Understanding Units in Inventor

autodesk inventor - setting unitsFor a little insight into the header image of this article (the story of the over-sized trophy), follow this link

In Autodesk Inventor there are 2 main places to look at units, the first is within the file itself, the second is in the settings used for template files. The thing to remember about Inventor, is that units are file specific, there is no global units setting (which is a good thing)

Part 1 – Part and Assembly file units

Both Part (.ipt) and Assembly files (.iam) use the same settings for units. These units are file specific. To change the units of a file, click on Tools > Document Settings > Standard, then select the Units you wish to use.

inventor 2019 - part units - clint brown

Part 2 – Drawing Units

Drawings files (.dwg or .idw) are slightly different to Part (.ipt) and Assembly (.iam) files, in that they use a standard to define their annotations.

To change the “Active Standard” in a drawing file, simply navigate to Tools > Document Settings > Standard, then select your desired standard, note that this will not change any dimensions that are currently on the drawing. Any dimension placed after this change will be placed in accordance with the new “Active Standard”.

autodesk inventor units drawing - clint brown

Part 3 – Template file Units

By default Inventor will be installed with Imperial, or Inch templates.

To change the “out of the box” templates, simply go to Tools > Application Options > File > Configure Default Template… Set your templates to your desired units and standard.

Remember that if you have made any customisations to your standard templates, this process will overwrite them, see the information message below, remember to back up any customisations that you have made BEFORE making any changes. If you have customisations that you wish to convert to another unit system, see Part 4 below.

Autodesk Inventor units - clint brown

inventor 2019 - units - clint brown

Templates are stored in the following folders:

  • Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10®: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor(version number)\Templates
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8® and Windows 10: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor LT (version number)\Templates

In the Templates folder, subfolders contain the templates that are listed in the Create New File dialog box. You can create and save custom templates in the Templates folder.

Part 4 – Re-use a file as a template

You can save any Inventor file as a template, simply by going to File > Save As > Save Copy As Template

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If you save over the Standard template files (Standard.ipt, Standard.iam, Standard.dwg etc.), with your new modified file, this will be the file used when you create a new file using the quick links (shown below)

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Remember to ALWAYS make a backup before saving over ANY template files! Assembly files should not contain any parts or references, as these will become difficult to manage later.