Scaling in Sketchup is the most encountered problem by 3D model designers. I too struggled with it for a long time until I came up with a solution.
A lot of people are afraid of scaling as they believe that it involves some critical or Euclid level math in it.
But that is far from the actual truth!
As a matter of fact, you will find that there’s absolutely no math involved in scaling.
At the onset, I would like to mention that something that can really help you work better with this designing software is the best mouse for SketchUp with its ability to hit with accuracy and precision and other features like onboard memory, and customizable buttons.
Without much ado, let’s find out more on how to scale in SketchUp…
How to Scale in SketchUp?
Here are the exact steps that you need to take:
Begin with A Box:
Draw a simple box. What you have to do is go to the toolbar and select the rectangle tool. Alternatively, you can do so by pressing R on your keyboard. Then using the push/pull tool, delicately pull the box to transform it into a cube.
Measure the Box:
Once the box has transformed into a cube, measure it. You can do so by clicking thrice on any edge. This step will select the entire object.
Then select the tape measure tool available on the toolbar. If you are a MAC user, you can do this by selecting the Options button from the keyboard, while Windows users can press CTRL.
When you have selected the tape measure tool, click once on the beginning point, and once on the ending point. By this, you will be able to measure the dimensions of the edges you wish to change.
You’ll see the length box residing on the right corner at the bottom side. Click on that and enter your desired dimension of the cube.
When you have entered your desired dimensions – Sketchup will confirm if you want to make the changes. Hit the enter button.
But before you do that, let me tell you that if you have other objects, hitting the enter button will resize them too. If you wish to resize all of them, go ahead. If you don’t want to, keep reading.
What To do If You Don’t Want All Objects to Be Resized In Sketchup?
Grouping is the solution if you don’t want all objects to be resized in Sketchup.
Draw some more objects alongside your cube. Then group all of them. To group, right-click on the cube you have designed and select the “make group” option. You can also duplicate the cube in order to have a few more copies of your cube.
Now, double click on the cube that is grouped with other objects and selects the tape measure tool. Enter your desired size and press enter button!
Sometimes, Sketchup sends another dialogue box asking whether you want to resize the active group or component.
If such a dialogue box pops up, you need to click on Yes. By doing so, you should be able to resize the cube.
However, if you select any object that is not grouped and resize it, all objects drawn in the model will be automatically resized.
A Few Game-Changer Tips about Scaling in Sketchup
Resize The Face Only
If you have drawn the entire object and you wish to alter only the face, you can do so without much hassle.
Just resize the face of the shape or the object, and Sketchup will handle other things connected to it.
This feature of Sketchup has eased down the problem of many 3D developers. For instance, if you draw a cylinder and want to resize its one face only. You can just go ahead and do it and the rest will be auto-resized.
Things That Happen Inside When You Resize
Well, I have come across a lot of people who don’t know that when they resize the outer part – everything inside is automatically resized.
If you are resizing something that is grouped and has materials inside, it will resize everything. I believe, if materials are used inside, this can be problematic sometimes. However, if simple colors are used, it is not going to create a problem for you.
You can avoid this by opening the entire model and selecting the components separately.
If you wish to resize the entire object – no worries! Scale it all at once.
Where is The Green Handle?
As a beginner, I always freaked out when I didn’t see the green handle that appears when you are selecting something. I could still grab it but it wasn’t visible to me. I almost broke my keyboard by hitting it continuously to find my green handle.
Later I realized that there is a little part of my drawing coming in the way that has covered the green handle. But that’s not even an issue. Just don’t stop fluttering your mouse over the area you expect the handle to be. It will eventually pop up.
Messing the Scaling:
I almost struggled every time to equally scale the object from both sides. I used to scale one part and struggled in balancing the opposite side of it. The struggle journey continued until I found out that if you press CTRL and then drag the side, the other one will be automatically adjusted. So you do not have to worry about balancing both sides and waste your energy on it.
I know how irritating and frustrating it can be!
Sketchup is a pretty feature-rich 3D modeling program that offers an array of options to 3D designers.
Personally speaking, when I started working on it, I struggled with each and every step – even remembering tools and simple tasks such as copy and paste. But now I have gained proficiency and can even make a roof in SketchUp quite easily. It seems like a piece of cake to me.
If you are a beginner – don’t worry! You will gain a strong grip over it and ace it! But the rule is to stay consistent and patient. Do not panic if you face a brick wall because there is always a way out.
Keep practicing and I am sure you will become a pro sooner than later!
Hamza Khan, founder of RoadMice.com is a technocrat with years of experience in dealing with computer gadgetry and peripherals. He loves reviewing various computer accessories to give a clear objective to his readers. When he is not busy reviewing his site, he can be seen spending time with his family and friends.