Select Face, then select the "Appearance" icon, then select the correct item, then use the little "up" arrow to apply, or the "up arrow and edit" to apply and open the material appearance editor.
Hi that works, I was able to apply the Knurl to the face however doing it the way you have suggested enabled me to see that it was down to the scale settings, basically the knurl was too big.
however the max scale i can use is 5 and this is still too big. is there a way to make this pattern smaller?
You might hunt through the different Material Appearances, both Inventor and the Autodesk. I believe there is more than just one Knurl in the lists.
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