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mccabejc
12-17-2007, 01:22 PM
I wish I had been raised in the metric system, but that just ain't the case. And the one thing that is the biggest pain when using Modeler is trying to constantly convert from feet and inches (the CORRECT system :) ) to metric. Yeah, I know that metric is a much more intelligent system, and I know you can enter inches and LW will convert for you, but setting the units to feet and inches seems like it would make life so much easier.

After many years of using LW I'm still using metric, but wondering if there are any folks out there who have stuck with feet and inches, and how has it worked for you?

2BitSculptor
12-17-2007, 01:38 PM
I've pretty much used foot-inch all the time, except when I only have metric to work with. I keep a handy Radio Shack Builder's Calculator at my desk to make any "foot-inch-fraction" to "decimal foot" conversions if it requires fractions I can't quickly input as "decimal inch". Whole foot-inches are a snap... I just gotta remember to not leave out the ' or " marks where appropriate.

Chuck

Brainbug
12-17-2007, 01:52 PM
I pretty much flip from one to the other depending on the project. If project is organic I don't care, but if the project is architecture or design I'll do it in feet/inches. I should note thought that I am comfortable in almost any unit.

RedBull
12-17-2007, 02:31 PM
Yeah the imperial and metric systems both suck....For example we were taught the metric system at school.. (the correct way ;)

But Quarter Pounders are still that 1/4 of a pound...
It's not called the 100+gramer and the 1/4 mile is still called the quarter mile, not the 400meters...

My classic muscle car uses MPH on the speedo, even though we use KMH on the road. It has a 400+ HP motor, with 400+ pound/ft torque.
That's about 300 plus Killiowatts on the new scale.

I measure some parts of my anatomy in inches and not centimeters.. ;)
I'm over 6 foot tall, and the depth of the swimming pool is too...

Funnily enough i do use metric (mainly) in 3D programs, because it was what i was taught, but as you can see most of our everyday situations, involve inches, feet, pounds, with the others in watts, cm, kgs..

So while they tried to only teach me metric, the imperial functionality will be with us for a lot longer yet.

Giacomo99
12-17-2007, 04:13 PM
But Quarter Pounders are still that 1/4 of a pound...

Except in Europe. I believe they're called a "Royalle" over there. You can ask Samuel L. Jackson. ;)

cagey5
12-17-2007, 04:54 PM
Not in the UK. Here it's called a quarter pounder too. But then we have a shared imperial history..

SplineGod
12-17-2007, 06:21 PM
I wish I had been raised in the metric system, but that just ain't the case. And the one thing that is the biggest pain when using Modeler is trying to constantly convert from feet and inches (the CORRECT system :) ) to metric. Yeah, I know that metric is a much more intelligent system, and I know you can enter inches and LW will convert for you, but setting the units to feet and inches seems like it would make life so much easier.

After many years of using LW I'm still using metric, but wondering if there are any folks out there who have stuck with feet and inches, and how has it worked for you?

Unless Im missing something how about going to Display----Units------English to set your Coord system to feet and inches? :)

mccabejc
12-17-2007, 07:12 PM
Unless Im missing something how about going to Display----Units------English to set your Coord system to feet and inches? :)

Thanks Larry. I know *how* to set it up for English units, but my question was about whether in practice English units cause more problems than they're worth. Since metric is base 10, I figured it would have significant benefits over feet & inches, but I'm wondering if people use feet and inches anyway, and still manage to survive.

SplineGod
12-17-2007, 09:22 PM
It apparently only causes issues when landing probes on mars. One team was using english units and the other metric. :)

THREEL
12-17-2007, 09:46 PM
I use good ol' feet & inches, too. I learned both in school, but I can guess-timate the size of something in Ft.\In. a heck of a lot better than trying to do the same thing in metric.

If the units you're using in :lwicon: are Ft.\In., and you don't type in the ' or " at the end, it defaults to inches. For example: If you type in just 12, you get 1'; if you type in 120, you get 10'; 240=20'; etc... The cool thing is if you type in 1\8, you get .125", and so on.

Another cool thing about :lwicon: is its built-in calculator. For example: if you have a dimension that's 2 3/16", but you don't know that 3/16=.1875, you can just type in 2+3/16 and the Enter Key, and :lwicon: will automatically calculate this to 2.1875", If you want a measurement that's 3/16 under 2", all you need to do is type in 2-3/16 and the Enter Key, etc...

