Colors in family table – ProE

Normally we use family tables to control the dimensions of similar parts. Dimensions, parameters and features are the normal components that are controlled here. But sometimes we might need colors to be controlled in the family table. An example of this requirement is where new part numbers are assigned to the parts with every new colors. In Pro E / Creo there is no predefined option to include colors in family table but don’t worry there is a workaround. Although it is not the best practice and little annoying, it works 😉 Whether you want the color to be changed for the whole model or just a specific region, this method works. So let’s start now.

I’ve taken a small cap part and three colors (White, blue and yellow) in the family table to explain this topic.

Cap model and its model tree

There are three ways to do this.

1. Creating surfaces and applying colors in the generic itself
2. Creating surfaces and applying colors in the instances (The easier one)
3. Assigning material with different surface textures to the instances

We will see how to execute first two methods. I’m not going to discuss the third option in this topic since it can not be managed in companies where structured data is maintained and admin has the control over libraries. However you can search this website to find the topic that explains the third method.

Method 1: First complete your generic model fully and when you are done create a new copy surface feature.

Select any one surface of the part and then right click over it. You will get a shortcut menu now. Select “solid surfaces” in the menu (See left image above).This will select all the surfaces of the model. Now copy the surfaces (Press CTRL+C or go to edit → copy from the main menu). Paste the surfaces immediately after the copy operation (Press CTRL+P or go to edit → paste from the main menu). This will open the copy operation panel. Just accept the copy feature as it is. Select OK.

Now a new COPY feature will appear in the model tree (See right side image above). The required color to be applied now to the copy feature. First lets create white color.

1. Rename the COPY1 feature to “WHITE” in the model tree.
2. Apply the white color to the copy feature “WHITE”.

Applying color:

ProE wildfire 4.0 and previous versions: Go to Edit → Color and Appearance from the main menu at the top. This will open up the appearance editor window. Select the white color in the window and Quilts from the drop down list. You will be prompted to select the quilt now. Pick the quilt you just created in the last step from the model window and the Apply.

ProE wildfire 5.0 and Creo versions: Select the color using the Appearance icon button from the the tool bar. Select Quilts in the filter box (located at right bottom or top corner). Now select the quilt in the model window and apply the color.
The Appearance icon is located in the main toolbar in WF5.0 and in Creo it is under Render tab.

ProE wildfire 4.0 and previous versions:
Filter box

Similarly you have to create the blue color. To do that, select the WHITE copy feature from the model tree and press Ctrl+C, press CTRL+V to paste it. Just accept it as is. Now Rename it to the color name in the model tree. Follow the same procedure given above and apply the blue color.

Similarly, create the new quilt and apply yellow color. Finally the model tree will look like image shown below.

You can apply the colors whenever you want but the point is the respective quilt should be on top when you apply the color. Now suppress the three copy features and add them in the family table.

You can search for the family table help topics in this website in case if you don’t know how to work with it.

Go to family table and create three new instances and add the three copy features (WHITE, BLUE and YELLOW) to the family table. When done the family table will look like this. Select yes for the respective colored features as shown below. Just verify the table and select OK. That’s it the family table and instances for the colors have been created.

If you want to add another color later, just follow the same instructions. Create a new copy feature, rename it, apply the color, suppress it and add it to the family table. Select YES for the new instances and NO for all other instances.

New instance added.
New instance in Family table.

Method 2: First complete your generic model fully and Create a family table with the instances you want. Don’t add any features to it just create instances and select OK. The family table will look like this.