Join Nick Kloski for an in-depth discussion in this video Measuring your model, part of Meshmixer: 3D Print Prep Basics.
- [Instructor] This video is on measuring your model. Certainly, you can use Meshmixer models in lots of other places in gaming and all of that. And resizing is somewhat important there, although you can do that on the fly. But generally, this is for 3D printing and making sure that what you model inside of Meshmixer 3D prints at an appropriate size for what you need to print it at. So first off, I have the default bunny here and you go to Analysis, to Units and Dimensions.
So if this were to printout, this bunny, I'm rotating it a little bit here, would print at 50 millimeters tall by 51 wide by 39 deep and you can see that up here. And also remember that in the 3D printing world, the Z-axis is the up axis. But in many of 3D modeling tools, including Meshmixer, the Y-axis is up. So you just have to remember that in Meshmixer, when you see the Y-axis, that is denoting the up axis.
And we can see that also if we go to View, Show Grid, this is sitting on the ground plane going up 50 millimeters in the Y. I've said this in other videos but super very quickly, if you go into your Preferences here, under File, you can flip Z-Y axis on Import-Export. So that when you export this to your 3D printing program, the Y-axis will be flipped to the Z-axis so that this will appear appropriately on your 3D printer.
So changing these numbers is as simple as changing this 50. So let's remember this is 39.66. If we change this 50 to 100, then click somewhere else, this has doubled, this has doubled, and this is doubled. So now, this is 100 millimeters. So note that the model hasn't actually changed on your screen but this is now a 100 millimeter bounding box. This is changing the size expressed in the file but not necessarily what you're seeing.
It didn't jump size or anything like that. If you actually look at an STL file, and I'll actually show it to you here. I'll export this to a bunny in STL ASCII format on to my desktop, and I will bring up the STL in another window here. Hold on one second. The STL file format does not actually denote any sort of measurement system at all.
And let me actually bring this up here so that you can see it. This is what an STL file looks like. It just says, it says the name, of solid bunny. And then it just starts drawing triangles. It says, "The normal is here." Which is the direction that the triangle is facing and then, the three loops of the triangles are this one, this one, and this one. And so the STL just starts building triangle by triangle.
And if we scroll down, you can see that this is a huge huge document of just triangles. But nowhere inside of this does the STL file say that these measurements are in inches or millimeters or light years or anything. Which is why when you upload these models on to online 3D printing, it asks you, "Did you model in millimeters or inches?" Because this just comes in as 100 units.
But it doesn't know if it's 100 millimeters or 100 yards or 100 kilometers. You have to tell it that this is actually 100 millimeters. So we can say 100 right here and if we say 100 inches, it asks that if I want to keep X Y Z the same or convert it. So if we have 100 millimeters and convert it, it turns into 3.937 inches so now we see inches are here.
If we change inches to millimeters and say keep. If you notice, we have 3.937 here, it turns into 3.937 millimeters here. So if you get this in via a scanning program and the scanning program says that this is 3.9 units up here, you can really really make sure that you're in millimeters centimeters or inches by clicking on this and just saying, keep X Y Z the same.
I see this quite a bit is that this will come in as 100 units from a scanning program. But I really don't want this to be 100 inches. I want this to be 100 millimeters but I want to say, keep X Y Z the same. So this 100 units turns into 100 millimeters which is perfectly acceptable for printing. Now, you can also change the size if you want to move this 102.5, 105, this is the snapping increment right here.
We can turn snapping off and now we're doing it very very kind of gradually, you know, 106.8196 like that. If you want to snap, you click on the S, and I say, I want my snapping increment to be five units. So now it's 100.0063, 105, 110, 115 so it does that. And it's scaling it in all directions. So that is basically the main way of finding out what the end size of this will be once it is 3D printed.
So now, you certainly can go into edit to transform and change the scale of this and you see that it's 115 millimeters. And we're scaling the whole thing right now. I clicked on the center a little white square, and I'm dragging this up, you can also change it in certain directions by clicking these boxes. And you see that the Y size is now dropped to 60. It's now dropped to 36. So you can change it like that.
Another way of changing it and this actually is changing the size on the screen. So some people may like to use the transform better. This is changing the size that way. The bounding box under here, under edit, actually under Analysis, and Unit and Dimensions, doesn't change the bounding box. It changes the bounding box but not the size on the screen. So then the last thing here, is to measure, I would invite you to go look at the Measure tools under the Reference section, under Analysis and Measure.
There's a lot of different cool things. This is the thickness of the model. So as I'm clicking inside of here ... I'll turn off Wireframe, as I'm clicking and dragging ... Actually, I'll turn on Wireframe. As I'm clicking and dragging this little line, is showing the closest thing, the closest skin on the other side of the model. I talk about this in the measure section. This is the current measurement, 68. This is the highest measurement read, and the lowest measurement read during this operation.
So now that I click again, those numbers are reset. If I click just once, the numbers are all the same because the highest and lowest is just the same. But as I click and drag around, you'll see different numbers pop up. But I would invite you to go look at the Measure reference section, to see about how to measure your model including a really useful one, this one, which is Arbitrary measurement. Where you click, you control click one place and then drag another and can see the distance between the two.
In this case, it's 88 millimeters between here and here. So that is how you measure your model in specific ways. You can also do it using a lot more fancy ways like doing things like bringing in a cube. The cube is set to a very specific size. You can set the cube to 100 millimeters, Accept that. And then you can do things like using the attract to target command to kind of suck the bunny to different edges of this, or different things like that.
You can use these cubes or cylinders in various specific ways to get very specific measurements to force the bunny, you know, in certain place to get to a certain measurement and all of that. But for just reading the measurement, certainly going to the Analysis, Units, Dimensions tool is the way to go. And last thing if you have set up your 3D printer, you can say View, up here, and you have your different options for Show Wireframe, Boundaries, you can say, Show Printer Bed. This is set to a very small printer right now.
If you go into Analysis for Overhangs. You can kind of set a printer there. If you click on print, you can say, Autodesk Ember. You can switch this to any of these printers or choose more. I'm going to choose the printer that I have, the Type A Series 2014. Now you can see that the Type A is right there. And you can kind of see where the bunny would print. And you can transform things like the bunny and things later on in there as well.
But then also gives you a rough idea of how much volume your model will take in your model of printer. That's an overview of different dimensions in measuring.
This course was recorded and produced by HoneyPoint3D. We're pleased to host this training in our library.
- Measuring your model
- Fixing a non-manifold model
- Cutting and fixing holes
- Setting up your virtual print bed
- Preparing for dual extrusion
- Dual extrusion tips