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Prepare your models for 3D printing with ZBrush, the popular program for 3D modeling and digital sculpting. Learn how to measure your models with real world units, so everything prints at the right size; save on material costs by hollowing out your models; and make sure your colors print true. Author/artist/3D aficionado Ryan Kittleson also shares some advanced tips and tricks for getting the best results from your particular printer.
This course was created by Ryan Kittleson. We're honored to host this training in our library.
Now that we know how to measure distance in Zbrush, let's look at how to scale an object. Now when you're working on Zbrush, your model could be all different sizes, and for the most part when you're sculpting it doesn't really matter how big or small it is. But when you want to print it, the size is very important. So for this reason, we need to have a precise way to change the size of objects. Let's see how to get this done. Let's go in the right hand pallet to the Geometry menu. And we want to open up, the Size sub menu.
These sliders will tell us at a glance what the height, width, and depth of our model is. And you can even change it here. We can change the size of everything all together at once, or we could actually change any one these all by itself. For the most part I don't want to touch these individual axis sliders. So I'm going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. Now the number in the X, Y, Z slider corresponds to whichever number is highest in the individual axis. So this model's longest dimension is its height.
And that's the Y dimension. So you can see X, Y, Z has the same value as the Y-axis because that's the biggest number. Now here's where things get weird. Let's say we're measuring our item in millimeters. And we want to print this about the size of your open hand. So an open hand is about 200 millimeters from wrist to the tip of the middle finger. So let's say we want to slide this up. And what you'll notice is that the slider maxes out at a 100.
Now does this mean that you can't have anything bigger than a 100 units? No. You can still enlarge the model in other ways. So I'll hit F, so we can zoom out and see the whole thing again. And let's hit W to go into our Move tool. And what I want to do is drag this out now, in height. And you can see, that's about a 100. And it says centimeters. Let's actually change this really quick under Preferences and Transpose Units. Let's change this to millimeters. Okay, so, now it's currently 100 millimeters tall, we want to get it to 200.
Okay, so let's enlarge this model. Let's actually go into the scale manipulator. And I'm going to zoom out a little bit more, and let's just go ahead and click and drag on this. Now ZBrush, when you have a large model the scale actually tends to go really slowly. So, a faster way to get there is with the Deformation palette, and let's just drag up Size here. Okay. So that's moving much more quickly. Let's drag out a new manipulator and just see how tall that is.
Okay. Getting close. Just a little bit bigger to get it to about 200. Zoom out a little bit more. Just draw out another manipulator. And close enough to 14. Okay. Now, let's go back to the Geometry and Size sub-palettes. You can see here all of these are reporting 100 as there value. Now, if something is larger than a 100, these sliders are just going to max out at a 100. Clearly, Pixologic didn't have 3D printing in mind when they made these tools. So, we have to find a workaround to measure things accurately.
One thing that you can do is to reinterpret your scale as larger units. So instead of thinking of a model as 200 millimeters, we could think of it as 20 centimeters. So, I'm going to go to Preferences > Transpose Units > Set Units and let's change this back to cm. And now we want the Scale to come down. So we're just going to drag and size now until about 20. So 20 centimeters is 200 millimeters.
Go back into Draw mode, hit F to zoom in. So as you can see, dealing with the size of an object is very important when modeling for 3D printing. By paying attention to scale now, we can work with objects so that everything comes out as expected when they're printed.
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