Scale units

OK, a total newbie question…

I am working on a 2d plan of a work site. Just planning shed positions etc. I have a dwg file imported in with the street layout, etc and a bitmap topo map in the background.

The scale is wrong, it is 10:1 and needs to be 125:1.

How do I set up the units so true dimension can be used - I have tried various setting to no avail.


In model space, scale should always be 1:1. If you have a scale of 10:1, you probably have a unit mismatch. Like you imported a DWG with units as meters, when it was exported with Centimeter units.

In layout space, for print output or for export, you can define the scale for the output.

If your units do mismatch, you can change the unit to the originally export unit in the options menu. When asked to scale the whole unit, answer with no. This will just reassign the new unit without scaling the scene. If you need a different unit, you can change the unit but let rhino scale the file.
If you already are in your desired unit, you can also use 3D scale with the corresponding scale factor (0.1 in your case) and scale around the origin point.
Or you can always reimport/open the file and use the correct unit when importing. Then adjust units in Rhino as you wish.

Thanks HaLo,

I ended up re-importing using meters. There are some really neat features and ways Rhino works. Like it…

but how do you change a rectangle size numerically?


Once you are done drawing a rectangle, it becomes a generic, closed polyline with four segments where two pairs of segments happen to have equal length and at least one enclosed angle is 90 degrees.

You can scale by factors or you can use reference geometry with a given length.

The most direct way to edit an objects length or width, I have found so far is using the Gumballs scale widget.

  • Move the Gumball to one edge or corner
  • Rotate to align with the other, if necessary
  • Scale the scale-widgets so they match the length or width
  • now if you drag the scale widget, you can define the length by typing a number while you drag
    This may sound a bit complicated bud doesn’t involve any additional geometry.

I’m an autodidact so maybe someone else here knows a more direct way.


This must be the only design program where you can’t actually make an accurate rectangle. I want a rectangle that is 12.5 x 4.5 units. It can’t be that hard, can it?

Just start the rectangle tool, then fix a corner somewhere by mouse click, then type

12.5 Enter 4.5 Enter.

Not that hard, is it…??


Thanks Mitch,

Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees…

Thank you HaLo too, I got it set up and running now.

I re-imported using a scale of 1:0.85 to get my dimensions right and all fits now!