Creating Custom Decals

Occasionally when solid modelling with SOLIDWORKS, we need to add graphics to our models.  The process is actually quite simple: we drag a decal onto the model, position it and size it appropriately and we have our image on the model.  It’s a bit like the good old water slide decals used in plastic model making.

SOLIDWORKS comes with some decals already included but these are very limiting, some can be seen here.




I certainly was so I needed to create my own custom logos.


This is how I did it:




Firstly we need an image to convert into a logo. We will use the old NT CADCAM logo as an example.






Almost any file format will do such as a jpeg or png. I will use a png.

Now the decals have a format of their own which is a P2D file.  We need to convert the image into a P2D file and for this we need Photoview 360 which is the SOLIDWORKS rendering software. Firstly we need to go to Options and Add-Ins to ensure it is on.



This adds the Photoview 360 menu to SOLIDWORKS and we need to go this and the menu entry for Edit Decal.



On the left this opens the decal editor.








Click on the Browse button and locate the image you want to use using the usual Windows file browse window.




This will show the path and a preview of the logo.


Assuming you do not require special masks because as with this one the cropping of the image is very close to the edges (I did this in an image editor), simply click on the Save Decal button.











Custom-d-8This where you select the location of the logo file you want to add.  The default logo folder is where I am going to place mine and this can be found at

C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS\data\graphics\decals\Logos

You can of course specify your own folder and point SOLIDWORKS at this.

When you have located the folder simply give your decal a name and click on save.



We now need to apply the logo.

In the Task Pane on the right of the screen is a coloured ball button.

Click on this and select Decals from the entries.




If your decal isn’t visible where you saved it in Decals, click on the refresh button at the top of the folder.





Locate your decal and drag it onto the model.












The decal may not be the correct size and shape for your requirements but in the manager on the left are all of the controls you require.


At the top are 3 tabs. Select the Mapping tab.

We can now use the size and rotational controls to get the decal how we want on the model.  By draging the decal around on the model we can also position it.





Firstly we can select how we want the decal to be applied; Projection is directly on the face but there is also Spherical and Cylindrical.









This is a simple flat face so I will use the Projection option.

These controls allow exact positioning vertically and horizontally on your model.

You can of course roughly drag it into position.





Width size

Height Size



Angle of decal relative to axies of model





When you are happy, click on OK.




If you need to edit the decal click on the coloured ball in the Feature Manager Design Tree, followed by the Cylinder button which is for the decals.

Open the entry for the decal and a right click followed by edit decal will take you back to the decal manager.




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