From Inches to Millimetres: the Guide to Converting Autodesk Inventor for Metric Measurements

25 August 2023. Article by Madison Baker. Estimated time to glance: 7 minutes.

Why Should You Convert Autodesk Inventor to Metric Measurements? πŸ“πŸ”πŸŒ

If you are using Autodesk Inventor software, it’s important to know that it defaults to imperial units of measurement. However, in many parts of the world, metric units are the standard. One of the main reasons to convert your Inventor settings to metric units is to avoid confusion and errors in your design process. Working in a consistent set of units will ensure you have accurate measurements throughout your entire project.


In addition, if you are working with a global team, using metric units can increase collaboration and reduce confusion. With everyone on the same page regarding measurements, communication becomes more efficient, and design errors are less likely to occur. Finally, converting to metric units may also make it easier to comply with national and international standards in certain industries, such as manufacturing, engineering, and construction.


If you want to learn more about the differences between Autodesk Inventor and Solidworks, check out this CAD Review: Autodesk Inventor Vs Solidworks.

How to Change Autodesk Inventor Settings to Metric Units πŸ› οΈπŸ“πŸ”§

Changing your Inventor settings to use metric units is a straightforward process that can be done in just a few steps. First, open the application and click on the “Tools” menu. From there, select “Application Options”. A new window will open, and you should see a tab labeled “Units”.


Click on the “Units” tab, and you will see a dropdown menu with several unit type options. Select the type of unit you want to change (such as “Length”, “Angle”, or “Mass”) and then choose the desired metric unit from the dropdown menu. Repeat this process for each unit type you want to change.


Once you have made all of your changes, click “OK” to save them. Your Inventor software is now set up to use metric units. Keep in mind that this change will not apply to existing designs, only to new ones you create moving forward.

Converting Existing Inches-Based Models to Metric Measurements πŸ“πŸ”§πŸ”„

If you already have existing designs done using imperial units in Autodesk Inventor, don’t worry. It’s still possible to convert them to metric measurements. The only difference with working on a metric model from the beginning is that there is extra work involved in the conversion process, but the time spent is worth it to have all the measurements in the desired unit system.


The easiest way to go about this conversion is to create a copy of your existing design files and save them as a new set of files. Once you have the copies, you can go through the model and change the measurement units on each component manually. The more components you have in the model, the more time it will take to change, so it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time and be patient.


If changing each component’s measurement units one by one seems too time-consuming, there are software add-ons that can help you with this process. These add-ons can automatically convert input dimensions in inches to output dimensions in millimeters according to a specified conversion factor. One such add-on is the “Inventor Fusion” plug-in, which provides options for importing STL files into Inventor and converting units within the software itself. And don’t forget that there is always plenty of resources online for Inventor users, from forums to tutorials and software instruction courses like CAD Software and BIM Management Training.

Best Practices for Designing with Metric Measurements in Autodesk Inventor πŸ“πŸ› οΈπŸŒŸ

Designing in metric units with Autodesk Inventor can help improve your workflow, reduce confusion, and maximize collaboration with international teams. Here are some best practices for designing with metric measurements in Inventor:


  • Set up your preferred metric unit system: Take the time to set up the specific metric system that you’ll be using for your design. Decide on the unit of measurement for your system, and then select the appropriate prefixes (such as milli-, centi-, deci-, kilo-, etc.).
  • Choose Metric Template Files: Choosing a metric template file ensures that all of your new assemblies, parts, and drawings are created with metric units. This way, you maintain design consistency throughout your project.
  • Stick to Your Workflows: Maintain your regular workflows when designing, and remember to always work with metric measurements in mind. This will help you design more effectively and efficiently, without the added stress of converting measurement units continuously.
  • Use Softwares with Adjacent Collaboration Features: It’s always a good idea to use softwares that make collaboration easier when you’re designing for global teams. Autodesk has options like BIM 360 Design and Fusion Team that allow version control, collaboration, and communication to stay streamlined.


By following these best practices, you will be well on your way to designing efficiently and accurately with metric measurements in Autodesk Inventor!

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Converting to Metric Measurements πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈπŸš«πŸ“

When converting from imperial to metric units in Autodesk Inventor, there are some common pitfalls to avoid. The first is assuming that all measurements are the same. For example, a 1-inch diameter rod is not the same size as a 1-meter diameter rod. Be sure to double-check your measurements and conversions to avoid costly mistakes.


Another common pitfall is forgetting to change default settings. Even if you change your unit settings in Inventor, there may still be default settings in place that use imperial units. Make sure to check all default settings and change them to metric units if necessary.


Finally, don’t forget to communicate with your team members about the unit conversion. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding units of measurement to avoid miscommunications and mistakes. To learn more about the pros and cons of Inventor, check out this CAD Comparison: Inventor vs Fusion 360 vs Solidworks.

Tips for Working with Both Imperial and Metric Units in Autodesk Inventor πŸ”§πŸ“πŸŽ“

While it’s ideal to work consistently in one set of units throughout your entire project, there may be instances where imperial units are required. Here are some tips for working with both imperial and metric units in Autodesk Inventor:


First, make sure to specify units of measurement in your design documents. This will help avoid confusion and mistakes. Additionally, you can use built-in conversion tools in Inventor to quickly convert measurements from one system to another.


Another tip is to use templates for your part and assembly designs. You can create separate templates for imperial and metric units to make it easy to switch back and forth between systems.


Finally, consider investing in third-party plugins or add-ons that streamline unit conversions and allow for better integration of multiple measurement systems. To learn more about the differences between Inventor, Fusion 360, and Solidworks, check out this CAD Comparison: Inventor vs Fusion 360 vs Solidworks.

Madison Baker is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She is passionate about writing about travel, culture, and adventure.

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