When you open a part created by someone else using a custom material that is not in the default library, there is no easy way to copy that material to save it in your own Material Database to edit it or reuse it. I have been told that this enhancement request has been made a while ago but it is still pending…
The only workaround I found is to use a Shared Material Database. It is actually a good practice to have the whole team using the same database for standardization and consistency reasons anyway.
- To create a shared Material Database, inside a blank part, right click on the Material and click Edit Material:
- Click anywhere on the left side and select New Library:
- Call it for example “Common – Custom Material.sldmat”. It will appear under the other libraries. To add a material you have to create a sub-folder. Then you can just copy a similar material in the default database and paste it on a sub-folder. You can now freely edit the properties.
To be able to edit or use a custom material from someone else’s part, you will have to have the creator of the part to save it in the shared Material Database to make it available to everyone. To setup a shared Material Database follow the steps described in the article about Shared Configuration Files Locations.