Why Lightning only works with metric fasteners

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Lightning works only with metric fasteners. There are a couple of reasons for this:

Reason #1: Europe uses metric fasteners

CAD Booster is based in the Netherlands, where we basically only work with metric fasteners. So that means we just don’t have a lot of experience with imperial standards.

Reason #2: Only the United States uses imperial standards

This is a simplification, we know, but the vast majority of countries uses the metric system. The US is the only big country that still uses inch-based standards, although NASA and the army have already made the switch. So there’s hope 😉

Reason #3: Numbers correlate with dimension

If you have a bolt, size M4, you know that the “4” stands for the diameter, in millimeters. There are very few standards (like DIN 981) that use numbers that are not dimensions.

This means we can store these properties in our database as a number and we can easily sort a list of these numbers from small to large.

For imperial standards, we’d have to store properties like “Size 1”, “6-32” and “1/4 inch diameter”, which takes a whole other approach.

Reason #4: Lightning needs to be rebuilt from scratch

We basically need to redesign our whole database for inch-based standards to work. Then, we need to rebuild the settings and the Add Fastener window. So basically everything.

When will Lightning support imperial standards?

We can’t promise anything yet. We will most likely add imperial standards to our Fastener Models at some point. That will give us more experience with these standards. Experience that we really need before adding support to Lightning.