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Old August 27th, 2011, 06:39 PM
sneakyimp sneakyimp is offline
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Modeling plastic parts, confused by scaling

I'm very new to blender (version 2.5) and am trying to design some plastic parts to be printed with a 3d printer. I've managed to do some boolean transformations between meshes to create my parts, but when I exported an STL file and sent it to my friend, the parts were tiny. Like 1000 times too small. I opened my blender files again and all of the units read correctly -- some parts are in imperial units others are metric. I'm guessing this has something to do with scaling but I don't understand scaling. I was hoping someone might answer these questions:

1) Why does blender resize all my objects when I change the scale of my scene? Is there any way to prevent this resizing of objects?
For example, a 1m square cube becomes a 1mm square cube when I change the scale from 1 to .001.

2) Why does each object also have a scale?
I enter the dimensions of my object in millimeters or inches. The scale values then change. I don't understand what this scaling is for.

3) What should my scene scale value be in order to have my objects match my specified dimensions exactly? Is this scale value different for imperial units versus metric units?
This is what I'm most confused about. I've read a number of places that blender works natively in "blender units" which have no bearing on real-life dimensions. I have this vague idea that the ability to specify inches or meters is just a sort of tacked-on bit of functionality to reduce the need for a user to constantly make conversion calculations while modeling. I'm just flat-out confused by the idea that I set my scene to have a scale of 1.000, I specified my object size in millimeters very precisely, and then when I export an STL file, the resulting object is infinitesimal.

On the other hand, when I specified a scene scale value of .001 and specified my dimensions in millimeters, the object was precisely the size it should have been.

At the moment, I'm considering changing the scale of my scene from 1 to .001 but this will change all of the dimensions of my objects which I must go back and fix. Additionally, the current part is designed using Imperial units (because it needs to interface with actual real-life bearings and screws measured in imperial units) and I have no idea what scale value to use.

Any assistance here would be greatly appreciated.

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