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    by David Gate

    I was asked the other day “how do I change the units of the surface area calculated on the physical properties tab?

    The answer was very simple. The units are determined by the document settings, ‘Length’ units. So in the below options the ‘Length’ units are set to mm so the area will be in mm^2.

    I then got asked, “What if we want the area in m^2 but we still want to model and dimension in mm?”

    You could change the document units to check the area in m^2 but this is not a useful solution.

    This is where iLogic becomes your friend. Don’t be scared by iLogic you can do some very complicated things with it but also some very simple ones.

    On the manage tab add a new iLogic rule and then copy in the below text.

    iProperties.Value("Custom", "AreaM2") = iProperties.Area/1000000

    This rule will then create a custom iproperty with the name ‘AreaM2’ and you can see that it is calculated by dividing the mm^2 area by 1,000,000.

    Note that the above rule will only give you the correct answer if your document settings are in mm.

    Anytime that you run this rule it will then recalculate the area. To run a rule make sure you have the iLogic browser available and right click on your rule.

    If you want to save yourself from running this rule every time you make a change then you can set an event trigger to run the rule automatically every time you save. Just make sure you set it to run ‘Before Save Document’. That way it will update the custom iProperty immediately before the document is saved and you won’t get any problems with files in need of updating. If you want this in every file then add it to your templates.