When I worked in CAD full time, I made a fraction to decimal conversion chart, cut it into strips, and doubleface taped it around my monitor, so it was always right in front of me. I wonder why I haven't done that here at home, yet. :stumped:

Yep, good old Feet & Inches for me. IMPO

BTW--32 deg. F sounds much warmer than 0 deg. C ;)

othornton
12-17-2007, 11:09 PM
One of the thing I love about LW is that the numeric value fields will convert units for you. Just enter your values and add the correct unit notation and LW does the conversion for you to your favored unit of measurement. Combined with something like Absolute Size this means you can resize your object to the exact measurement even if you built it using a completely different measurement unit.

I use this to model in meters as if they were feet and convert them to feet when I'm done. Weird perhaps, but it works for me.

-Oliver

loki74
12-18-2007, 12:56 AM
othornton: eh? how do you use inches then, since they are 1/12 and not 1/10?

Silkrooster
12-18-2007, 01:55 AM
I can see people have an issue with converting from one system to another. It's more than just using a calculator. It's trying to see in your head how big an object should be. Someone who has been raised using the metric system would not be able to see how many feet a building should be, but they have a good estimation of how many meters it should be. Same goes for us in the US. We have a good idea how high 4 feet is but no clue how many meters it is.
It makes a big difference in trying to get the correct scale of an object.
For me I will probably always use the imperial system though I generally keep lightwave in metric. Why, because thats the default setting. No other reason. :hey:
Silk

THREEL
12-18-2007, 04:49 AM
For me I will probably always use the imperial system though I generally keep lightwave in metric. Why, because thats the default setting. No other reason.

This is exactly why most programs have a button that allows you to return to Default Settings. ;) :D :lol:

colkai
12-18-2007, 05:03 AM
One of the thing I love about LW is that the numeric value fields will convert units for you.
Yup, that's really handy for those of us brought up with "old money". :p

Steamthrower
12-18-2007, 11:39 AM
The US imperial system for measurements is nothing less than archaic. Why, oh why, do we have to remember that 12 inches is 1 foot and 5280 feet is a mile and two-eighths is 25%? I love metric. Just love it.

mccabejc
12-18-2007, 01:18 PM
You're right. As an engineer, the elegance and simplicity of the metric system are obvious, and the ridiculousness of the Imperial system is equally obvious. And I'm upset at my teachers for not teaching me metric when I was a kid. So I never got comfortable with metric. And so I like the Imperial system, which I hate.

So I guess I hate myself...

othornton
12-18-2007, 01:19 PM
othornton: eh? how do you use inches then, since they are 1/12 and not 1/10?

They're not?? When did this happen? What idiot would use that system?

Kidding.
What's a .017 variance between friends though? LW does math in it's numeric fields as well, so I suppose I could just enter the value I want in feet followed by +(1/12) assuming you only want an extra inch and it will calculate for me once I hit tab. Mainly though I use it for general measurements like 10 feet for a ceiling height, 4-6 inches for wall thickness, seven feet for doorways, etc. Please don't make me write out the formula for fractions of inches too, my brain hurts already using this much basic algebra. They told me in school I'd never need it!

-Oliver

2BitSculptor
12-18-2007, 01:50 PM
I really never understood why... it's simple biology....

2 feet = 10 toes..... (Who's got 12 toes?... um... unless you're a xenomorph)

and don't forget the lowly cubit (distance between you elbow and your finger tips).

Chuck

Matt
12-18-2007, 02:08 PM
It's odd, I was taught only metric, but growing up things wandered! I became used to measuring things in mm, cm, m etc. But a person's height made more sense to me in feet and inches.

When driving, miles per hour feels normal, kilometers just ain't right!

And don't get me started on lager, a pint is a pint and NOTHING else!!!

:D

Silkrooster
12-18-2007, 08:07 PM
You know what is really ironic. Anybody who needs to measure in 1/100th of an inch or 1/1000th of an inch uses a micrometer.(for those that never seen a micrometer it is a slide scale with a dial on it used for measuring the outside diameter of an object.) You would think they would have named it the microinch. lol.:D
Silk

loki74
12-19-2007, 12:51 AM
orthonton: ah, I see...

Silkrooster: You know, you may be on to something... feet do feel more convenient than meters as a base unit. Maybe instead of inches we can have decifeet (its not THAT huge a difference, after all), millifeet, microfeet, nanofeet, etc... and we can also have kilofeet. A mile could be 5.28 kilofeet... still arbitrary, but I wouldn't complain.

colkai
12-19-2007, 02:30 AM
You know what is really ironic. Anybody who needs to measure in 1/100th of an inch or 1/1000th of an inch uses a micrometer.(for those that never seen a micrometer it is a slide scale with a dial on it used for measuring the outside diameter of an object.) You would think they would have named it the microinch. lol.:D
Silk
Ahh, but a micrometer is a meter for measuring microns ya see. ;)

Yep, I have used one, indeed, I still have one from my old days- you don't throw precision instruments out. (Heck, I've even got my old multi-meter from my telecomms apprenticeship :p).

