LA 2101 : Project 5.0 – Scaling Your Model

For our digital model, each person’s plot is 3200 feet square and contains some combination of terrain, water, vegetation, and architecture. For our physical model, each plot will be 8 inches square and contain only terrain. This necessitates simplifying your digital model and scaling it down to 8 inches square, in preparation for using the laser cutter or 3d printer.

  1. Backup your model.
    • As always, you should use ‘save as’ to create a new copy of your model before proceeding.
    • From this point on, you will maintain one version of your model for the digital part of the project and another for the physical version.
  2. Create a single editable poly.
    • Make sure you have no hidden or frozen objects. (Right-click, unfreeze all. Right-click, unhide all.)
    • Delete all layers other than your terrain, including the plot boundary and number. Press ‘h’ to confirm that only your terrain remains.
    • The terrain should be a single editable poly. Select it and go to the modify panel to confirm this. It should have only one modifier – editable poly. If this is not the case, make it so by right-clicking in the viewport and choosing ‘convert to: editable poly’.
  3. Weld all vertices.
    • With your terrain selected, go into the vertex sub-object mode in the modify panel.
    • Press ‘ctrl+a’ to select all the vertices. Under ‘edit vertices’ hit the settings button next to the ‘weld’ button. You will see the weld settings in the viewport. Set the weld threshold to 2″ and hit the check mark to weld vertices. Exit sub-object mode.
  4. Scale the model.
    • Select your terrain. Hover your cursor over the scale transform button and make sure it says ‘select and uniform scale’. If it does not, click and hold on the button until the other scale options appear and select the right one.
    • Right-click the button to bring up the scale transform type-in. For the ‘offset:world’ field, enter a value of .02083 percent and hit enter. The model should have scaled evenly on all 3 axes.
    • To check this, use the ‘tape’ object under ‘helpers’ in the create panel. With vertex snaps on, click and drag from one corner of the model’s base to one of the nearest two corners. Confirm that the model is now 8 inches square by reading the length field in the create panel. When you are done, delete the tape you just made.
  5. Center the model.
    • In the hierarchies panel, turn on ‘affect pivot only’.
    • Turn on snaps and make sure that only vertex snaps are active. Move the pivot point to one of the corners of the base of the model. Turn off ‘affect pivot only’.
    • With the move transform tool activated, type in ‘0’ for the x, y, and z values at the bottom of the viewport.

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