Best practice for having text and dimensions readable if a scale drawing is created from 1:1?

Having drawn up full size a plan of a structure, someone asks for a 1/72 scale version of it.
How can I easily make scale drawings and have the text and dimensions adjust to be readable at different scales ?
Also to become the dimensions of the structure at that scale, so a dimension saying 72 inch would now say 1 inch.

It is by the way at the moment drawn all in TOP view as a trace of an original 2D plan of front and top views.

If I have lines 0.3 thick at 1:1 scale, how can I keep them at 0.3 thick whatever scale is requested ?

Next move is to place front views into front, keep top in top, and create a 3D model.
Dims will be same size, so when I generate 2D at e.g. 1/48 scale I need the dims to be readable, and be the lengths measured AT THAT SCALE.


Hi Steve - I am not sure you need to scale anything - you just need an annotation style that has the correct adjustments.

See if this is on the right track.
Dim_72nd.3dm (33.3 KB)
@Steve1 - as V5,

Hi Pascal,
says its not compatible with V5.

I have selected ‘print’ and pdf A1 and 1inch paper = 72inch model, window, move the print window using centre ‘thing’, hit enter, print to pdf.
View result and 23inches item at left has dim 23inches, though at 1/72 its now 23/72 = 0.319inch on the paper plan printed from the pdf, so the dimension I was hoping to say 0.319inch hasnt altered.

Clearly I will have to physically scale the entire model to get the dims to change, trouble is the dimensions will go thick, I fear I will have to edit all the properties to get them to be in scale, I will need to save it as another file.
and reading an answer to someone asking how to scale, answer was type scale into command line, I did that chose 0,0 and entered 1/72 and got this mess. I want the dims to scale as well in both number (dim length displayed) and style.

Can I scale it in properties somehow or do I select all, ensure layers unlocked, and use scale tool ?
The latter means turning on layers currently off, noting such, scaling all, then turning them off again.
To do so in properties would save locked and not visible layers from having to be ‘on and unlocked’ or so I would hope.


Hi Steve - did you open my V5 file above?


Hi, I opened the file from that link and it said made in a later version and wouldnt open.
try again and now it opens :slight_smile:
I see a 1/64 dim, a 0.0139 and a LARGE 1.0 on edges of a square.
What do I need to do to scale to 1/72 my model and have the dims readable, change to 0.0139 from 1.0 etc ?
as the mess I ended up with is not good. as per image posted.
I need to send the client a series of A4 pdf as tiles for the model, which he can printout and assemble, as a 1/72 plan of something that is twice as big as his house ! When you say not sure need to scale anything how do I get the large structure down to 1/72 for the pdf ? I can print pdf and choose 1inch = 72inch but the dims remain at e.g.1 inch and not 0.0139inch.

Hello - please look at the dimension styles in that file - all I am trying to do is get you dimensions that show correctly and give you 1/72 dimension numbers - if that is not what you need, then fine, it’s my best guess at the moment. The square is one inch by one inch, there are two example dimensions that are not large and show the dimesions at 1/72.


the size of number (text height) for the 0.0139 is OK, I have arrows at tips normally.
So I select that dim, it is inch decimal 72nd in properties.

So how does this work ?

Is it that I have to scale the model using command ‘scale’, watch as all my dims go massive, then select them all and apply that style ?

or can I draw the 1:1 with that style and then it stays a suitable size when scaled ?

I think you are saying alter dims and text and leaders etc to that style after scaling by selecting layer they are hopefully all on, then altering their style.
So for a 1/48 plan I would create a style suitable for viewing for 1/48.

That there is no intelligent auto scaling down of dims and text at different scales chosen as if it were a ‘photograph being scaled down’.

Is that how it is ?



Hi Pascal,
How did you make the 1/72 dimensions ?

If I wanted to scale the drawing to 1/48 and have the dimensions also change so 1inch becomes 0.0208 inch, how should I do that,
would it be the following steps?

  1. selecting everything use command ‘scale’ and enter 1/48 hit enter.
  2. create dimension style 1/48 using Pascals method to create the style.
  3. select all dims and text and apply the 1/48 style.

How is step 2 done ?



Just out of curiosity: why would you want to “scale” (as in Rhino modeling command) the whole drawing to get a “scaled” (as in drawing to scale) output?
Why don’t you just use the scale setting in the print dialogue?

I think he wants the printed dimensions scaled as well - as if he was making a model kit at that scale.

Ah, that would make sense. Thanks.

Hi Steve - each dimension style has a ‘length factor’ under units - you can set the desired factor there.



Getting there, :grinning:
How do I scale lineweights as my 1/72 plan has far too thick lineweights ?
see process now adopted:-

The dimensions at scale is now solved, thanks all.

help says…
Primary Text…Length factor
The conversion factor between Rhino units and alternate units.
so If I have my 1:1 drawing and I am using three different dimension styles on it to suit the space available and importance of the dimensions.
Inches Small
Inches Medium
Inches Large

I would select each in file>Properties and alter Length factor to 1/72 which upon ok becomes 0.013888
I now see a 1inch long dimension featuring that dimension style say 0.01388
one of 660 now says 9.16
This looks after the actual number making it 1/72 :grinning:

Then I go File>print and in ‘Scale’ section use ‘on paper 1 inch = in model 72 inch’
set window to encompass the model for A1 pdf, or for the first tile if A4 pdf, and print to pdf :slight_smile:

result has thick lines :frowning:, though they were ok for showing me traces over a FH9 plan.
Is there a way of scaling the line weights ?
To have to alter them in properties for 1/72, then again for 1/48 , then alter all this below including the length factor back to 1:1 seems a bit primitive, then redo it if I update the plan, especially as its an ongoing plan.
Maybe a way of instantly setting all dims to 1/72, we have layer manager, is there a Dims manager ? !


Hello - make three dim styles, assign all dimensions (SelDim)to use the appropriate style of the moment.