• Welcome to engineeringclicks.com
• # Measurement questions

Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by xmechanic, Jan 23, 2011.

1. ### xmechanicActive Member

Joined:
Jan 2011
Posts:
37
0
I am curious as to how working Engineers measure/prefer to measure things. English or metric or a combination of the two? It seems like metric would be superior in small size applications but I'd like to hear what works in the trenches.

In construction English is the only way to go. Foot references are only used to describe say building size or material size. One carpenter doesn't say to another I need a piece 7' 10", he says I need a piece 94". Why? Well its just easier. In such things as framing a house an 1/8th" is often as close as it gets. In woodtrim we go with 16th heavy or 16th light, nobody uses 32nds. There is another term we use for small increments but I'd probably get banned if I said what it was, universal use coast to coast though

In laying out house plans I use a cobbled system of metric and english. Like 1 cm equals = 2 feet or whatever works on whatever size paper I'm using. This isn't normal practice, just how I like to do it.

2.
3. ### xmechanicActive Member

Joined:
Jan 2011
Posts:
37
0
In construction feet, inches and fractional inches in 16ths work extremely well, for more precision such as in cabinetry 32nds and 64ths do the job if needed. An inch broke into decimals wouldn't be as user friendly or functional given the demands of jobsite communication among everyone involved in it.

I guess my question is what is generally used in ME for various scenarios. Decimal inches or metric or both depending on the situation/use. The reason I'm asking is to see if there are measuring methods I should start employing now as I start learning how to lay stuff out in CAD. For example as a cad beginner I am designing a 2 wheeled powered utility vehicle. To keep things simpler as a beginner I'm wondering if I should go with metric all the way or inches. When I get around to building it the goal will be to source as many US made commonly available parts as possible.

Thanks for tolerating an old dog trying to learn new tricks

4. ### LinkedIn GopherLittle furry chap

Joined:
Feb 2010
Posts:
233
1
Old habits are hard to break..... Having grown up using English inches.... I don't relate as well to MM. However as I got older, I never could understand why here in America we never gave up the inch and adopted the metric system.. So for me, it's decimal inches..

Source

5. ### LinkedIn GopherLittle furry chap

Joined:
Feb 2010
Posts:
233
1
Having grown up using both metric and imperial units I do prefer metric units where measuring and component inspection is concerned, however I always think back to imperial with regard to tolerances, ten thou seems easier to imagine than 0.25mm.

Source

6. ### LinkedIn GopherLittle furry chap

Joined:
Feb 2010
Posts:
233
1
I grab whatever tool is handy and use whatever units it is calibrated in. I also keep my handy unit converters close by. I often receive information from others spcified in English units that have to be converted to metric for computer analysis programs- I have one CAD package that allows me to draw in English units, then, when all is done, a quick "scaling" converts the entire drawing to metric...Except the text...

Source

7. ### LinkedIn GopherLittle furry chap

Joined:
Feb 2010
Posts:
233
1
Well this is result globalization of engineering.
it is better to keep small booklet of conversions which is available at a very reasonable rate.
Google search engine also does the conversion. you can simply type "500 km/hr to m/sec" or something similar, it will do the conversion for you.

Source

8. ### guyMember

Joined:
Jan 2011
Posts:
12
0
I remember someone telling me that if the American manufacturers adapt and use the metric units, Chinese and Japanese companies will become very tough competitors in the domestic market.
I don't know if it's true, and if it is then to what extent, but it sounds reasonable.

9. ### JC_BiggsActive Member

Joined:
Jan 2011
Posts:
25
0
I draw everything in inches, unless a specific part im getting made is done by a company over seas. for example the company that supplies and manufactures the MMC metal i use, get all their drawings in metric. but the assembly drawings, and the "rest" of the stuff I do, is mainly English.

I Tried using the engineering system for a little while.. but it confused me .. lol. so i gave up on that. Good thing i dont build highways i guess

Joined:
Jan 2011
Posts:
37