Autodesk Materials

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How many times have you had to re-apply materials onto a model that has been handed down to you from another designer in your team.  If there are a numerous amount of parts this can be very tedious and can seriously hamper the time to get the project out to market.

Autodesk has come out with a bit of a solution to this if you stay within the following 4 software packages.  AutoCAD, Navisworks, Inventor and 3DS Max…or has it.

Starting off in Inventor we have created a model and assigned some Autodesk materials to the parts.  The rendered image is below.

In the below image I have opened the Inventor assembly directly into AutoCAD.  There is no importing or exporting to another file format from Inventor. I rendered this as well.

Now why does it not look the same?  Comparing the Inventor library I selected and the AutoCAD library that it compares to, there seems to be some materials missing from Inventor.  There is no wood or transparent materials coming through.

In Inventor I cleared the material selection and selected just the Autodesk Appearance.  The clear appearance does not come through either, neither does it with 3DS Max.  In 3DS Max it states that the material is clear but when rendered it is more of a mirrored finish.

This is very easy to fix so do not stress too much about it. In your material editor select the glass preset and you are good to go.

What I take away from this is that from Inventor to AutoCAD many of the materials do not come through as the AutoCAD only uses an appearance library.

From Inventor to 3DS Max, the clear/glass materials are an issue but easily solved with a few tweaks in the material editor.

Creating and applying materials or appearances in AutoCAD and then opening and rendering in Inventor looks like the following.




As you can see it does differ slightly with the mapping of the materials.

In 3DS Max it looks like the following.

With these results I would be very careful when moving objects with the Autodesk material between the different software packages.  There is a lot of commonality but also a lot of differences.