Autodesk Inventor Material Guide for the Content Center is a very handy tool when it comes to working with customising your Autodesk Inventor Content Center.
It enables you to add materials to entire libraries, library categories and library families (specific parts within libraries). It also allows you to remove materials from libraries and enables you to add a material alias as a prefix or suffix to the part number and/or the file name to differentiate between the different materials.
The Material Guide also enables you to make copies of the families with a different material in the copied family. However, to simplify working, I would recommend adding materials to the family instead of copying the family.
When adding a material alias it is vitally important to make sure that no aliases are the same, for any material with a duplicated alias may cause filename discrepancies.
The Autodesk Inventor Material Guide works with custom Content Center Libraries only. The library needs to be in a Read/Write format to be able to use the Material Guide in the Content Center Editor.
In this Article I will go through adding material and data to a custom fastener in a custom library. You will need to create your own library first – already containing parts – to use the material guide. (If you do not know how to create a Custom Content Center, please look at the previous post about Creating a Custom Content Center Library and Adding a Part)
Open the Autodesk Inventor Content Center Editor. To get there go to Tools and then Editor.
You will notice that the library view is on “Merged View”, this is because it’s showing all libraries. So now we need to change from merged view to our custom library via the drop down menu.
For this example I am using the “Fasteners” library I created and added a part to in the previous post. You will notice that the only part in my library is the Hex Head Bolt I added.
Before we use the material guide, it is always good practice to check what the material of the part is in order to decide which materials we want to add or remove. We also need to decide if we want a prefix or suffix on the parts with the material changes, or whether all parts must have a prefix or suffix.
Go into the Family Table of the part by right clicking and selecting Family Table. As we can see below, this bolt is Stainless Steel, 440C.
Let’s say I want to remove the stainless steel and add the data below:
|Brass, Soft Yellow||– BSY|
|Steel, Galvanized||– SG|
I’m going to add my material alias as a suffix to both the part number and filename.
There are two ways on initialising the Material Guide. We can either right click the part or we can go to the icon in the top bar.
Make sure to read all the information to properly understand what you are doing. Click next.
Next we need to specify we want to add material as new family members, which just means that it will add the materials as rows in the family table. Click next.
We need to select which materials we would like to add and which ones we would like to remove. (Please note that you cannot remove a material and add the same material at the same time)
I’m going to add the materials I stated previously and remove the Stainless steel 440C. Click the directional arrows to either add or remove to the correct box.
The Material Guide gives you the option to have an alias, as there needs to be a differentiator. The material differentiator has to come in to play when having more than one material in a family, so the part numbers and file names will be unique. You need to either have the material as a differentiator or the material alias (I prefer a material alias since it’s shorter).
Next we need to specify what our Material Alias will be if we wish to have one. I am going to add the data I stated previously.
We now need to specify which differentiator we would like to use to differentiate between the materials. I have chosen the material alias. We also need to specify how we want to add the differentiator and if we also want to add it to the part number. See my selections below.
Click next to proceed to the the summary window. Review all the data in this window and make sure it is correct.
The next window will indicate everything has completed successfully. Select finish.
Now, when you go into the family table, it will display all the added rows with the new materials along with an added column with the suffix. Finally, it adds the suffix to the filenames and part numbers.