# Is there a way to scale by an absolute distance, rather than a percentage?

Let's say I have a ring of vertices that I'd like to scale down, and I'd like them all to move by a fixed amount, like 1mm (I usually work with metric units). What's the easiest way to achieve this? If I type '1' it just sets the scale to 1 and they don't move.

The only way I've come up with to do this is to extrude a vertex along one of the axes by 1mm, and then snap the scale movement to that vertex.

This is a pain though, and if I don't have a vertex that happens to lie on an axis I can't do the little extrusion trick and it doesn't work at all. I do a lot of modeling for 3d printing, and I end up needing to do this all the time. Hoping there's a better way to do this.

• – gandalf3
May 16 '15 at 5:34

Think I discovered what I was looking for here. Push/Pull from the Mesh->Transform menu seems to work exactly like scaling, except that it moves all the vertices by a specific amount. You can restrict the axes and change the pivot point to the cursor, median point, etc.

Select the vertices you want to scale, then use Shrink/Flatten operation with Alt+S shortcut, then input the distance you want to move the vertices in or out and hit Enter to complete the operation.

• This works perfectly in some cases, but it only moves the vertices along their normals. In the above example it works because the normals happen to be pointing directly towards the object center, but if they're pointing anywhere else it will move them in the wrong direction.
– Mike
May 16 '15 at 0:11
• @Mike yes it shrink or flatten along the vertex normals. May 16 '15 at 0:13
• @Mike there is no other precise way to do that unless you use array modifier to create your model. May 16 '15 at 0:17
• Actually, it looks like Push/Pull works perfectly.
– Mike
May 16 '15 at 4:07

In some situation you can add an absolute distance to a shape by using the "solidify modifier". For example if you want to have 5cm of thickness around a long cube. The modifier can also be combined with a vertex group to achieve a more custom result.

Select vertices, make face (F),addon Offset Edges > move. Delete face (XF).