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Imagine I have a simple bowl. What is the best way to scale the entire object so that the base has an accurate diameter of 50mm? In effect I need to scale the object by the dimensions of the bottom face. How can it be done? enter image description here

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Objects with circular symmetry almost beg for the Screw modifier
Using only a profile, you can precisely adjust the diameter of any part.

enter image description here

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Someone will probably give an elegant method, here are some trashy ones (if I've correctly understood your question):

You could separate (as new object) an edge (that is aligned with X or Y) from the bottom of the bowl, open the N panel > Item > Transform, select the bowl object, shift select the edge, scale up the edge until you reach the wanted dimension, press Shift while scaling if you want more precision:

enter image description here

Or parent the bowl to the edge, scale the edge, or type the good Scale values so that it reaches the good Dimension value. Don't forget to apply the scale afterwards.

You could use a measure tool: Duplicate 2 vertices of the bottom of your bowl and fill an edge between them, activate Edge Length in the Viewport Overlays panel, scale up your whole mesh until you reach the wanted length:

enter image description here

You can also activate the MeasureIt addon, select the edge, open the N panel > View > MeasureIt Tools, click on Show, click on Segment, and its length will display (you can remove the length display if you click on the X or Delete all a bit further down). Scale up your bowl until you get the wanted length:

enter image description here

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