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Changing part color via family table


Changing part color via family table

Is it possible to control the color of part instances in a family table? I read the suggested technique and I don't think it applies to Wildfire.
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it works in Wildfire also. But it is kind of pain to copy surfaces and assign colors to them and then add to the family table..Lot of repetitive task.. look out for the details in the PTC help documents (family table colors)

You do not want the copy surface option, as this will add false geometry to your model, and will not update with changes. My consulting company has developed a technique for our models that works with just a single family table column. If you are interested, you can contact me directly at for more info.

Steve, I'm trying to do the same but your email address has been bounced Any pointers how to do this??

Steve, I'm trying to do the same but your email address has been bounced Any pointers how to do this??

I just tried my email, and it seems to be working fine now, if you'd like to try it.


I'm interested in how you did it.

Can I still send you an email about this?

Best regards,


You can me an email directly at the address above.

one way as i thought is to make different material with different appearances (ex: color red, green etc) and change the material via family table. However the color is changing when the material is changed manually but giving some problem with using of family table.

For the moment I'm copying the surface.

Each color has a surface.

If then you want different colors for one piece, you have to supress the other surfaces.

But I think there has to be a better way.



I could not understand " each color has surface" or each surface has specific color? Also please elaborate the question please.

I'm looking for a better way to at colors to my family table.

Now I have to suppres surfaces.

So I make surfaces of my parts and add a color to the surface.

If I have 4 colors (Black, Red, Green, Purple)

I have 4 surfaces

If I want my part to be Red I have to supress Black, Green and Purple.

Best Regards,



As mentioned, make different materials, and have an appearance assigned to them, then swap the material out in the family table. The variable is: PTC_MATERIAL_NAME. You must have the materials you want loaded in the part to access this and put it in your family table.


I will try it.

But what happens with the mass of the part?

Best regards,


you can create different materials with same material properties, example: Steel_Green, Steel_Red. etc.

Ok, Thanks a lot

Correct Jayanta.


I have created different materials, steel_green an steel_blue.

Now if I change the material in an assymble all the parts of the same family table are changing.

Maybe I do something wrong. I'm searching on it but for the moment I didn't find it

Best regards,


sorry for the delay, earlier i have tried for parts in different assembly, let me try as you said then I will let you know.

Christophe, Sorry for late reply, I have tried different components in same assembly of same family table. Its creating same problem as you have mentioned. Seems like you may need to put a suggestion to PTC.

@ Jayanta Sarkar

No problem for the late reply.

Sometimes it works sometime not.

I don't knew why. For the moment I working at an other project.

I'm still searching how to do it.

If I find something I will post it.



It's buggy, it didn't even work in WF3, from WF4 on at the assembly level you have to do 2 regens to get it to work, and sometimes there is still issues. It seems PTC would rather spend time making our lives miserable with ribbons than fix core bugs.