How to use the Scale tool
SketchUp makes increasing or decreasing the size of elements in your artwork easy, says Mark Roosien.
As you develop your models in SketchUp (you can download the free version of the program, SketchUp Make, at www.sketchup.com), you’ll often find yourself rescaling individual features, or perhaps even an entire model. Particularly during the early stages of a 3D model, things can change rapidly and frequently. It’s just a natural part of the design process.
Fortunately, SketchUp enables you to resize individual lines, surfaces, components or entire models in just a few clicks. This is achieved by using the Scale tool. Here I’ll use a (very rough) model of a robotic walker, to demonstrate the scaling process in three simple steps.
1 Always consider the human scale
Every time you open a new file in SketchUp, you’re greeted by a 2D human figure. I always use this figure as a reference to set up the overall size of a model. In this case, the walker should be bigger. Select all walker components with the Select icon. Now select the Scale tool. A yellow box appears around the selected model.
2 Resize the model
Select one of the green cubes on the end-points of the yellow box to resize the model. Move your mouse to enlarge the model. The walker has a nicer overall size now, but the main body should be a bit flatter. Click one of the main body components, choose Edit Component, and then select all the lines and surfaces in it.
3 Manipulate individual features
Click the Scale tool again. The yellow box reappears, but only around the selected features in the component. This time, use the green box on top of the yellow box and move it downwards. The component (and its duplicate) is flattened. If you like, move your mouse in the opposite direction to stretch the component. It’s that easy.