How to use a Model’s Material directly on the Drawing

I should start out by saying that I personally advise against using the model’s Material value directly on a drawing (edit: for SolidWorks version 2008 and older; SW 2009 appears to have addressed some of the issues).  However, below is the instructions to do just this.

First, let me bring up three problems when it comes to materials and the SolidWorks Material Database naming convention.  One, the material names used in SolidWorks library are not correct.  In fact, in many cases they are not even the common names for those materials.  Two, for those of us who need accurate specification, the standards that define the materials are not mentioned of the library at all, making references to material incomplete.  Three, the names of the materials are not capitalized, so they are not formatted correctly to be used directly on a drawing in the first place.

A solution to these issues is to change your library to add this info and correct formatting or create a new library to do the same.   Another more common solution is to enter the information manually in a custom property within the model, then have that value pulled into the drawing via normal custom property linking, such as an annotation note with the following text: $PRPSHEET:”Material” or similar.  Make sure to identify which view you wish the data to be pulled from, within the Sheet Property window.

If you still wish to use the actual model’s material value (despite all of the above reasoning), there’s a couple extra steps (also involving the use of custom properties):

1.  In the model, create a custom property called something like Material at File>Properties>Custom tab.

2.   For the value of Material property, just click on the down arrow of the entry field and select Material.

3.  On the associated drawing, create similar custom property with the same name.  (Again, make sure to identify which view you wish the data to be pulled from, within the Sheet Property window.)

4.  For the value of the drawing’s Material custom property, type $PRP:”Material”

5.  Create an annotation note that links to the drawing’s Material custom property.  This will display the value of the model’s material directly on the drawing.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

3 thoughts on “How to use a Model’s Material directly on the Drawing”

  1. Dave, It’s a secret tracking code that allows me to control … just kidding. I upgraded wordpress (blog software) awhile back. The new wordpress handle double-spacing differently than the old version so many of my older posts have that weird symbol. I’m slowing fixing my older articles as time allows.

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