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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Keeping it Current - Updating Materials in and Autodesk Inventor Part

“To me, a building - if it's beautiful - is the love of one man, he's made it out of his love for space, materials, things like that.”
Martha Graham

Since I work on several projects that may be quite dissimilar to each other, I have found that it's pretty easy for my Autodesk Inventor materials to get out of sync with the external material libraries.

That means, that many times I have to update my outdated or inconsistent material libraries with the current materials in my external libraries. 

So using Inventor 2014, what's the process of checking, and updating the materials from my external libraries?

I'm going to start with a sample part.  This part came from a different project, and was originally created in Inventor Release 5.  So this file has some miles (and migrations) on it!

The part I'm working with in this blog
One result of all of this is that the materials don't quite match the materials currently in my library.  So I want to update them as quickly as possible.

I'm going to open my material library with the icon at the top of the Quick Access toolbar.  I can also find the icon on the Tools tab.

Getting to the Material Library
I can see that there are several materials located in the "Document Materials" section.  These are the materials that are cached locally inside the file, and over time may not be in sync with the external libraries, which are displayed on the lower half of the dialog box.

Document and External Material Libraries

But how can I refresh the new, with the old?  It's a matter of using the Update icon found on the Manage tab, in the Styles and Standards panel.

Preparing to update the libraries

Clicking the Update icon will display the Update Styles dialog box.  Choosing the library that I want to update, in this case the Inventor Material Library, I can see which materials require updating.

A list of materials requiring update.

I can click on each material to individually update, or I can click Yes to All and update everything on the screen.  For this particular file, I'm clicking "Yes to All".  I can then hit OK to update the materials from the external libraries.

The libraries are now updated.  As a matter of fact, even the active material in the file will be updated, as can be seen in the image below!

Now that's left to do is save, and carry on!

For a video version of the above post, check out the link below!


  1. Anonymous1:06 AM

    Hi Jonathan,

    I think some words are missing in the line "As a matter of fact, even........".
    Can you tell me how this line shouls be?

    Best regards,

    1. Lambertus,

      It's some bad typing and proofreading on my part! Thanks for catching that.

      It's been corrected to read, "As a matter of fact, even if the material the active component material, it will also be updated."

      Which it should have read in the first place!

  2. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Hi Jonathan,

    Tried your proposed solution but still can't apdate/delete unwanted materials!!! Delete command is greyed out!

    Using InvPro 2014.


    1. Luc, is your project read only, or is the material added to the documents? That could explain it.