I've Got Style. Do You Have Style? (Avatech Tricks Tutorial)

26 Mar, 2009

Add custom materials to Inventor's style library and the entire design team can gain access to that data.

Editor's note: This tutorial courtesy of Avatech Solutions.

Eventually the time will come in your design when the style library in Autodesk Inventor will not have the material you are looking for. Adding new material to the style library is the correct way to ensure that your digital prototype is accurately represented. The benefit of adding custom material to the style library is that the entire design team can gain access to that material. Creating new materials is a task that is easy to do and that any one can accomplish. This will reduce the time it takes to complete the project as well as costs associated with creating the new material by truly collaborating as a team. In this article, I will show you how to quickly and correctly add new material to your style library.

What is a Style Library and Why is it Important?

A style library is a common source of standards that is shared throughout the design team. Style libraries use the same philosophy as parts libraries, which share information that the entire design team can use. Think how important this will be for the new employee that comes onboard. Again, sharing the style library is an important part of promoting constancy and standards throughout your company.

Style and Standards Editor dialog box.

Your Project File May Be Cramping Your Style

All too often people will go through the entire process of creating their new material but cannot save it because the Save to Style Library option is grayed out. The first step when modifying the style library should always be checking the project file and verifying that the Use Styles is set to Yes. This will allow the style to be written to.

Making the style library editable.

Where Do You Go to Add New Material?

Accessing the Styles and Standards dialog box.
From the menu pull down go to Format – Styles, and Standards Editor. First, I like to find a material that is close to the one I want to create. Right click on that material and select New Style.

Rename the newly created file as required by right clicking on it. Now it is time to populate the new material with the appropriate properties. Adjust the color style as required for your new material.

Creating a new material style.

So, Where Do I Get the Material Properties From?

MatWeb is just one web site out there that has the material properties available to use. You may have to search multiple web sites to acquire all of the material properties that Inventor asks for. Once all of the material properties have been populated in Inventor, click Save at the top of the dialog box. After the material is saved, right click on the new material and select Save to Style Library. The new material is now saved to the style library so, you can select Done to close the dialog box.

Saving the new material style.

My New Material is All Finished, Now What?

With all files closed, go back to the project file and set the Use Style Library back to Read Only. Again, this is to ensure that no accidental changes are made to the style library. Now any member of the design team who uses this style will be able to utilize the new material created. In conclusion, you have seen how easy it is to add custom material to your style library to ensure that your digital prototype is represented as accurately as possible.

Changing the style library back to Read Only.