How to Add a Decal to an NX Model

February 9, 2024


Blog, NX CAD


How to Add a Decal to an NX Model



When creating models in NX, additional pieces of information can be communicated on the part, such as part numbers and company logos. NX includes a feature called the Decal Sticker feature, allowing the user to apply part numbers, company logos, etc., to the model.  

This article demonstrates how to easily add a Decal Sticker to your NX part models using the Decal Sticker feature in the modeling application. The method used to display these Decal Stickers on the part in the model view, on the drawing sheet, varies based on the NX version you are using.




The user would like to add a visual decal to their NX Model to communicate additional information or display a company logo on the part.


The Decal Sticker feature can be used to apply an image to the model.  


Prerequisite Information: 

NX License Bundle(s) that support this Feature: 

  • NX Mach Designer 
  • NX Mach 1 – Mach 3 

NX Product Name – Studio Visualize

NX Version – NX12 and newer  

  • Depending on the version, the rendering style used will determine if the decal sticker is visible on the part. 

NX Feature(s) demonstrated in this tutorial: 

  • Decal Sticker 

Depending on the version of NX that is being used to apply a decal to the part, decals may only be visible on the model when the Rendering Style is set to Studio Render.

For NX versions NX 12 – NX 2027

The decals will be visible on the part using the following rendering style: 

  • Studio Render 

For NX versions NX 2206 and newer

The decals will be visible on the part using the following rendering styles: 

  • Shaded with Edges** 
  • Shaded** 
  • Partially Shaded** 
  • Studio Render 


**Note: The Customer default setting that allows the ability to see the decals on the Shaded views in the graphics display and drawing views must be enabled.


NX 2206 and Newer releases of NX allow for the visualization of the applied decal on the model using any of the Shaded Rendering Styles as shown above in the Modeling application and the Drafting application in a drawing view. 


NX 2206 and newer – How to enable Show Decal Stickers in the Customer Defaults 


  • File ⇒ Utilities Customer Defaults 
  • In the Customer Defaults dialog ⇒ Gateway ⇒ Visualization Rendering Styles tab Shaded Object Display category, check the box next to Show Decal Stickers 
  • Select OK, then restart NX for the changes to take effect in NX.



The following steps show how to add additional groups and toolbar icons to the NX Ribbon bar and NX Top Border Bar to make it easier to access the Studio Rendering Style. 


Adding the Style Group to the View Tab


As discussed previously, for NX 12 – NX 2007 versions, the Decals are only visible on the Model in the graphics display when the Rendering Style is set to Studio.

The Style Group can be added to the View Tab and the Top Border Bar to allow for changing the rendering style more quickly while working in NX.

To add the Style Group to the View Tab, select the View Tab to activate it. On the Ribbon Bar, navigate to the far right-hand side and select the Ribbon Bar Options drop-down. Select the Style Group (ensure there is a checkmark) and on the Style Group fly-out menu, select the Studio option (ensure there is a checkmark).

Adding the View Group to the Top Border Bar


To add the View Group and Render Style Drop-down to the Top Border bar, perform the following steps. 

On the Top Border Bar, navigate to the far right-hand side and select the Top Border Bar options down arrow to open the options panel. On the options panel, select the View Group (ensure there is a checkmark). Place your cursor over the arrow next to the View Group category to open the fly-out menu and choose the Rendering Style Drop-down option. On the Rendering Style Drop-down flyout menu, ensure the Studio option has a checkmark next to it. 


Setting the Rendering Style to Studio Render

After adding the Style Group to the View Tab and the Render Style Drop-down to the Top Border Bar, the Studio Render style can be set from either location.

To set the rendering style to Studio Render using the View Tab location, select the View Tab in the Style group, and select the Studio Render Icon.




To set the rendering style to Studio Render using the Render Style drop-down on the Top Border Bar location, select the Render Style drop-down select the Studio Render Icon.

Preparing the Model

Step 1: If you want to apply a decal to a cylindrical surface of the model, first divide the surface. This allows the decal to be projected only on one side of the cylinder. Apply the decal after this step.

A Datum plane can be used to split the cylindrical surface using the Divide-Face feature.


Accessing the Decal Sticker Feature

Step 2: Open the Decal Sticker Dialog and turn on the Materials in Part Palette on the Resource Bar.

  • The Decal Feature/Command is located on the Render tab ⇒  Studio Setup group ⇒ Decal Sticker.

While opening the Decal Sticker Feature, you may see an information message dialog stating, “Before creating decals, activate the Materials in Part palette by choosing the Materials/Textures option.

  • To Manually activate the Materials in Part Tab on the Resource Bar, on the Render tab ⇒ Studio Setup group ⇒ select the Materials in Part icon  


  • The Materials in Part palette on/off toggle can be accessed on the Render tab ⇒ Studio Setup groupMaterials in Part


 Resource Bar with the Studio Materials in Part Tab added

and Studio Materials in Part Panel open



Applying the Decal to the model 


Step 3: Designate the Decal to apply and location on the model

  • After the Decal Sticker Dialog opens, give the decal a name (optional) and select the decal (either from the current Images in part or from a directory location).



  • In the Object to Decal group ⇒ Select the Object (model face) to apply the Decal.  To see a preview of the Decal on the part, select the Specify Origin option in the Placement group below the Object to Decal group.

