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Material File Edit

So how does one go about Editing the Material.mtl file?

 

I have numerous old Materials and Colors that are always showing up in my Part files and would like to do some house cleaning.

 

Also if Solid Edge does not store Face Styles with the Part, then why does an OLD Part still have the old Material.mtl. listings? You are forced to go into EVERY Part and manually update it using the "Organizer" under Styles.... seems like there should be a an easier way.

 

Bob

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Re: Material File Edit

[ Edited ]

I am reaching way back in the deep recesses of my memory and it seems like there was a macro that someone wrote that would extract the material.mtl entries into an Excel spreadsheet. Then the Excel spreadsheet could be edited and the data could be pushed back into the material.mtl file.

 

I seem to recall playing with this at some point and I am not sure it would do all that you want, but it might be a start. Perhaps some else recalls this? I have not had a chance to look into the custom folder where the macros live.

 

I found it: C:\Program Files\Solid Edge ST6\Custom\Material Table Editor

 

Perhaps that will do the trick for you?

 

HTH,

 

Bob Henry

 

 

Bob Henry
Manager of Engineering
Caterpillar Global Mining America LLC
Solution
Solution
Accepted by topic author BobMileti
‎08-26-2015 04:32 AM

Re: Material File Edit

I think you can re-name the file with a .par extension, open it up and edit away on your materials. Save it and change the name back.
Using SE since V12, 2002

Re: Material File Edit

Thank you so much... that did the trick. But isn't that the strangest way to edit a the Material file?

God I hope they do a good job on ST7 with this antique Material/Color system.

Re: Material File Edit

Ha! I sure can't remember how I knew this, I just did.
Using SE since V12, 2002

Re: Material File Edit

You can also go to your Solid Edge Installation folder and go to Custom\Material Table Editor\Bin\

and run the executable.  It will export the material table out to Microsoft Excel and allow you to edit the materials, add new materials, delete materials.  Then you can also Import the Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet back into your material table the same way.

 

We use this nice little program with each new version to export the new base material table to make sure nothing new was added and add in all of our custom materials from our old material file into the new file.  That way we don't actually work with an old file incase something internal changed between versions on us.

 

Hopefully that gives you a second atlernative.

Thanks,
Nate Emler
Engineering Programmer
Ariel Corporation

Re: Material File Edit

Nate,

 

Thanks for the alternative approach. Sad that things like this are so burried and kept from the the users. But that's what this Community is all about... users helping users.

 

However I must say that Editing the Material File using the LKing's approach is actually easier , as silly as that is.  At least when you're in a PART you can see what you're doing. With the Excel Spreadsheet, it's all numbers... good for those who know exactly what they're doing.

 

But it makes you wonder what else can be tweaked that they aren't telling us about.

 

Bob

Re: Material File Edit

Bob,

 

I can definately see where the renaming the material file as a part can be extremely helpful also.  It is all in what you are doing.  That is why I like to make sure everyone has all the available approaches that are out there.

 

The custom folder that is included with Solid Edge is full of hidden little gems that have been created and usually provided with the source code so you can modify them further for your own needs even which is the great thing about them.

 

It is amazing the things that open up to us with a bit of API programming with the world of Solid Edge.

 

Nate

Thanks,
Nate Emler
Engineering Programmer
Ariel Corporation

Re: Material File Edit

Nate,

 

I agree.... and please don't take this the wrong way. Where I see the problem is that Solid Edge sometimes thinks we are all "programmers" or actually give a fig about such arcane tools. Although I'm very appreciative of these tools, when the need arises, I'm always left a bit surprised in the end at the indifference to the user. These silly exercises in the normal workflow of your typical user shouldn't be made so difficult, and/or require programming knowledge.

 

It's almost 2014 and as CAD becomes more and more ubiquitous in daily life, CAD Programs like Solid Edge need to evolve away from "hidden gems" and make the experience more fluid. Think about it. Over the past few years we've made to believe that the integrated "Simulation Express" in Solid Edge is a valuable tool... OK! But they never though about how a person edits the Materials within Solid Edge... that's stuck in the 1970's.FEA is absolutely useless unless the Materials are correct. So many times I go to use Simulation only to find the materials are too generic to be useful. So I waste hours searching and manually editing  trying to make a New material. but the rest of the world can use MatWeb... everybody else can:  Here's MatWeb's  list of participants: http://tinyurl.com/28yo5t

 

No Solid Edge or even NX

 

It's the same with Rendering and Colors. Recently we've seen minor improvements to VS+ but once again they left the user to deal with "limited" colors and textures. So big deal, I can now see a clever reflection of my product on an imaginary surface, but trying to get the colors to look real is still takes the patience of a Saint to do anything.

 

...sorry to go on about this, but when I'm made aware of these buried tools, it reminds me that maybe the Programmers are the problem. It's as if they think, well we've developed all these "hidden gems" and then buried them somewhere... OK we're done!

 

The question is this... How much "programming"  time would it have taken to make working with the Materials.mtl feel like it's in the 21rst century? Or do Programmers think everyone needs to understand and love API programming like they do?

 

Thanks for letting me rant!

 

Bob

Re: Material File Edit

Bob,

 

Oh, I don't disagree with you.  I am writing enhancement requests and problem reports and everything else as time permits to have all of these things integrated and put right into the software and made better.  I do not think they should be hidden away.  I am also just the advocate of making the most out of what you have today even if it is not the most efficient UI wise to use.  Fortunately we are a larger company so we have the luxury or curse Smiley Happy as you may see of having a programmer around that allows us to modify Solid Edge to suite our needs. 

 

One thing to keep in mind is that API does allow is a nice integration which is with other software directly with Solid Edge such as Ansys which allows you to do more difficult and robust analysis than is currently possible with Solid Edge Simulation which in the future may not be the case as it is growing every release.  Or you also have Keyshot which is a great integration software to replace Visual Studio Plus that now integrate better directly into Solid Edge to replace Visual Studio + and is getting better with each release. 

 

So things to consider is Solid Edge is a great CAD package and gives us these great entry level tools but they also provide us with this great interface to allow other companies that specialize in those areas they don't to integrate directly in to Solid Edge.

 

So as you can see I don't suffer the same pain as you because alot of material work is done in the other applications but I do see where you are coming from and can agree 100%.  It also alot of time it is not how much programming time would it take to make materials file in to 21st century but how do you change it and not break other things.  How do you change and make everyone happy.  Also what do you take that programming time away from to make that change from to do that change. I don't know if you are as busy as I am but it seems like if anyone asks me to add a new project to my list these days, something else has to be bumped off of it to fit in.

 

Maybe just something to give you some insight from a Solid Edge User/Programmer, but as I said I do agree with on your ideas that the tools are not the final result, they should only ever be viewed as a stop gap measure until something permenant can be created.

Thanks,
Nate Emler
Engineering Programmer
Ariel Corporation