Create your own material in AutoCAD from scratch

AutoCAD has lots of predefined materials which can be directly used in your drawing without making any changes. In AutoCAD library of materials, you will find a variety of materials like metal, plastic, concrete, glass and even self-illuminating objects which behave like a source of light.

In this article I will explain how to create one such material from scratch and also how to apply it to objects in the drawing, I will use oak wood as our sample material.

creating custom material in autocad_1
1 – Materials browser palette

Open AutoCAD and switch to 3D modeling workspace then type RMAT on the command line and hit enter, a materials browser palette will pop up as shown in image 1 above. Now click on “creates a new material in the document” button on bottom left of this palette and select new genetic material from  the drop-down menu.

creating custom material in autocad_2
2 – Materials Editor Palette

A new materials editor palette as shown in figure 2 below will appear, give your material a name. For this case, I will name it as oak wood custom. Now move to the Generic panel and expand it. Then click on image box within Generic panel and select oak wood 600×600 image, you can download this texture image here.

You will observe that texture of material will change in preview on materials editor palette. Now change glossiness value to 30 and select Non-Metallic from highlights drop down menu. You can change other parameters as well on materials editor to fine-tune properties of your material.

Now click on the image of oak wood on materials editor palette, a new Texture Editor palette will pop up. Scroll down in this palette expand Scale tab and change the sample size to the value which is suitable according to the current scale of objects in your drawing.

I have changed values to 1 unit in width as well as the height field. Don’t change any other parameter on this palette and close all open palettes. Congratulations you have created your own custom material in AutoCAD.

Now create a box in drawing area with the length, width and height equal to 10 units, You can use BOX command and type @10,10,10 on the command line and press enter to create the box. Change visual style to realistic using view tab’s visual styles panel.

Type RMAT again on the command line and hit enter you will see oak wood custom material among other materials on top of materials browser palette shown in image 3 below.

creating custom material in autocad_3
3 – Oak wood custom material on Materials Browser palette

Drag and drop this custom material on the box you have created in drawing area, you will observe that box now looks like a wood. I have tried this material on different geometries and it looks like image 4 shown below.

creating custom material in autocad
4 – Custom material applied on 3D objects

You can transfer this material from one drawing by simply copying material containing this material to another drawing. Make sure to copy the image used for creating the material into the folder containing drawing as well.

Here is a video related to creating the custom material as shown in this article.

Do you have questions related to this article? Let me know in the comments below.

One comment

Leave a reply