How to Scale an STL File in 3 Steps - Cura Slicer

When you download your 3D model from an STL file website and realize that the original size doesn't meet your needs, resizing the 3D model becomes necessary. This beginner's guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to scale STL files using the Cura slicer. No 3D modeling software is required, Cura enables you to easily rescale your model up or down in just a few minutes. The following will tell you where to find this scaling tool, provide an introduction to it, and explain how to use it.

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Step 1: Open your STL file in Cura.

You can upload your 3D model file from the top menu bar in the interface, or simply drag and drop the file onto the slicer directly from your desktop. If you're using an FDM 3D printer from Anycubic, make sure you have configured Cura properly, such as adding your printer and importing print settings profile into the slicing software.

Step 2: Locate the scaling tool in Cura.

scaling tool in Cura

Method 1: On the left side of the interface, there is a toolbar. Click the second icon for the scaling tool.

Method 2: Select the model and use the keyboard shortcut 'S' to activate the scaling feature.

Step 3: Resize your 3D model in Cura.

scaling 3DBenchy
Method 1: Modify the values.

To reduce or enlarge your model, you can modify the percentage values of X, Y, and Z in the scale tool window on the left side. 100% represents the model's default size, and you can make adjustments based on this value. If you have multiple models, you can scale them simultaneously. However, to scale them together, you need to select all of them at the same time. You can do this by holding 'Shift' while clicking on all the models, or by right-clicking and choosing 'Select All Models' from the dropdown menu. Then all selected models can be scaled.

Method 2: Use scale handles.

The selected models will have three scale handles in the center, and you can directly drag them to scale your model in different directions. Of course, this method also allows you to change the size of multiple models at the same time, provided that all models are selected. To select all models simultaneously, follow the same method as described in method one.

Introduction of uniform scaling

You can find 'Uniform Scaling' in the toolbar on the left side of the interface and activate it. This feature allows you to increase or reduce the 3D model size while maintaining the same proportions, preventing deformation. After disabling uniform scaling, you can customize adjustments on the Z, X, and Y axes as needed.

How Large Can You Scale a 3D Model?

Resizing 3DBenchy

How large you can scale the model depends on your printer's build volume. If you are using a large-scale 3D printer, such as Anycubic's Kobra 2 Max, you might be able to scale a 3DBenchy up to 700%. Thanks to its generous build volume of 500 x 420 x 420 mm (81L) and a maximum speed of 500mm/s, as well as a regular speed of 300mm/s, this is achievable. We have tested scaling a standard 3DBenchy model to 100%, 200%, 400%, and 600%, and the print quality was excellent with no defects.