New to 3D printing so sorry if this is a simple/basic question. I've done a ton of Googling but can't seem to find the answer...

When I download a .STL file and open it in Print Studio, it opens as a HUGE object - much larger than you would ever want it. How to I get the file to open at scale to how the designer wanted it. For instance the following file from Thingaverse has specific size but I'm unsure of how to print it at that exact size. I'm assuming that the info is able to be stored somewhere in the .STL file.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Would the size you are experiencing be approximately 25.4 times what you'd expect it to be? If so, you may be looking at mm to inches conversion or the reverse of that. I'm not familiar with Print Studio, but your problem is common if the conversion is misdirected. Perhaps a setting within the software will resolve it. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Dec 18, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


The STL file format does not provide any way to provide the units of measurement for an object. The majority of FDM printers use millimeters so most people export objects with the assumption the values in the STL file are in millimeters.

As you found out that's not always true. The second most common assumption is to export in inches.

Most of the slicers I've used provide a scaling option if you can't edit the STL file yourself. Some will even offer to do the inches to mm conversion for you. Scale to suit when you print or use a 3d editor. I've gotten specific sizes by creating a temporary cube the size I wanted and scaling the object using the cube as a reference.


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