SolidWorks 2010: Multibody Materials

September 4, 2009 46 Comments »
SolidWorks 2010: Multibody Materials


Way back in late 2002, SolidWorks users received what I call a “game changing” enhancement in SolidWorks 2003.  This was the version of SolidWorks that first introduced the ability to model multiple solid bodies in a SolidWorks part file.  Looking back now, it is sometimes hard to imagine SolidWorks without it.  The way SolidWorks handles multiple solid bodies today is still in my opinon the BEST solution offered in any MCAD package on the market.  SolidWorks 2010 introduces a key enhancement to multi-body parts by allowing users to assign SolidWorks Materials to each body independently.


The interface is pretty straight forward.  To assign a material to a solid body, you right mouse button select the desired body inside the Solid Bodies folder in the FeatureManager Design Tree.  The process is identical to assigning a Material to an entire part.  Material assignments to a solid body override the Material assigned to the entire part.  Below is a short video that shows how to assign Materials to a Multi-Body file.


Stay tuned….more SolidWorks 2010 enhancements to come!

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  1. ecirwin September 4, 2009 at 7:46 am -

    This sounds like a great solution for overmolded parts. We do a lot of them here, but the tradition is to make two separate parts and have an assembly. I have only been here for about 2 years, and this method has always bothered me somewhat. I would really prefer to use some sort of “top down” method for these parts. It would seem that the multi body thing is the easiest answer. But how do you control revision levels with a multibody part? When one body needs to change revision level, but the other does not? We are not using a 2 shot mold, we use separate tools for premold and overmold and they consistently have different revision levels.

  2. Jerry Steiger September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm -

    We also do overmolded parts and sometimes do them as separate parts and sometimes as multibody parts. We keep track of the revisions in the drawings and the multibody parts just have to live with the part revision being different from the drawing revision on at least one of the bodies. I'm afraid I don't have a better approach.

  3. Ricky Jordan September 7, 2009 at 9:51 am -

    As Jerry as suggested below, you could have separate revisions for each body by having a Drawing for each with it's own revision. The “master” part file is then treated as purely a design file which in actuality is exactly what it is.

    If you are using a PDM system such as SolidWorks Workgroup PDM or SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, you can easily keep track of which revision of the design file (part file) was used to create any particular revision drawing file.

    SolidWorks 2010 contains some enhancements to creating drawing views of Multibody parts. It is on my list of things to review for the site, so stay tuned.

    Thanks for reading!


  4. Ricky Jordan September 7, 2009 at 9:57 am -

    Hi Jerry!

    Haven't heard from you in a while. I hope you are doing well. Excellent suggestion. I agree with you, it might not be our desired approach…but it does work. Multibody parts is the ONLY instance in our system where the part/assembly revision doesn't match the Drawing revision. I have found that it is much easier to track instances like this if you have a PDM system in place.


  5. ecirwin September 8, 2009 at 7:46 am -

    Thanks Ricky and Jerry,

    We currently aren't using a PDM system, but I am trying to get one in house. We are just getting big enough that confusion of part revision and location can be an issue at times.

    We generally do not create drawings for the overmold, so it would be hard to control the revision level there. We have lots of components that we never create drawings for. The drawings we do create have only the most important dimensions on them.


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  17. Black Mold Removal April 1, 2010 at 11:54 am -

    This lesson shows how you can add seperate materials to individual bodies. ok

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    Are there any plans in the works for multi body materials in later releases of Inventor? Or, some kind of add-on for Inventor

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  25. Bookmark 420 November 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm -

    t is sometimes hard to imagine SolidWorks without it. The way SolidWorks handles multiple solid bodies today is still in my opinon the BEST solution offered in any MCAD package on the market.

  26. Bookmark 420 November 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm -

    It is sometimes hard to imagine SolidWorks without it.  The way SolidWorks handles multiple solid bodies today is still in my opinon the BEST solution offered in any MCAD package on the market.

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    It is sometimes hard to imagine SolidWorks without it.  The way SolidWorks handles multiple solid bodies today is still in my opinon the BEST solution offered in any MCAD package on the market.

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    This was the version of SolidWorks that first introduced the ability to model multiple solid bodies

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    Stay tuned….more SolidWorks 2010 enhancements to come!

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  35. Jayesh Gupta September 12, 2011 at 7:01 am -

    i am not able to get the material option when i right click multibody parts please help i am using solidworks 2010

  36. Ricky Jordan September 13, 2011 at 2:55 am -


    Hmmm….Are you right clicking in side the Solid Bodies Folder in the FeatureManager or the graphics area?


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