Creating a new Material Style and adding it to the Project Style Library
Our discussion will continue with the following:
- Project Style Library Use options
- Create a Material Style
- Saving Styles
- Add the Material Style to the Content Center Family
Materials exist in the Materials Database, an XML file containing various materials for the purpose of calculating stress. These have nothing to do with the Material Styles you see in the workspace of inventor. Everything else in Inventor derives it’s appearance and iProperty calculations from the Material in the Style Library. The Content Center is no different.
Project Style Library use options
The Styles you use are passed through and distributed by the Project, and by default are read from the Default Style Library. This compilation of information is assembled here by default: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor 2009\Design Data. This path is stored in the TOOLS->APPLICATION OPTIONS->FILES dialog.
Inventor was designed so that the user has a variety of Style Library options to suit the user’s needs. The project can either use no library and use a template instead, use the Style library Read Only, or use the Style library Read/Write.
When a new Style is created or imported it is cached in the Project location. Once in the Project the user can export the Style to a file and /or save it to the Default Style Library. In order to do this I will need to change the Project Library Use options to Read/Write. This can changed in the Project Manager dialog.
Note: If you navigate to the Format Menu, you will notice the inactive ‘Save Styles to Style Library’ menu item. That is because of the Read Only status in this Project.
Navigate to the projects dialog under the file menu.
Select the Use Style Library = Read Only, and change it to =Yes.
Note: Changes to the Project cannot be made until any associated drawings are closed first.
Create a Material Style
Now that the Project will allow our changes to be saved to the Library, we need to create a new material style. Navigate to the Styles and standards editor.
FORMAT MENU->STYLES AND STANDARDS EDITOR
In order to create a new material style, a sample item must be selected. Preferably, the most similar material might be chosen.
Expand the material collection, and select one of the material contents. Either right click the selected item and pick new, or pick the new button from above the material properties.
A new style name dialog box will appear. Enter the new material name, and click OK. The material will be added to the collection and it’s properties displayed on the right.
Edit each of the properties as needed. When the edit is complete, the material can be exported to an individual file if needed. I like to save any new materials to exported files for projects that don’t use the Style Library, and in case of corruption. Right click the material, and select Export. I suggest putting them in a location that is regularly backed up.
This material is now available to the Project, but not to the Style Library. In order to save it to the Style Library for general use, and for use in the Content Center, you will need to return to the format menu.
FORMAT MENU->SAVE STYLES TO STYLE LIBRARY.
A dialog will be opened asking which modifications to save . Select the changes needed, and click OK. After this is completed, the style is entered into the Default Style Library. The Content Center, where our custom shapes are, now has access to this new Material Style.
[*TIP*: You can also right click on a Style in the Style Editor, and select Save to library, if you only want to write 1 item out.]
I will take this opportunity to set the Project Style Library back to Read Only. I don’t want any accidental changes. Proceed to the Project button under the file menu, or simply select the Project Editor from the Start menu. Right Click on the Use Style Library option, and select Read Only.
Note: sometimes when the application shell is still open, even though the assembly files are closed, the Project Manager will not activate the Use Style Library selections. In this case, close the application shell, and then go to the Project Manager.