I just started getting into 3d printing. At first I scaled my models down to a few cm tall in blender, but found them nearly microscopic at print time. After some fiddling with netfab, it seems like 1m/1bu = 1mm in print world. Is it common practice to keep the model in bu and let the printer software scale the object? Could this be an .stl export setting I missed? Is there a way to match the two environments consistently? Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ I would keep it as-is rather than making a near microscopic model in Blender, as decimal rounding may make your model less accurate than it would be if you made it larger in Blender. $\endgroup$ – Keavon Oct 19 '14 at 23:22

Inside Blender, 1 Blender Unit equals 1 meter, however, when importing, the software you are using could perceive arbitrary units as being equal to something other than 1 meter.

There are a couple of ways to solve this problem:

1. Change the Scene's scale factor

To do so, go to the Properties panel, then under the Scene tab, find the Units subsection and change the Scale field.

enter image description here

When set to 1, 1BU = 1m, but if set to 10, 1BU = 10m; Pretty straight forward.

2. Change the exporter's scale factor

To do this, when exporting to .stl, before hitting Export, you can change the scale field, located on the bottom left corner.

enter image description here

3. Scale the object up in Blender

Hit S and the enter your scale factor/ratio, for instance 10, and the object will be 10 times bigger.

4. Scale the object up in the printing software

You figure that out.


On the right, "Scene" menu (icon has a cylinder, a sphere and a lamp) go to "units" / "unit represents" and choose your units of measure. I usually work in "millimeters". Cura slices it and scales it the way I want.


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