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Material Property Definitions in V22

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by Lew_Merrick, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Guest

    OK, Other than sitting for hours filling in "Forms," is there a way to copy Material Property data into a form useable by the system? Also, why is "Electrical Resistance" tied merely to area? It is a value based on area & length. ??? -- Lew
  2. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    Bulk resistance is in ohm meters. Ohms = resistivity x length/area of the material. Thus, resistivity would be the appropriate property to use. Area AND length would be used to find resistance of a particular shape if the resistivity for the material is known.

    Ohms per square is another measure, the resistance of a thin film of the material which is of equal height and width. That is the same for any square area of the material, but also does not relate to an area only.
  3. idslk

    idslk Alibre Super User

    and again:), believe it or not: Take a look into the help file:



    Beside that, the material library is a xml-file which can be edited also with an xml-Editor...

    So with this information it looks like that you can not directly import a spreadsheet.


    Forgotten to say... It is possible to write a AlibreScript to "convert" a spreadsheet into a xml-file...
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  4. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Guest

    Hi Stefan -- And why is such a Utility not included? I am quite out of date on DIN material identities, but nothing in the supplied dataset complies with (what passes as) American Standards Designations (say: "ASTM A36" or the like). Low Carbon Steel (any steel with less than a 0.28% Carbon content) does not meet a generally acceptable designation! -- Lew

    Attached Files:

  5. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    +1, any application that changes a source of data or data structure should have an ability to import the legacy format or a tool to migrate from legacy to the new system without having to manually enter data!
  6. idslk

    idslk Alibre Super User

    simonb65 likes this.
  7. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Simon - v22 does AUTOMATICALLY import the users unicode custom material definition data into a new MTL folder that is shown in the Material Library and is editable. This is done at installation/first launch.

    Sometimes it seems as if the first response here is to rant, rather than check.

    The default Alibre Library of materials is not editable.
  8. idslk

    idslk Alibre Super User

    @DavidJ ,

    the "standard" import of "old" materials is working, but how you will fill all the other new values for the material?
    as i said, it is a xml-file and of course you can add information. Adding a new material to the file might be not so easy as each material in there has a unique number...
    So the question about a tool is ok, but should go in direction to Alibre...
    I would add a question: Why are the fields not filled, if they are declared as "not editable" by the user?

  9. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    The currently active unicode material definition does, but not if you have other collections of material definitions in the unicode format that have been downloaded over the years from shared resources and are copied over as those materials are required. To achieve that, you have to merge them into the working first then let Alibre automatically import them. It's not a rant for rant sake, but the real practicality of how some users are currently use the 'old' framework! and how that doesn't directly fit into the new framework. Your assuming that people have a single 'master' definition file!
  10. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    As Max has stated on the forum previously - the implementation so far is a first step towards a more capable system for materials.

    Previously materials only had density and hatch - so there are no other properties to show, though the spaces are there ready for them.

    Stefan is correct, it's possible to edit the resulting XML file if you wish. Possible, but not encouraged.

    I presume that in a future version, the Alibre Library materials will either have the property values filled, or the user will be allowed to edit it (or both) - perhaps Max can comment on the plan.

    Until we know what is planned, there is the potential that effort put in populating properties in the Alibre Library might just get overwritten when the next version is released. So I'd urge caution before rushing into doing this. By all means edit / populate your own custom MTL set.

    Previous functionality for materials (not that there was much) has been preserved whilst introducing a format that is capable of much more in the future; so I'm a bit surprised to see such negative reactions.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  11. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Simon - if users do have multiple unicode custom material files, that's a fair point.

    I don't believe it was raised at the beta. It also doesn't seem to be the issue that was raised at the start of the thread.

    If that is what users need, it shouldn't be difficult to produce a tool to transfer extra unicode files to folders in the new Library. First step is to confirm exactly what is needed.
  12. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    As in testing, unless you use the features for a real use case, you won't find the short comings. I personally only tested features and workflow at the beta stage that was within the scope of simple throw away projects based around my workflow plus checking the new features (as there was no guarantee those projects would be useful post release and there is only so much or your time you can invest in testing someone else's product for them!)

    As stated above, a simple option to import an existing legacy formatted unicode file (manually) is all that is required.

    When is the auto process invoked? at first run after install or each time Alibre is run? If its the latter, then swapping the files over and re running would do the necessary import (unless that overwrites something)
  13. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Simon - is this something that is actually a problem for you? I'm not clear whether you have multiple unicode material files, or if you are considering potential issues that others might have.

    As the unicode material structure supported definition of 'folders' within it, it's probably simpler to merge multiple unicode files into a single one, then let v22 import it.

    I'm not sure if the import of custom materials happens at install, or at first run.
  14. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    As I now know the limitations, its not an issue for me as I can uninstall, remove the v22 specific directories as outlined in the v22 beta to release post, merge my material files into a single unicode, then reinstall and ensure everything gets imported in one hit.

    I do however always think, as a software developer, that if it can happen to me, it will happen to someone else. So I like to think outside of my own needs and look at the general usability to those not as software savvy, so to speak. (A little bit like the suggestion a couple of days ago about the HOOPs only functions). I'm all for improvement and ease of use and less user issues, I guess you just like the support it generates ... we approach these things from different perspectives, and that's ok. :)
  15. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Simon - no, I don't like the support this stuff generates. I'd rather help users learn how to use the software.

    Support is a cost to Alibre, so there is no interest to maximise the need for it.

    If people use multiple custom materials files like that, then we did miss a trick. It's never come up in the past that I'm aware of - the expectation was always that users would define one custom file with all their custom materials.
  16. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Simon - to trigger the import of materials from unicode custom file. With AD closed, delete all MTL files from the folder
    C:\ProgramData\Alibre Design\System Files\Materials

    Next time you launch AD, the files will be re-created. There's no need to uninstall/re-install.
  17. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Thanks David ... do you never sleep!
  18. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Perhaps about as much as you do Simon...
    simonb65 likes this.
  19. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Thinking about this further - for anyone with multiple unicode material definition files, the following method should work;

    • Export folder(s) from any existing custom library in v22 , or the whole Custom Library (save it somewhere you can find it).
    • Close AD, then delete both the Alibre Material Library and your existing Custom Library.
    • Swap out your 'old style' unicode custom material file for the next one of your collection
    • Launch AD - the Alibre Material Library and a new Custom Library will be created.
    • Return to first step - and repeat until all your unicode custom material files have been imported and then exported.
    • Re-import the folders/libraries exported earlier in the process - until you have all materials in your desired arrangement of Libraries/Folders.
    simonb65 likes this.
  20. jfleming

    jfleming Senior Member

    Wow it's not easy to just add a new material is it?

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