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Scaling Your Model or Parts of Your Model

In SketchUp, you can resize and reshape your model based on the relative sizes of your edges and faces. Here's a quick overview of the available options:

  • Scale your entire model with the Tape Measure tool.
  • Resize entities while maintaining their proportions with either the Tape Measure tool or the Scale tool.
  • Stretch or squish an entity to scale with the Scale tool. For example, stretch a cabinet so it's twice its current width or narrow a car by 5 percent.
  • Scale a single component or every component in your model.

The following video shows how the Scale tool can scale geometry proportionally or stretch its dimensions.

If you're looking for details about scaling your entire model or detailed steps that walk you through SketchUp's scaling features, check out the sections later in this article.

Table of Contents
  1. Scaling your entire model
  2. Scaling a selection proportionally
  3. Stretching or squishing geometry to scale
  4. Scaling components

Scaling your entire model

When you want to scale your entire model, use the Tape Measure tool.

Tip: The Tape Measure tool enables you to scale precisely by specifying the desired dimension between two points. This line is referred to as the reference line.

To scale an entire model, such as the floor plan in this example, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Tape Measure tool () or press the T key. The cursor changes to a tape measure.
  2. Measure the distance between two points on your model. In this example, say you know the width of the stairs needs to be 48 inches. Here's how to measure that distance:
    1. Click one end of a line segment to set the starting point of a measurement. Use the SketchUp inference engine to make sure you click the exact point.
    2. Move the mouse to the end point of the same line segment. As you move the mouse, a temporary measuring tape line, with arrows at each end, stretches out from your starting point.
    3. Click at the other end of the line segment, as shown in the figure. The final distance appears in the Measurements box.
  3. Type a new size for the line, which appears in the Measurements box, and press Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X). This size is the basis for a proportional rescale of your model. In this example, the reference line is scaled to 48”.

    Tip: You can use imperial or metric units. SketchUp understands both. Just be sure to specify your desired unit if it's not your template's default unit of measurement.
  4. When the following dialog box asks whether you want to resize your model, click the Yes button, and the model is rescaled proportionally.

Scaling a selection proportionally

When you want to resize geometry within your model and maintain its proportions, you can use either the Tape Measure tool or the Scale tool. Your choice depends on how you want to set the scale:

  • To base the scale on the size of a specific line, use the Tape Measure. For example, you find out one room in your floor plan can only be 10 feet wide, but the rest of the floor plan can stay the same. Or you know a statue must be 3 meters tall.
  • To resize your selection based on a percentage of your original size, use the Scale tool. For example, choose this method if you want to increase your selection's size by 200% or decrease it to 50%.

To scale part of your model with the Tape Measure, follow these steps:

  1. With the Select tool (), select the entities you want to scale.
  2. Context-click your selection and, from the context menu that appears, select Make Group.
  3. Double-click the group. A box of dashed lines appears around the group, indicating that you've opened the group, as shown in the figure.
  4. Select the Tape Measure tool () or press the T key.
  5. Click one end point of your reference line. Use the SketchUp inference engine to make sure you click the exact end point.
  6. Click the other end point of your reference line. The current distance appears in the Measurements box, as shown in the figure. In the example, say you need to decrease this width to 10 feet, due to issues on the site where the floor plan will be built.
  7. Type a new size for the line (in this example, you type 10') and press the Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X) key. This size will be used as the basis for a proportional rescale of your model. SketchUp asks whether you want to resize your group or component.
  8. Click the Yes button, and your selection rescaled proportionally. Check out the result in the following figure. That's a much smaller room.

Note: This process also works with components. See Adding Premade Components and Dynamic Components for an introduction to components. The Scaling components section later in this article explains how scaling only affects a single component or all component instances in a model.

