Design SuiteUsing materials

Material resources can be used for several different kinds of objects, as described in Concept: Material resources. Most often, materials are used when creating components of composite construction objects, such as walls and slabs, or when creating the parts of objects such as stairs that may use a variety of different materials. They can also be applied to 2D and 3D geometry for use in free-form modeling. Materials can be used to set the appearance of objects, and the data attached to materials can be used to create reports and for IFC export.

Because the object types themselves, and their creation methods, are so different, materials are applied in different ways for each object type. See the sections of help for creating individual object types for more detailed information.

To apply a material to a component, part or object:

Do one of the following:

Components of composite construction objects such as standard walls, slabs, roofs, and landscape areas: Specify the material for each component when adding the component to the object, or when editing the component.

Parts of plug-in objects that are composed of different parts, such as curtain walls, stairs, structural members, railings/fences, and architectural/structural columns and pilasters: The varied objects in this category have different workflows for applying a material to a part. Some of the most common are to select the material from the Resource Selector during creation, to specify the material when setting the graphic attributes of the part, or to select the material on the Object Info palette. See the help for each applicable object type to apply a material.

Plug-in objects that are inserted into an object and functionally become part of the object, such as wall caps and wall features: the objects automatically inherit the material properties from the object where they are inserted.

2D and 3D geometry: Apply the material by selecting Use material on the Object Info palette, and then select the texture from the Resource Selector, or drag and drop the material from the Resource Manager onto the object.

2D and 3D geometric objects display the material’s fill or texture in logical ways; 2D objects and the Top/Plan and sectioned or cut views of 3D objects display the attribute, while 3D objects display the texture. These objects maintain their material assignments within symbol definitions and when converted to some other object types such as auto hybrids.

Controlling the appearance of objects that use materials

Materials control the fill and texture attributes of the components/objects that use materials. Both the fill and the texture automatically default to the material’s setting. The component/object’s Fill setting is disabled; the material’s fill must be used. The Texture setting can be changed for each individual item that uses the material. The override of the material’s texture remains valid until it is manually undone; if the component/object’s material assignment changes in the future, the texture setting remains unchanged.

When the material’s texture is overridden for a component/object, the material definition’s Surface texture setting is unchanged.

Methods to override the fill and texture by material:

Set the material’s Fill and Surface (texture) settings as described in Defining a simple material. One or both of the attributes can be set by class; see Setting class attributes. These settings are used by default for all components/objects that use the material.

A material resource cannot itself have a class, but a material’s fill and/or texture can be set by class; in that case, the attribute set by class takes on the class setting of the component/object using the material. For example, when a wall’s exterior siding component uses a material with the Surface set to Class Texture, the texture comes from the exterior siding component’s class.

For components of walls and other composite construction objects that use materials, set the texture on the [Object] Component Settings dialog box when creating or editing the component. Use the material’s default Texture for the component or select a different texture resource, set the texture by class, or select not to use a texture.

For the parts of objects such as stairs and railings that have a Graphic Attributes or Attributes tab on the preferences dialog box, double-click on the part to open an attributes dialog box for that part. Use the material’s default Texture for the component or select a different texture resource, set the texture by class, or select not to use a texture.

For parts of objects such as columns and pilasters that do not have a Graphic Attributes tab on the properties dialog box, assign materials and textures from the properties dialog box, and edit the Texture setting.

For most object types, including components, parts, and 3D geometry, the texture assignment can be changed for a selected object on the Render tab of the Object Info palette; see Managing object textures from the Object Info palette.

Concept: Material resources

Creating materials

Editing materials


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