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SOLIDWORKS Elite Specialists


Thursday October 11, 2018 at 10:51am

SOLIDWORKS allows you to set appearances of your parts for your particular requirements, I will show you in this log how to set them as well as create your own custom appearances. You can open the appearances window by either clicking the ‘Edit Appearance’ button or the ‘Appearance' button on the task pane.

Once opened this window should pop out from the task pane on the right where you can select your required appearance.

The appearances are split up into material based sub categories for example Rosewood.

Not only can you set the appearance of your parts but you can also adjust the mapping of the appearance so that it follows a direction for example changing wood grain direction. To adjust the appearance mapping you first need to click the ‘Edit appearances’ button as before.


In the ‘mapping’ tab of the edit appearances window you can adjust the appearance layout for example you can set it to sphere so the texture of the appearance will fit to a spherical object as shown in the next picture.

You can also adjust the size of the texture on the part using the mapping tab as shown in the images below. By dragging a corner of the box that appears you can change the size of the texture.

You can also change the texture of your appearance by using saved images. To change the texture, click the browse button under the image section. Then select the image you wish to use and it will be added into the appearance like shown below.

If the appearance you are looking for is not in SOLIDWORKS and you can’t recreate it using images you can download custom appearances made by other people at: 

As you can see in the image below the custom appearances are displayed as a grid. Once you have found your desired appearance click the name to open the download page.

Then simply press the download button. The appearance will download as a zip file so you need to extract it to a suitable location.

Once extracted you need to add the file location to your appearances window in the task pane. You can do this by clicking the button shown in the image below.

This button will bring up a file explorer window where you need to find the folder where your new appearance is located. This will add your custom appearances in.

The new appearance will show up in their own sub category named after the folder they were in.


  If the appearance is 3D it will not properly show up in the SOLIDWORKS graphics area but does appear in Photoview 360.

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