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How to Use a Shared Material Database in SOLIDWORKS

A question that often comes up during customer visits is how to get everyone on the team to use the same material database in SOLIDWORKS.

First, we need to understand that a SOLIDWORKS material database is a file. There are actually three material databases that come with SOLIDWORKS in a standard installation: the Standard database, the Sustainability database, and a default Custom database. Users cannot modify the Standard and Sustainability databases, but they can modify the default Custom database.

To see where these files are located, go to Options > System Options > File Locations. Typically, the Default database is located in the SOLIDWORKS install directory, while the default Custom database and Sustainability database are located in the folder under ProgramData. (Note: the ProgramData folder is typically hidden by Windows.)

Material File Locations

It’s also important to note that the three file location folders listed cannot be removed from the Material Databases list, but you can add more locations. This is how users can add a new custom materials library that is shared.

Copy the entire Custom Materials folder onto a server that everyone can access. Add a path within the Material Databases folder to the new server location. Then, go to the other computers and update the path location the same way. Now everyone on the team can share one material database.

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Meet the Author

John Setzer

John Setzer

John discovered his love of teaching early in life. He worked his way through college as a youth coach, umpire, and referee before earning his bachelor’s degree in Education. As Training Product Manager at GSC, he has been sharing his SOLIDWORKS wisdom with GSC customers ever since – 22 years and counting! As the only CSWE with a state certification in teaching, John is well-versed is teaching all types of learning styles.

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