What is the CAD scale factor?

DIMSTYLE is a command in AutoCAD that allows users to quickly and efficiently modify the properties of dimensions in a drawing. With DIMSTYLE, users can change the CAD scale factor of their dimension text height, arrowhead style, and extension line length, all using one setting.

One major advantage of using DIMSTYLE over the Dimension Style Manager is speed. In the Dimension Style Manager (DDIM command), users must navigate through multiple tabs and menus to modify the size of the dimensions.

So it is best to keep the sizes in your dimension styles such as text, tick marks, and arrowheads to actual size 1:1  (the actual plotted size) rather than modifying these up to some random scale to make them appear larger.

With the dimensions styles settings set to the actual size,  you can then use DIMSCALE to scale up all the styled settings without having to modify the individual elements of the dimension style. 

Overall, keeping sizes in dimension styles to actual size 1:1 and using DIMSCALE to scale up is a best practice that ensures accuracy, consistency, and compatibility in technical drawings and designs.

Calculate your DIMSCALE and their text sizes easily

Need help calculating CAD scale factors for text sizes? Use our table to easily determine the Drawing Scale Factor (DIMSCALE) and choose the appropriate 3/16″ plotted text height for accurate plotting.

If you struggling with calculating CAD scale factors for text sizes and dimension sizes in AutoCAD, no worries, we’ve got you covered!

Our table can help you easily determine the Drawing Scale Factor (DIMSCALE) and choose the appropriate text height for accurate plotting (normally using 3/16″ plotted text height)

DIMSCALE sets the drawing scale factor of your Dimension Styles

To properly scale text and dimensions in AutoCAD, it’s important to first determine the drawing scale factor. This factor is used to convert the actual size of dimensions in a drawing to their size on paper when printed. Simply enter the desired factor (e.g. 1/4″ = 48″ using the table below) and AutoCAD will automatically adjust the scale of dimensions in the drawing accordingly.

Once the drawing scale factor has been set, it’s important to properly scale text and dimensions so that they are legible and accurate when printed. To do this, it’s recommended to use a plotted text height of 3/16″. This height has been found to be the most readable when printed at a variety of CAD scales. To set the text height, simply enter the value of 3/16″ in the Height field of the Text Style dialog box.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your text and dimensions are properly scaled and legible when printed in AutoCAD.

Scale Factor Calculator

How to use the calculator:

Find the left-hand column labeled Drawing Scales. Then find the DIMSCALE column to the immediate right, which will determine the size of your dimension text plotted at this scale. The numbers within the table under each plotted scale are the text/MTEXT sizes you must set for annotations.

For example, if you set the size text to 3/16″ for your DIMSTYLE (the actual size on your plotted sheet), and your viewport is scaled to 1/4″ (DIMSCALE is set to 48) then the size of your text will need to be 9″.

Scale Factor Calculator Table

Updating the scale of dimensions in AutoCAD (DIM UPDATE ALL)

First, select all the dimensions that need to be updated by selecting them with the cursor or using the CTRL+A command to select all dimensions in the drawing. Next, type in the command DIM UPDATE ALL in the command line and press Enter. This will prompt AutoCAD to update all selected dimensions with the current dimension style settings, including the CAD scale factor.

Once the update is complete, the dimensions will be adjusted to the correct CAD scale, This command is particularly useful when making changes to the drawing that affect the dimension scale, such as changing the drawing units or changing the size of the drawing.

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