Note: You must have the rendering style set to Studio to see the decal on the part. 


  • In the Placement group ⇒ Adjust the Placement on the part.
    The control vectors and origin handle can be used in the graphics display as well.
    Double Left clicking on the vectors will reverse the directions and the Origin Handle can be dragged to relocate the label on the part.

  • The label can also be rotated by using the Rotation Angle slider or input field on the Edit Decal Sticker dialog. 


  • In the Scaling group ⇒ Adjust the scaling using one of the options on the drop-down menu and the Scale slider/input field to specify the scale.


Decal on the part after adjusting the scale


  • Set and adjust the Transparency 

When importing an image to use as a decal, it is best to use an image with a transparent background, like a PNG or Tiff image with a transparent background.
This may require preparing the image in a 3rd party photo editing program to remove the background.

Using an image that has a transparent background will allow for the best appearance on the part. Another option is to use the Transparency settings to set a designated color to be transparent in the image.

On the Transparency section, set the Transparency Color (the color that will be transparent in the decal image. E.g. – If the background in the image around your logo letters is white, you can set the transparency color to that same white color, and it will become transparent in the image)

The RGB Tolerance can be used to adjust the level of transparency for the designated Transparency Color.


Decal on the part after setting the Transparency Settings


  • Set the Reflectivity Type 

The reflectivity Type will determine how the decal appears on the part and the level of shininess it has on the surface of the part.

Depending on the type selected, the decal’s reflectance will appear matte, plastic, mirror, metal, or glass-like.

In the Reflectivity section, on the Type drop-down, choose the preferred reflectivity type.


  • Optional step – Enable Displacement 

Displacement makes the decal image appear raised or recessed, giving the decal an engraved or embossed appearance on the part.  

To create the displaced appearance, select the check box next to Enable Displacement, then for the Amplitude, use the slider or enter a value in the entry field. 

For the Amplitude value, a negative number (-0.1000) will result in an embossed appearance. A positive number (+0.1000) will result in an engraved appearance.


  • Once the desired settings are applied in the Edit Decal Sticker dialog, Select OK or Apply.


Displaying the decal on the model in a drawing view 


The ability to display the decal applied to the model on a drawing sheet view depends on the version of NX being used.

For NX 12 – NX 2027, the decal will not be visible in a standard drawing view that is added to the drawing sheet. This includes views that have the Shading setting set to Fully Shaded.


The NX 12 drawing view and drawing settings panel are shown. 


For NX2206 and newer versions, the decal can be displayed in the drawing view by opening the drawing view settings, expanding the Common group, and selecting the Shading category. In the Shading category, change the Rendering Style to Fully Shaded.


Alternate Process for adding a drawing view to the drawing that shows the decal on the part

For NX 12 – NX2027, the following steps outline the process to add a view of the part that shows the decal on the part. 

  • In NX, open the Modeling application. 
  • Activate the modeling view you want to add to the drawing.
  • Change the rendering style to Studio Rendering style, so the decal is visible on the model.
  • Edit the scene to adjust the Background Color.

    • On the Ribbon Bar Select the Render Tab ⇒ Studio Setup Group
      ⇒  Scene Editor

    • On the Scene Editor Dialog ⇒ Background tab ⇒ select the radio button next to the 2D Background option.
    • On the Type drop-down listSelect the Plain option.
    • On the Scene Editor dialog ⇒ Select the White color swatch, then select OK.


Note: The goal is to have a White Background behind the Model in the graphics display; this will allow for a better result when taking a screen capture of the image/model.

    • On the Scene Editor dialog, select OK to close the dialog.


The model is shown in graphics display with a white background.

  • Export an image of the graphics display.
  • File ⇒ Export ⇒ Image 










  • On the Export Image dialog ⇒ select the Input drop-down list ⇒ select the Region option.

Note: The Region option allows for selecting a region in the graphics display. The selected region will be exported when the image is created.

  • Rotate the model to the desired position in the graphics display.
  • Draw a box around the region of the graphics display. 










  • Choose a file Format type.










  • Set the save location and name for the file.










    • Select OK to Save the image.


  • Add the image to the drawing.
    • In NX, open the Drafting Application.
    • Add the saved screen capture image to the drawing and scale it to the desired size.
    • Select MenuInsert ⇒ Image
    • On the Insert Image dialog ⇒ select the Open… button to locate the image on the directory location where it was saved.




    • On the drawing, use the handles on the preview of the image to locate and scale the image on the drawing sheet.  


    • To complete the placement of the image on the drawing, right-click and on the context menu select OK.


The model view with the logo will now be placed on the drawing sheet.




As you can see from the procedures discussed in this article, it is easy to add a Decal Sticker to your NX part models in the modeling application by using the Decal Sticker feature.
Also, depending on the NX version being used, there are different ways to add the model view to the drawing sheet and show these Decal Stickers on the part.

If Swoosh is your primary resource for support related to your Siemens software products, you can reach out to us using the options below – pick a method that works for you. 



Post by Michael Pinto

For over twenty years, Michael has worked first hand with NX in the aerospace and consumer goods industries, building skills like geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, 3D renderings, and computer aided product design in NX.

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