Adding a Surface Finish Appearance to a SOLIDWORKS Part

We recently received a support call where a customer had added a surface finish appearance but it did not appear on his model. SOLIDWORKS has a lot of great options for adding surface finish appearances to give your models a more realistic feel. Today I am going to show you how to add an appearance and how to adjust it so it looks just like you want it to.

First, I am going to start out with a blank sheet metal part. Of course, you can apply an appearance to anything you want. You right click on the top of the feature tree and select appearance.


Next, you select the Advanced tab and then the Surface Finish tab.


In this case, I am going to select the Diamond Treadplate surface finish. You can see that when the appearance is added, it comes in too large.


To change the size or orientation of the appearance, select the Mapping tab. If you have Fixed Aspect Ratio selected, you can then use the Width or Height sliders to adjust the scale. You want Fixed Aspect Ratio selected so your appearance scales properly.


So what happened to our customer's part was when he added the appearance, it was just coming in at a scale that was too large so you couldn't even see the appearance. By adjusting the mapping scale, we were able to set the appearance to what he wanted. To see more than just surface finishes, look at the appearances folder in the Design Task Pane.

Phil Whitaker

Field Technical Services Manager

Computer Aided Technology

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