When you want to scale your model proportionally by a percentage, the Scale tool can do the job easily. Imagine you're not sure how to talk to your client about decreasing a room in their floor plan to 10 feet wide, so you model an elephant in the room while you think it over. Here's how to scale that elephant, or any other selection in your model, by a percentage:

  1. With the Select tool (), select the geometry you want to scale. This step is important if you want to scale a complex 3D selection. If you have an easy selection, like a 2D shape or a surface entity, you can skip this step.
  2. Select the Scale tool () or press the S key. A yellow box with green grips appears around your selection, as shown in the figure. If you skipped Step 1, click the geometry with the Scale tool cursor.
  3. For a uniform scaling, or one that keeps your selection proportional, click a corner scaling grip. The selected grip and the opposite scaling grip turn red, as shown in the following figure, and in the Measurements box, you see a scale of 1.00, which means your geometry is at its original size, or scaled to 100%.
  4. Move the cursor to scale the entity. The Measurements box displays the scale dynamically. Press the Esc key at any point to start over. To set the scale from the center instead of the opposite corner, hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or the Option key (Mac OS X) while you move the red corner grip.
  5. Click to set your selection's new scale. Or type the desired scale dimensions and press Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X).

    Note: Technically, in Step 5, you can type a dimension, such as 2m or 3", instead of a scale dimension. However, scaling based on a dimension with the Tape Measure is generally more intuitive.

Stretching or squishing geometry to scale

Sometimes, you need to scale only one dimension of a model (or maybe two). To do so, use the Scale tool's edge or face grips. Here's how the process works, using a cabinet as an example:

  1. With the Select tool (), select the geometry you want to scale. This step is important for a complex a 3D selection. Skip this step for an easy selection, like a 2D shape or a surface entity.
  2. Select the Scale tool () or press the S key. A yellow box with green grips appears around your selection. If you skipped Step 1, click the geometry with the Scale tool cursor.
  3. Click an edge or face grip (not a corner grip). The selected grip and the opposite scaling grip turn red, as shown in the figure, and in the Measurements box, you see a scale of 1.00, which means your geometry is at its original size, or scaled to 100%. The Measurements box also displays the axis direction for your scale, such as Blue Scale or Red Scale. If you select an edge grip, you see two axes, such as Red, Green Scale.
  4. Move the cursor to scale the entity. The Measurements box displays the scale dynamically. Press the Esc key at any point to start over. To set the scale from the center instead of the opposite edge or face, hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) or the Option key (Mac OS X) while you move the red corner grip.
  5. Click to set your selection's new scale. Or type the desired scale dimensions, and press Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X). To set the scale on two or even three axes, type two or three numbers, each separated by a comma, such as 3,2. In this example, you see the original cabinet was scaled to be twice as wide but half the height.

Tip: If you have trouble controlling the scale direction, try repositioning the drawing axes to your selection. To do so, select Tools > Axes from the menu bar. With the Axes tool cursor, click corner you want to use to align the drawing axes. Then move the cursor so that it snaps the edge to which you want to align your inferred axis and click to confirm the change. (The inference is red, green, or blue depending on the direction you move your cursor.) See Adjusting the Drawing Axes for details about working with the drawing axes.

Scaling components

You can use these scale techniques on components as well as everyday geometry. (See Adding Premade Components and Dynamic Components for an introduction to components.) When you scale a component, however, you can resize a single instance of the component or all component instances in your model:

  • Scaling a component changes only the individual instance. This feature allows you to have differently scaled versions of the same component in your model. To scale a single instance, click the component instance with the Scale tool and use the grips to set the new scale, using any Scale tool technique explained earlier in this article. The following figure shows scaling a door component downloaded from the 3D Warehouse.
  • Scaling an entity within a component scales every component instance. To scale an entity in a component, you need to open the component by double-clicking it. Dashed lines appear around the component, and the lines and faces within the component become editable, as shown in the following figure. With the component open, you can, for example, scale a line entity. This action affects the component definition and, therefore, all instances of the component are scaled to match. With the component open, you can select a line, and therefore can scale with either the Scale tool or the Tape Measure tool, as explained earlier in this article. Note, however, that a uniform scale using the Tape Measure tool is often the easiest way to scale all components in a model.
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