API: convert drawings to metric

I am trying to stay ahead of the next project that I think is going
to be handed to me. We were recently purchased by an overseas company
and they want all our drawings converted to metric. Internally we are
discussing how to best accomplish this task and right now there appears
to be three ideas.
1) Use dual dimensions (inch and metric). I think I can handle the api
to accomplish this but I think the drawing will get very cluttered very
2) Every drawing have two sheets, one for inch one or metric. I do not
know how to do this via the api. There does not seem to be api call for
"copy sheet" so I guess I would have to create a new sheet and copy
each view individually and then also copy all the entities from the
sheet, including the bom. And of course everything needs to be placed
on the new sheet in the same location as the original sheet. Anyone
have some examples how to accomplish this or any portion of this?
3) Every drawing have two seperate drawing documents (file names
123-inch and 123-metric). I think I can handle this option as well,
except for how to copy the drawing document to a new file name. I would
prefer to not do it with "save as copy", although I am not sure why
that bothers me.
I would really appreciate any guidance on how to accomplish, especially
option 2) which I think so far has more support than the other options.
Thanks, Sam
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Dear Sam,
I agree with you, regarding the dual dimensioning that it will clutter th dwg badly if there are too many dimensions to be done.
Regarding the second option, I don't think that any option is there to do two diiferent unit dimension in the same dwg.
Well I feel the 3rd option will b much suitable. In my view what you can do is create part and dwg with the either units and then save as a copy both the part and the dwg given the other name. Then use Solidworks explorer to change the reference of the second copy (i.e changing its ref from Inch part to MM part or vice versa). Then simply change the units in both the save as copy files.
Wish it could work for you.
Deepak Gupta
Sam wrote:
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Deepak Gupta,
You are correct there is only one global setting for dimension units but each dimension can have its dimension units individually customized so any given dimension can have different units as compared to the global setting. What I was imagining was that on the second drawing sheet all the dimensions would have their units set to metric, this would also be part of the macro so the user would not have to manually do it. If we go with the option to have the metric drawings be a seperate drawing document I would only have to change the global setting for the metric document.
Thanks for your repsonse,
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Metric to inch is an easy conversion as there is usually fewer digits in a given dimension. If you are going to go inch to mm, keep in mind that a large share of dimensions are going to pick up a couple digits. The few times that I've had to manually covert sheets, I've spent quite a while re-aranging dimension locations to remove overlaps, ect. Thats not something your api is going to be able to accomplish.
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I have a bad feeling about keeping two separate drawings, one for metric and one for inch.
It probably isn't necessary to dual-dimension everything. I would switch all the dims to metric, then dual dimension key dimensions. Use dual dimensions for key features that are based on inch-standards, such as stock sizes, sheet metal thickness, threads, and drills.
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You are right, there will be some manual clean up required. My intentions are to print a batch of drawings, run the macro, print a new set of drawings, compare and clean up the drawings as needed. As I progress I am sure I will be able to tweak the macro to do better but I am sure it will never be perfect except for the most simple drawings. I only hope to have the macro do the majority of the work, it would be unrealistic to expect it to do all the work.
Thanks for your input.
If anyone has a snippet of code that they can share that even remotely comes close to doing even a portion of what I am tryng to acheive I would greatly appreciate them sharing. Especially some code that creates a new drawing sheet and copies everything from sheet one to sheet two.
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I think I would agree, two drawings for every part, obviously that doubles the drawings to manage, double the drawings to revise. Just seems like it is going to be a hassle and sooner or later someone is going to forget to revise one or the other. I think my first option would be to do multiple sheets in a single drawing document but that will still require extra work for revisions (each sheet would need to be revised) and if a drawing already has multiple sheets now we are talking about going from two sheets to four sheets, or four sheets to eight sheets, etc...
Thanks for your thoughts
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As stated by others here I wouldn't suggest maintaining 2 drawings or 2 sheets. I would suggest creating a macro that would do it on the fly for all your engineers. It could be a single button that flops the dimensions back and forth. Then you only maintain one set of data which is suggested practice for all data management.
Sam wrote:
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Are the views 1st angle or 3rd angle? And how will convert?
We had a simliar issue and shoose to create a macro to replace the sheet format, change the dimenion standard, change the significant digits and do a save-as. Then we manually moved the views to the correct location for the respective projection.
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