Units & Measurements

When you create a new file in Valence 3D, by default it is unitless. This means that 1 grid unit can be 1 meter or it can be 1 centimeter or 1 foot or 1 inch. At the moment, assuming everything is in meters, simplifies how to reason about units in Valence 3D. Ultimately, it's up to you to determine what scale you want to work in. This workflow could change in the future depending on how people end up using Valence 3D. There are four things to consider when working in this way:

1. When I import a file, what units should I choose?

When you import a 3D model, you'll be presented with a modal sheet that displays an option where you can set the Units of the file being imported. If you choose meters, then 1 unit in your file will map to 1 unit in Valence 3D, so nothing will get scaled.

But let's say the 3D model you are importing was built using inches (1 unit = 1 inch). Since Valence 3D defaults to meters as its units, if you select inches as the units, then Valence will convert your file from inches to meters. Since 1 inch is equal to roughly 0.025 meters, your model will show up, but very small. You can use the Focus Camera button to better view the imported model.

To solidify this concept, let's say you're importing a cube that is 1 unit in size. If you choose meters (the default option) then it will show up as 1 grid unit in size. However, if you selected feet as the import units, then it will show up smaller than a grid unit since 1 foot is roughly 0.3 meters. You can test this by exporting a 1 unit cube from Valence as an OBJ and then importing back into Valence (import units to feet).

2. When I export a file, what units should I choose?

When you export a 3D file out of Valence using the Export Options, you'll be presented with a modal sheet that displays an option where you can set the Units of the file being exported. If you select meters, then 1 grid unit will be 1 meter. If you were to choose feet then Valence would convert from meters to feet. Therefore, if 1 foot is roughly 0.3 meters, the everything would be scaled by 0.3.

3. When I import a lidar scan or room plan, what units are they in?

They are both imported as meters. So no unit conversion happens here. In the future, if there is an option to set the units per file in Valence 3D. Then the scans will be scaled appropriately.

4. When I preview my scene in AR, what units should I choose?

Ideally meters since AR Quicklook (the technology that powers AR Previewing in Valence 3D) uses meters. If your model is too big, then you can select another option for the export units and Valence will scale the scene to those units.


To measure a mesh or multiple meshes, you can toggle measurements in the Command Palette.

Tap this button to toggle measurements on or off.

Measurement Preview

Valence 3D Modeler Measurements

When measurements are toggled on, Valence will show visual measurement indicators on bounding boxes in the scene that enclose the items in your selection.

  • The blue local bounding box shows tight measurements of the Active Component.
  • The pink world bounding box shows axis-aligned measurements of the entire selection.