Blender for architecture: Units settings for precision modeling

With the upcoming release of Blender 2.8 in the next months a lot more artists are considering migrating to Blender as their primary tool for architectural visualization. When people see some of the artwork produced with both Eevee and Cycles, they immediately start think more seriously about using Blender.

A key feature of any software regarding architecture is the ability to work with precision modeling. In Blender you can use three main systems for modeling:

  • Blender Units (default)
  • Metric System: meters, millimeters, and centimeters
  • Imperial System: inches, feet, and yards

How to set that up in Blender 2.8?

Blender 2.8 units settings for architecture

The good news is that you can change these settings in the same location from previous versions. Go to the Scene Tab in your properties editor.

There you will find the units option for modeling. Once you pick a system you will start to see Blender displaying the units alongside each length.

A key feature for doing precision modeling in Blender is the numeric input in your keyboard. You can type lengths for your transformations in the keyboard to get a precise extrude or translation.

Using advance mode for inputs will also give you a wide range of options, specially if you use the Imperial System. To enable advance mode you can press TAB before entering any value on the keyboard.

Using feet and inches for modeling

We work with some architects from North America that struggles to use lengths in feet or inches. If you enable “separate units” in the same Blender panel you will be able to type and edit measures with mixed units.

Why is that important? For people used only with the metric system it may seem odd, but it is quite common to find lengths mixing units like “2ft 3/4in” in a project. In the metric system you would see something like “1.55m” instead of “1m 55cm”.

Blender does support both methods and no matter which system you use, Blender will help you getting your architectural models ready with numeric precision.

Working with Blender for architecture

If you want more information about how to model with using feet and inches in Blender, we have a quick guide about that with 100 pages of modeling examples [Amazon Link].

To get you working with modeling for architecture, we also have two online courses that will give you a lot of examples for modeling:

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