existing document by double clicking on it. This gives you a good starting point. If you want to brave a one from scratch then you can you click the create new material.


    This takes you into the material editor. Fill in all the relevant info on the front page.

    Then you can fill in the Appearance Info (this actually creates a new appearance for you so you don’t need to create them individually). This tab is also the same available to you when you create a new appearance by itself.

    Here you can define how the material looks, what colour, finish etc it has.

    Pick your colour, add an image (if you want one, or a standard texture from the list. You can edit the texture to control is size and tiling.


    You can then control its reflectivity, transparency, cutouts (for mesh materials), Self Illumination for light sources and Bump for a textured relief appearance on the material.

    Then finally add all the physical properties (you will want these for weight calculations and any other analysis you may do).

    Then ok your new material and apply it to your model.



    As the image I choose is our logo it doesn’t quite tile very well around the edges. This just requires a slight bit of adjusting for each face. To match them up.

    You can use the adjust tool to tweak each appearance face individually, ie match the appearance so that it appears to wrap around the component or the grain orientation is the same.


    If you are unable to use the translation adjust tool this is due to the visual style not being set to realistic (note when in realistic you don’t have to have ray tracing turned on).



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