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Scaling Objects with no Scale Factor
Tip# 3219 By Vladislav Bronin On 14-Jun-2009
Rated By 1 users
Categories : 2D Editing
Software type : AutoCAD 2010
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Scale Objects Without Calculating a Scale Factor.

Vladislav Bronin shares his method of scaling objects without calculating a scale factor.

"At work there are many metric drawings or site measurements in metric units that should be put on drawings with imperial units. Or another case, you have to downscale details on your drawing, let's say, in 1.77 times. Here the headache starts.

"You search for calculators, open AutoCAD internal calculator, write the number down on paper to type it in your commands... Grrr …But there is an old, good, but forgotten trick. Let’s say, you have a measured size of one of your objects equal to 187.65 millimeters and you need to scale it down to inches. Type Scale command, select the desired object, specify the base point, and when the computer prompts for scale factor, type 18765/2540.

"The little complexity is that during the Scale command you can't do arithmetic actions with noninteger numbers. Therefore, you have to multiply both numbers by 10s to get both integers. Or, if we'll return to detail downscaling by 1.77, this will be written just as 100/177 (instead of 1/1.77). Less unnecessary actions, less headaches, and more accurate work."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is a great tip that I have used for a long time too. Do your math in the scale factor. It works great on changing text sizes that are set for one scale factor, but now you need it for another. For example, let’s say your text was drawn for a scale factor of 1:80. Now you need to make the text for a scale factor of 1:30. You can do the math and then enter the scale factor, but with Vladislav’s tip, all you need to do is start the scale command and type in 30/80. How do you know which scale factor is the numerator or the denominator? The scale you want the object to be at goes on top (30 in our example) while the scale the object is goes on the bottom (80 in our case.) think of it as new scale divided by old scale.


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User comments
Comment by Cervantes,Eric
Posted on 2009-06-15 13:34:44
I am a bit unfamiliar with scale factors, however when we here at our office need to scale down, say a part made in Europe, and we know what the imperial units should be, we use ALIGN. First, draw a line that is the desired length. Then, on the object to be scaled, select a the corner point that corresponds to the length desired. Set that as the first source point and the first destination point. Then, select the other end, and set that as the second source point, but this time, change the destination point to be the other end of the line that you drew to the desired size. It will prompt for more points, if neccesary, but typically two is all that is required. When finished entering points, you will be prompted SCALE OBJECTS BASED ON ALIGNMENT POINTS? enter yes, and there you have it.
Comment by Bianchi,Mark
Posted on 2009-06-15 13:38:06
This is useful but since it only allows integers it is not very powerful. What I did was add the following line to the acad.pgp file: ], *CAL . This assigned the ] as an alias for the calculator. Now anytime that I need to do math, in any command not just scale, I just type '] to start the calculator while in the command. Since the keys are right next to each other, it is really easy to use.
Comment by Bentz,Don
Posted on 2009-06-16 08:40:05
You can use the transparent "calc" command and use decimal numbers. Start the scale command then type 'calc (note the apostrophe). You can also use this method for offsetting objects etc. Another method for scaling is to use the reference option. Begin the scale command and type "R" for reference then enter the first number, say 25.4 then the second, say 1.