How to create custom material in AutoCAD from scratch

AutoCAD has lots of materials in its Materials Library that can be directly used in your drawing without making any changes. But, if you need a specific kind of material with some unique properties then you can easily create custom material in AutoCAD.

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.

I have also prepared this video to explain the article in detail, but if you prefer the article instead then scroll below.

Creating Material

Open AutoCAD and switch to 3D modeling workspace then type RMAT on the command line and hit enter.

creating custom material in autocad_1
1 – Materials browser palette

A materials browser palette will pop up as shown in image 1 above. Click on creates a new material in the document” button on the bottom left of this palette and select New Generic 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 example, I will name it as oak wood custom.

Now move to the Generic panel and expand it. Then click on image box and select oak wood 600×600 image, you can download this texture image here.

The texture of sample material will change in the preview panel of 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. Double 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. Also, make sure Tile is selected in the Horizontal and Vertical fields of Repeat panel.

Don’t change any other parameter on this palette and close all open palettes. Congratulations! you have created your own custom material in AutoCAD.

Applying Material:

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 option.

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 the drawing area. The material properties will be immediately applied to the 3D object. I have tried this material on different geometries and it looks like image 4 shown below.

create 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.

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

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