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Add color to parts in an assembly?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I would like color some parts in an assembly to make them easier to identify.  There appears to be two ways to do this: (1) use the "Assign Feature Color" command, or (2) "Edit object display".  This leads to a couple of questions.

 

1. Which of these should I use?  I did look at the help, but it didn't really explain when you would use one vs the other, and some of it was confusing (esp. edit object display).

 

2. While playing around with this I used the "edit object display" to change the color of part.  Now I would like to change it back (to the default state) but can't figure out how.  How do I reset an objects color to its default?  There's no "restore to default" setting that I could find.

 

Thanks for the help with this. 

 

 

 

 

7 REPLIES

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor
  1. If you are changing the color of components in an assembly, do NOT use the "assign feature color" command; it is not of use here. The assign feature command allows you to color the faces created by a feature in the model part file. For instance, you can assign the color blue to a hole feature, let's say it starts out as a simple hole, the cylindrical face created will be colored blue. The hole feature later gets changed to a counter bored hole, the new faces (representing the c'bore) will automatically be colored blue. The feature color option will not help with changing the color of components.
  2. If you have assigned a new color to the component itself, you can revert to the "actual" color by going to the component properties -> assembly tab and turning off the "specific component color" option.

 

Other items of note:

  1. The component inherits the color of the part file body, if you have not assigned a specific color to the component and you change the model body color, the component color will reflect the change (component color = model body color).
  2. When you change the color of a component, you have the option to "apply changes to owning part" which drives the change the other way (model body color = component color).
  3. If you just want some color to differentiate components (and don't care which color is assigned to a particular component), you can use "random color display" (found in menu -> preferences -> visualization -> color/font -> random color). These colors are for display only and do not get assigned to the component or model body; the colors will revert to the previous values when you turn the random color option off.

 

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Cowski1,

Thanks for your reply. It was very helpful.

I think part of what I'm getting hung up on is the terminology. Coming from SE, where you have "Parts" and "Assemblies", in NX I think it's "Components" and "Assemblies". So when you say "model body" I assume you mean the solid model you see in the graphics window when your looking at a component. Is that right? So why are the properties of the model body different from the component. Aren't they the same thing?

I removed the color I had assigned (via Edit Object Display) by unchecking "specific component color". But, as you mentioned, that only works if the color was assigned at the component level. If it was assigned to the model body, that option isn't available. So how do I restore to the actual color in that case?

Another reason for the colors is that I'm loading this assembly into an FEA code for analysis, and I really need it there to distinguish the different parts. However, I discovered that if the colors are assigned at the component level, they don't come through when imported to FEA. They appear in their "actual" (grey) color. But if they're assigned at the model body level, then they do come through. So I'm going have to assign them at model body level to accomplish what I need. (Btw, they also come through with "assign feature color").

Thanks again for your help. I appreciate it.

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

I know other CAD systems have dedicated file types for parts, drawings, and assemblies. For this reason I shied away from using the term "part" because with NX, arguably everything is a part file. NX users generally use the terms: part, assembly, component, and drawing.

  • part: the file where the model geometry is defined
  • assembly: references multiple part files, generally does not define any new geometry (the part navigator is usually empty)
  • component: a reference to a part that shows up in the assembly navigator. You can think of a component as an invisible box that packages up a copy of the part's reference set geometry for display in the assembly. The component inherits the attributes and color of the defining part.
  • drawing: contains drawing sheets and annotated views of a part

 

In my previous post, the "model body" was referring to the part body (not the component).

 

"So why are the properties of the model body different from the component. Aren't they the same thing?"

For day to day work we often think of them as the same thing; however, technically, they are not the same. Going back to the "invisible box" analogy, the component allows us to save unique information at the assembly level. For instance, suppose we are modeling a toy car and create a single "wheel" model. We can assign a part attribute such as "Description = wheel", but at the assembly level we can override the attribute value to identify each one. So we can have one component with "Description = left front wheel" and another with "Description = right front wheel", etc. Overriding the attribute values on the component affects only the individual component and not the part file.

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

cowski1,  thanks for the further explanation.  Again, it was very helpful.  Some of this is now starting to make sense.

 

I do have one other question (clarification).  To set the color attributes of a component, I've been selecting the component in the Assembly Navigator, hit Ctrl-J (to open the Edit Object Display) and editing the color.  And to set the color attributes of a solid body, I've been making the component the work part, then selecting the solid body from the Part Navigator or graphic window and editing in the same way (Ctrl-J, etc).  Is that correct?  I believe so, but just wanted to make sure.

 

I have one part that for some reason is not keeping its color.  I can change it (at the solid body level) and it displays correctly.  But if I save and close the assembly, then reopen it later, the part is back to the default grey.  Any idea what might be causing that?

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

@cowski1: You explained that very well. Smiley Happy

 

@pkelecy: "I have one part that for some reason is not keeping its color.  I can change it (at the solid body level) and it displays correctly.  But if I save and close the assembly, then reopen it later, the part is back to the default grey.  Any idea what might be causing that?"

 

Does that part belong to any sub assembly? Sometimes it is needed to synchronize the sub assembly properties. Select the sub assembly in ASN > RMB > Synchronize Subassembly Properties. Here Layers,Display and Attributes of sub assembly can be synchronized at the main assembly level.

 

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

@ganesh_Kadole wrote:

 

Does that part belong to any sub assembly? 


No. It belongs to belongs to an assembly (not a subassembly). It was actually created in the assembly, in case that matters. Any other ideas?  It seems very odd that it would display correctly right after editing the object display, but not after the file has been closed and reopened.  It's like the display setting is not being saved.

Re: Add color to parts in an assembly?

Genius
Genius

Hi guys!

I have a follow up question about component colors in assemblies and was hoping you could help me out.

 

Is it possible to assign a default subassembly color, so each new component added to this subassembly will automatically be assigned the same color?

 

I will try to explain in more detail:

I have a DMU and want to display subassemblies in different colors, and if a designer adds a new component to the a subassembly, I have to change the color of this component manually. So I am looking for a solution to apply a certain color for subassemblies in the top level (my DMU) that will automatically assign said color to new components added to those subassemblies.

 

Looking forward on your opinion on this @cowski1 and @GaneshKadole. Thanks!