Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

Imperial or Metric for PCB design? Its time!

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As Dave said old habits die hard and in truth there is little or no compelling reason to use imperial and by the same token no good reason not to. I think imperial will slowly fall out of favor and die a natural death, but as others have said 'no time soon'.

What I like most about metric (SI-) system, is that everything is related by factor of 10 (or power of 10) to next bigger or smaller unit of same kind, unlike in imperial system. For example, it is pretty trivial to calculate how many micrometers there are in a kilometer (or even more exotic ratio) but it is much harder exercise to calculate how many thous there are in a mile (at least for me) :).

I agree that it is that people are reluctant to change their habits, since learning new "reference scale" and developing that "gut feeling" takes quite a while. Maybe it is not worthwhile. Or should I say that old dog can't learn new tricks :)



--- Quote from: Squonk on March 10, 2012, 08:48:18 am ---However, my intent when I posted the link above was not to start a flame war on the Imperial/metric debate, but thought that this blog series may be also very informative for EEs on the schematic/PCB design techniques.

--- End quote ---

There isn't enough of a problem to have a war about so IMO anyone claiming things would be so much better with one system or the other is ranting.

--- Quote ---After successfully transitioned all the engineers then the PCB design process got really easy, faster and simpler. Then when I give the PCB manufacturer all my nice clean metric drawings and metric Gerber and Drill data the first thing they do is convert all units to Imperial to panelize and CAM the job with their mil based DRC rules. Wow, it took longer to CAM my job because of the translation.
--- End quote ---

Designing a PCB gets really easy, faster and simpler because you call something a 2012 instead of 0805? - rant.

My preferred board house doesn't give a rat's arse if I supply them metric or imperial data.

I do think it is bloody stupid calling the same thing 0805 and 2012, but, it would be easily fixed by adding 'i' and 'm' suffixes, it is probably resistance from the 'one true unit' zealots on either side preventing this happening.

--- Quote ---When the PCB fabrication shop starts recommending metric units preferred to their customers that’s when true electronic product development automation will really kick in and maybe we’ll start creating faster, better, more accurate, cheaper products or rather products that today cost $100,000 will only cost $1000.
--- End quote ---

So 99% of the cost of products is converting design units from imperial to metric? I didn't notice previously but the comment I quoted in my last post was actually from him. I don't care if he is a supposed IPC expert, I judge people by what they say not who the 'are' and I judge him a ranting moron.

--- Quote from: jahonen on March 10, 2012, 03:01:05 pm ---What I like most about metric (SI-) system, is that everything is related by factor of 10 (or power of 10)
--- End quote ---

No one uses feet or yards in PCB dimensions, the inconvenience of other imperial units isn't relevant in this discussion.

Staying irrelevant what people like about units related by a factor of 12 is 12 is divisible into halves, thirds, quarters and sixths while 10 only halves and fifths. Decimal systems exist because we have 10 fingers, shame we didn't evolve with 12 and we would have the best of both worlds.

Units of measurement change with time as something better comes along it is gradually used and a good job too otherwise we would be working in cubits.

Ajahn Lambda:
Darn, and here I've been using smoots for God knows how long....   ;D

I'll use either system.  I have tools for both, i.e. I'm a total gear-head.


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