Converting Metric drawings to Imperial

I recently got in a tangle over this so I thought I’d post a tested method to convert a Metric drawing to Imperial.

If you simply change the length ‘units‘ in the drawing, all that happens is that the distance annotation changes from ‘0.0’ to ‘0, 0,0/00″, so that a line 10m long is labelled as 10 inches long when you swap from ‘Decimal’ to ‘Architectural’ units. A fat lot of good that is!

The recommended method is to insert the metric drawing as a block into an Imperial one. I tripped up at first because I’m in the habit of running CAD with the insert units set to ‘unitless’ and then got confused further by convincing myself the conversion is from Metres to feet: not so, it’s inches!  So here’s how to get a drawing back into the ‘old money’ if you need to: 1. In the metric drawing Check the insertion scale units in the Drawing units panel (in the classic pulldown menu : Format>> Units) is set to ‘Meters’. Set  the current UCS to ‘World’. Save the drawing.

2. Open a new drawing with an imperial template. Check the insertion Scale units are ‘Inches’ in the new drawing:

Inches is correct; I was fooled by this as I was expecting the be unit to be feet, inches is what you want!

3. Insert the Metric drawing as a block with the settings shown. Check the ‘Explode’ option. Zoom extents to find the drawing. I used list to run a check in the old (Metric) drawing and the new (Imperial):

Save the drawing and that’s the job done!

The only snag I have found with this method is that, on insertion into the imperial template drawing, dimension lines will be annotated in Inches only, they have to be selected individually and edited to Architectural units if you want to read them in feet.

The CAD bloggers tell me this method works back as far as ACAD2006.

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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1 Response to Converting Metric drawings to Imperial

  1. Pingback: Imperial dimension – metric drawing | Adam Kimber

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