SOLIDWORKS: Custom Material Library

SOLIDWORKS: Custom Material Library
Posted in: Mechanical Design
February 8, 2017


Materials are an important way to gain extra insight into your design. This could be through analyzing weight, the center of gravity or possibly as part of a simulation. None of these things are possible without assigning your parts material properties. But what do you do if the built-in SWX library doesn’t have the material you are looking for or the property values that your vendor sent you don’t match up with what is in the software? Well, it's time to go and make some custom materials.

Inside any Part of Assembly File, right-click on the Material in the Feature Manager Design Tree and go to "Edit Material".

  1. Custom Library (i.e. the blue folders): Right-click anywhere in the Left Pane of the Material Dialog Window and Select "New Library".
    • This is basically just a folder/organization tool for Categories of materials. It is named and then saved as an externally referenced file (meaning it can be shared with other users).*
  2. Custom Category (e.g. Steel, Plastics, Aluminum): Right-click on any Custom Library and select "New Category".
    • These are also organizational folders but are saved into the custom library.
  3. Custom Material: Right-click on a Custom Category and select "New Material".
    • All Material settings can be adjusted including material properties, appearance, and any custom properties or information you want to be associated with the material.**
  4. All Categories and Materials can be copy/pasted into a Custom Library and edited. This is particularly useful when only a few material properties are needed to be changed.


*Custom Libraries must be saved in a location specified by File Locations>Materials Databases in your system options (you should be automatically prompted to save in the default Custom Material Library location). This list can be added too and can include network locations to synchronize Material Libraries.

**Some options (such as creating plots to define temperature dependent properties) will only be available if the Simulation Add-in is activated.

For more information, check out our YouTube channel or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

February 8, 2017
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Jason Stephens
July 17, 2019
Hi Sean, is it possible to add a new material property to a custom material? For instance I would like to specify electrical resistance (temperature dependent) for a metal such as Molybdenum. I can create a new custom material ("Custom Moly") and copy the built-in Moly properties but I do not see a way to add Resistivity(T). Is this possible? Thanks, Jason
Sean Marrs
May 28, 2021
Hey Jason, There is a "Custom" tab along the top of the Material Library window where you can create material specific properties. Best, Sean
May 21, 2021
Hi , Custom material Data is not saved in the custom material library . whenever i modify the data and try to save , it takes some default value and my input value just vanishes . I have saved the material library file in the desktop folder and have linked to File location . Can you guide me out how to solve this .
Sean Marrs
May 28, 2021
Hello Debananda, While I cannot know for sure for your specific situation (this would be a good time to go to your reseller for support help as a remote session would be invaluable for troubleshooting), you could look into permissions to make sure there isn't anything blocking write access to the folder. Best, Sean

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