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Monday, March 31, 2014

Setting Component Materials Upon Import in Autodesk Inventor

“Finding the material wasn't a problem — remembering what to look for was.”
 Steven Severin

A question was posed to me earlier this week.  I'm importing files of different formats into Autodesk Inventor, but I need the material to be Mild Steel, instead of default.

Is that possible?

I wondered for a moment.  I looked around, and thought "what if I change the material in the standard.ipt template?"

It made sense.  Inventor starts with that template, what if the imported files made a pass through that template first?  There was only one thing left to do.

Try it! So the first thing I did was browse to the directory containing the standard.ipt template file, and open it directly. 

Make sure to open the file with the open command!  Do not create a new file from the template!  The material has to be changed in the template file, so when a new file is created from it, the material is already set.

Once the template file is open, it's time to choose.  In this case, I'm using Mild Steel.

Once it's the active material, I save the file and close it. 

Now that my template has Mild Steel set as the material, I can import the files that I need.  In the example here, I'm using Solidworks files that I've downloaded from GrabCAD at the link here.

The files will translate, and Inventor will now use the template to apply Mild Steel to the Imported Parts.

Checking the Bill of Materials screen in Inventor, I can see that indeed, all the materials are set to Mild Steel.

Now there are a couple of notes.

This option sets everything to Mild Steel.  Anything using this template will start with Mild Steel, so this may not be the perfect solution for everyone.

But it can be useful, and it's pretty quick to change.  So think about it, give it a try, and see what it can do for you!

And be sure to check out the video version below!

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