When starting the blender, there is always a cube on the floor. The floor is actually a grid. My question is how to make this grid bigger so that we can measure big stuff?
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I assume you are talking about this grid in perspective view...
Since your goal is to measure things relative to a grid, you can use orthographic view to do that, which makes it easier to construct geometry. Here's how it looks like:
this is the same cube in orthographic projection viewed from above. It is easy to get there. Assuming you are still using the default key mapping (you havn;t changed the keyboard settings) you can get to orthographic by pressing 5 on the numpad and then pressing 7 on the numpad for top view, and 3 or 1 on numpad for other directions.
Hope that helps. If further clarification is needed, feel free to add a comment.
So you insert a plain, which is 2x2 initially, as you can see.
now I scale it to 50x50...
That just go big. now I get to orthographic view with numpad 5...
And now I switch to top view...
As you can see now, the grid is now spread in all directions infinitely. You can zoom out to see that...
this is the same 50x50 plain.
What you might complain that you can't see the grid inside the plain? Well, for that just switch to wireframe (*by pressing z). Here's how that looks like..
That's one way of getting what you want.
You can change the size of the grid to accommodate your needs, or you can change the scale of the whole scene.
To change the scale of the grid in the 3D view.
Press N to reveal the properties shelf.
On the Display section you can change the grid floor number of lines and scale. The left side of the screen will show info on the scale of the units used.
From the wiki:
To change the scale used for the scene:
Other way to deal with large (or very small) objects is changing the scale on Properties->Scene->Units->Scale
Note that changing the scale for the scene in the Units Section will affect the size of the grid, but changing the size of the grid in the 3d viewport will not change the scene's scale.
Besides the floor grid, Blender has some built in measuring tools that you might find useful.
If you go on Edit mode (Tab), you can access the Mesh Display tab, that allows you to display different measurements (length, angle, areas) of the selected edges or faces of an object.
When dealing with very large or very small objects they might seem to disappear from view due to the clip distance on the viewport. If that happens you might need to change the start and end clip values.
See this question: Why does part of my model disappear when I zoom in on it in the 3D Viewport?