Understanding Scale

Video: https://youtu.be/9Ue9j-VspZM

Instructions from Video:

Scale is the ratio of units on paper to units in real life. A scale of 1/4″ = 1′-0″ means that every foot of the actual model is represented by 1/4″ on paper. When you are working in model view, you are working in a scaled drawing environment. To see the scale settings, select View>View Manager.

In the View Manager dialog box, the Model view and drawing sheet views are listed. As you select a view on the left, the corresponding View Properties will appear on the right. Each view will have a scale. For this example, the scale of the Model view is ¼”=1’-0” or 1:48.  This is important to note. If you are importing elements into your model view, you want to ensure they match the scale of the model environment. Each of the drawing sheets can also have a scale and this can be a different scale from your model view.

Select Close to exit the dialog box.

If you change the scale, your 2D plan does not scale on the model screen. It will only be scaled on paper when you print the drawing. Changing the scale has no effect in 3D views, neither on the screen nor in printouts. This is because a model being viewed in 3D does not have concrete measurements as a flat, 2D view has.

For this sample model, drawn in the ¼” = 1’-0” drawing environment, we will insert it onto a drawing sheet at 2 different scales to show you the effect that scale has on the plan.

Select a drawing sheet tab at the bottom of the screen, to move to the worksheet environment. In the worksheet environment, select Insert>Smartview>Define a Smartview.

In the Insert View dialog box, the 2D floor plan view will appear on the right and the settings for inserting that view will be on the left. One of the properties is Scale. You can change the scale from the drop-down list. One element that will not change when the scale is changed is the text size because they are specified in real-world units. For example, if you inserted text that had a 1/2” text height setting, the text will be 1/2” on paper regardless of the view scale or what the text looks like on the screen. Text is at a consistent height so all drawings on one sheet look consistent regardless of their scale. You can see this by changing the scale of this floorplan view. As the scale is changed the text will look bigger or smaller in relation to the scaled floor plan. The text is staying at the same ½” height but the scale of the floorplan is changing. Let’s insert the plan at ¼”=1-0, select Insert to insert this view.

Left-click to place it on the drawing sheet. Now we will reinsert it at ½”=1’ to show the difference.

Select Insert>Smartview>Define a Smartview. In the Insert View dialog box, change the scale to ½”=1’ and click insert. Left-click to insert it beside the first view. Notice that the text sizes are the same, they remain consistent, however, the scale of the inserted view is different. Remember that worksheet views also are scaled environments. This worksheet view is a ¼”=1’ environment. So if I measure the initial view it will measure correctly, if I measure the 2nd view it will be 2x the size of the measurement since it’s scale, 1/2 “ = 1’,  is twice as big as the scaled worksheet environment of 1/4 “. You could use this to your advantage, if you have a smaller piece of paper and need to print a larger floorplan, you can insert the view at 1/8”=1’. I will insert another at 1/8” = 1 so we can see the difference when we print all three drawings that are at different scales.

When a plan is printed, the print can also be scaled if you need it to fit on a page. Select File>Print. The Print dialog box will appear. In the lower-left is the Print Scaling section. Currently, it is set to Fit to Page. This means it will take the drawing and scale it to fit it on the size of the paper you use. All scale factors set are disregarded. If I click the drop-down list and select Print to Scale, it will then use the scale factor from the worksheet environment, which was 1/4 “ and try to make the drawing fit on the size of the paper. With a letter size of the paper, this would be impossible to fit on one sheet since the original title block is 24”x36”  so, it shows how to take many sheets and put them together to print it at scale and piece together for a 24”x36”. I, however, can zoom in on one portion of my drawing sheet and only print that section out to scale. In the Print Area portion of this dialog box, it is currently set to All [Extents] which means it will try to print everything that is in the working sheet environment. By toggling the drop-down list, select Window. Click the Window button.

You are transported back to the worksheet space sheet where you can left-click and then left-click again to form a window around the portion of the model you want to print. For this example, window around the plan that was at 1/8” scale.

Back at the Print dialog box, the preview window shows the view and it will fit on the page to scale. That view was altered when it was inserted onto the page, to be 1/8” so it will fit on the smaller paper size to print.

Now If we wanted to, we could adjust the scale of a view so it can be printed.  In the Print Area portion of this dialog box, click the Window button.

Back at the worksheet view, window around the 1/4” floorplan view.

Back at the Print dialog box, the preview window shows the view and it cannot fit, it is too big. That floor plan at a 1/4″ scale is too big for the letter size paper.  It is trying to print out 2 pages to make it work. In the Print Scaling portion of the dialog box, I can adjust the print scale to make it fit on the paper at a scale. It will adjust it the entire view, including the text size, to an alternate scale. Adjusting it to an 1/8” scale will allow it to fit on the paper but remember this will affect the size of the text too.

You can create your model at any scale and insert it onto the working drawing sheets at an alternate scale that you need to fit it on the page you will be printing. Remember that the text size will remain consistent regardless of the inserted scale. The only time the text size will change is if you adjust the scale in the print scaling portion of the Print dialog box. I hope that makes your work easier!