1:100 scale – What does it Mean?

1:100 scale – What does it mean?

A 1:100 scale is the representation of an object and/or subject that is 100 times smaller that it’s real world size of 1. So when reading this scale, 1 unit is the equivalent and equal to 100 units.

Used with metric units, a 1:100 scale is most commonly paired with millimetres, cementers, and/or meters, and can be used for example for map reading, where a 1cm measurement would be equal to 1 meter (100 times larger) when measured using a scale rule.

Another example would be when model making, where if you were to say model Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house at a 1:100 scale; its floor level is elevated above the ground by 1.6 meters, which would be represented in the model as 1.6 cm …100 times smaller. 

The same method can be applied to all metric and imperial scales


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1:100 scale conversion and ratio calculation

For a quick and easy conversions, try this online tool supplied here

What does a 1:50 scale mean

Using the same method of calculation, a 1:50 scale is simple representing an object and/or subject 50 times smaller that its real size.

This consequently is 50% larger than a 1:100 scale

What does a 1:20 scale mean

The same goes for a 1:20 scale, which when used, represents a subject at a size 20 times smaller than its real word dimensions.

Generally speaking, we have varying types of scale to represent different amounts of detail. For example a drawing drawn to a 1:20 scale would require a lot more intricacies than a 1:50 and 1:100 drawing.

How do you calculate scale

For information on scale, we have an entire article dedicated to the subject below:

Architectural scale & scaled drawing guide

…and for guidance on how to read scale bars, our below guide explains and breakdown the process;

Understanding Scale Bars


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