Steamthrower
12-19-2007, 07:23 AM
I'm all for using the imperial system in everyday common use (like saying a pint of beer, or three-quarters of the way done, or a pound of beef, etc. But in anything remotely non-common, I'd go metric all the way.

colkai
12-19-2007, 07:58 AM
Beer N food is always in imperial, I cannot see the day when I think asking for 250g of ham makes more sense than asking for "a quarter of ham".

(note: I have no idea if 250g is anywhere NEAR a quarter :p ;) )

BeeVee
12-19-2007, 07:59 AM
"three-quarters of the way done is not imperial" but common to both systems of measurement. I'm getting more used to the metric way of doing things from having lived in France for more than five years now... I highly recommend it to people who want to "convert"... :D

B

JeffrySG
12-19-2007, 09:31 AM
Jumping in here... I hate the US imperial system too... I still remember back in elementary school here in the states, they always said, "in a few years we'll be switching to the metric system! so you better learn it..." and I kept waiting and waiting.... and we still never switched! lol

But also, you can set the units to be whatever you want in LW but you can also type in any measurements you want. I have my units set to meters, but I still type in feet and inches all the time too. Just type 6'10" in the numeric box and it will convert it to meters for you when you hit return or tab.

Elmar Moelzer
12-20-2007, 04:46 AM
I dont really see the problem in relation to LW here.
I mean you can switch at any time and it will always be correct. In LW one foot (like in real life) equals 0.48 (or something like that) meters (or 34,8 cm).
So not a big deal. You can switch between metric, SI and English systems any time you want and your objects will always be in perfect scale. You model one object with feet and inches and the other with meters and they will match exactly.
LW will even do the conversion for you, if you enter feet into the numeric panel (when the units are set to metric) it will convert it to cm automatically and the other way round. I dont think this could be done any better.
IMHO the metric system is much easier to use and understand, everything is in steps of 10 and you can bring everything into direct relation. E.g. you know that one Liter is 10 by 10 by 10 cm. Water freezes at 0 degrees C and boils at 100 degrees C and one liter of water is 1 dm^3. It cant get easier than that.
CU
Elmar

SplineGod
12-20-2007, 10:41 AM
Not to mention 10 fingers and toes :)

THREEL
12-20-2007, 12:14 PM
Water freezes at 0 degrees C and boils at 100 degrees C and one liter of water is 1 dm^3. It cant get easier than that.

Yeah, but still, 32 deg. F sounds warmer than 0 deg. C, and 212 deg. F sounds a lot hotter than 100 deg. C. :lol:

Lewis
12-20-2007, 02:24 PM
Yeah, but still, 32 deg. F sounds warmer than 0 deg. C, and 212 deg. F sounds a lot hotter than 100 deg. C. :lol:

Yeah but water freezing level at 0C sounds more logic than on 32F :) :) :).

It all has it's pros and cons and liek US guys say it's more logic/better to do it in feet/inches i might say same thing for metric - because we all learned something and it seems easier to us for understanding :). Some people drive on ther right side other on the left, some use PAL other NTSC, some model/write with left hand other with right hand.... and booth seems great from their POV ;) ;)

THREEL
12-20-2007, 02:41 PM
Yeah but water freezing level at 0C sounds more logic than on 32F .

It all has it's pros and cons and liek US guys say it's more logic/better to do it in feet/inches i might say same thing for metric - because we all learned something and it seems easier to us for understanding . Some people drive on ther right side other on the left, some use PAL other NTSC, some model/write with left hand other with right hand.... and booth seems great from their POV

You say tomato (toe-maa-toe), I say tomato (toe-may-toe). HaHa!!!

What's real funny, I write with my left hand (right brain), but yet I bat a baseball and golf right handed. Also, I use my right hand to run my mouse. I have a hard time using my left hand to run the mouse.

The batting and golf issue is probably due to the fact that that was the way I was taught by my elders. Meanwhile, the right handed mouse use is due to my college days in CAD class, where we all used digitizer tablets that were set-up to the right of the monitors. So, not really ambidextrius. Darn!!!

Lewis
12-20-2007, 02:59 PM
Nope I say "Rajcica" or "Paradajz" and not tomato :p :p.

And your other stats/info just proves my thing - it's just about how you learn it first - that's your "natural/right" way and different sounds/looks wrong ;) ;).