Measuring Tool in Preform

I use my printer mostly to print miniatures for tabletop rpgs designed in zbrush. The models should generally ‘fit’ on a 25/50/100mm base, but they often protrude out along various axes beyond that bounding box. The simple bounding box settings in the zbrush export make it very difficult to properly size such organic/complex/non-uniform shapes

It would be super helpful to be able to define two points on a model in preform, and see the true distance between them. Showing the live changes in that distance in the scaling window would be a godsend.


Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve forwarded this on to our software team. My favorite tools for doing this currently are Microsoft’s 3D Builder and Netfabb and I could see similar features being useful in PreForm.

It would be a welcome feature, but I’m curious why you don’t establish the correct scale before you export your model for print?

Because the tools in zbrush for setting the export scale are pretty much identical to those currently in preform. Just a bounding box for the entire model.

There are some pain in the butt work-arounds like adding a large cube you don’t intend to export and using that as the basis for scaling, but even that sucks.

For miniatures you are talking human forms often in extreme poses, with big weapons, and possibly tall helmets. They are supposed to ‘fit’ on a certain sized base, but often the weapon, or a limb or cape or something will be extending beyond that.

The best measurement to scale properly is the height from the bottom of the lowest foot to the eyeballs with some fudge factor thrown in to account for pose.

A tool to actually measure from foot to knee to hip to eyeballs would take a lot of trial, error and guess work out of it. Would make it easy to size something right the first time.

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Give this a try.

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Will certainly give that a try, thanks!!

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This would be fantastic. Measuring your model in another program and exporting at a set scale is not really a solution for the lack of better measurement/scaling control in PreForm.

Well, turns out you can measure in ZBrush. It just requires setting your calibration distance with the transpose tool.

Here’s a vid by a jewelery designer explaining it.

I assume once you have basically set your key measurement your file scale is essentially being established. I havent exported anything to check this yet.