A long time ago, people created drawings on paper using a pen and a ruler, ensuring parts fit on the appropriate paper size, creating 1:1 scale 2D drawings.
Nowadays, we have the ability to create a 3D CAD design with sophisticated tools like SOLIDWORKS, creating 3D models in a virtual environment, regardless of the model’s size (like below photo)
SOLIDWORKS is a parametric-driven 3D CAD software tool that allows designers to create the exact dimension of the object placed in the graphic area, with the ability to zoom in/out manually, however are you able to see the actual size of your 3D models on your computer screen? In SOLIDWORKS, the answer is yes!
Before we delve in further, let’s introduce the Macro Feature.
“Macro features are application-defined features (like programming) that users can add to a SOLIDWORKS model. The effect of a macro feature on the model is defined by programs that you, or a third-party, develop.”
Rather than go through the details in Macro, attaching a pre-set file, I will demonstrate, in just a few simple steps, how to create the zoom to actual size feature on your computer.
This file is a programmed feature to match your screen ratio with SOLIDWORKS. Because different screens have different ratios, you need to find the 1:1 scale ratio of your own. Please note that the result may be very close to the actual size but not exactly.
It about five to ten minutes, you can complete the step following the following four steps:
- Draw a 100x100x100 mm cube in SOLIDWORKS
- Zoom to “Front View” and run the macro file named “Actual Size.swp”
- After running the macro, do not scale the current view or rotate the model. Now you are able to measure the 3D model with a ruler or caliper to define the scale value
- Lastly, adjust the scale value by editing the macro file
Additionally, here is one more tip: you can add a shortcut key to this feature similar to below:
Written by Roy.Fu, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.