Need for more viewport zoom

I started a project that is intended for 3D print. I have setup the coordinates system of Blender properly to millimeters, and everything goes according to plan.

As of currently I am concerned with a range of 1 to 10 millimeters, mostly for screws and width of the walls in some areas.

There is only one problem. I can’t zoom my view enough. I have already reached the maximum allowed zoom. Now I am already 10 hours into the project and I consider to scrap it away and start again from scratch with a 10x scaling. I don’t trust simply pressing [S, 10] to scale everything up. I will have to establish a clean coordinate system for both blueprints and the program to conform to.

Only one thing I tried is to set the [Focal Length] up to 250, but now is maxed out (same for Persp and Ortho). A two minute fix as a workaround, is to have a maximum to 1000 for safety.

A file is always easier to debug. Not sure on which lvl you are in blender, but hitting the , key on the numpad when selecting an object should help.

May be related ? ⚓ T93273 Zoom stops at certain level and won't go further

1 Like

Do you hit the zoom limit when you use the game fly & walk mode?

This happens when the ‘pivot point’ of the viewport is not where you think it is. You can ‘reset’ the pivot point with the . key on your numpad. Then it sets the pivot point to the origin of your current object (in object mode) or the the middle of the currently selected vertex/edge/face in edit mode.

edit: oh that case Hadriscus linked looks interesting as well. That could be it as well.

Another issue may be the Clip Start setting in the View. This defaults to 0.01m. I just dropped it to 0.0001m (0.1mm), and I have the default cube scaled to 1mm on a side, and I can zoom into it and view it from all angles just fine.

(The axis lines look a bit weird and fuzzy, though…)

As of spending a little bit of time to get the hang of it, I was able to figure out a few things a bit. Perhaps the problem in the first place was that I had to change the “Clip Start” and the “Focal Length” so I would be able to make things appear correct. Also another sneaky feature was the “Auto Perspective” that when you are in “Ortho Front” if you try to roll the view you are sent to “Perspective” automatically. This is something to note also.

Here is a file, which is just a 2mm cube nothing fancy. But it displays the initial condition, that you can’t get more zoom than this. But as of now with these fixes mentioned I would be able to consider the problem semi-fixed and leave things as they are.

Which begs the question, when does Blender stop relying on the numpad so much for the camera for those of us, who don’t have a numpad, and just bring those controls into the UI with a dedicated camera navigation panel.

1 Like

You can use the “Emulate Numpad” option in the preferences.


Emulate numpad ruins the highly used shortcuts for Object/Edit/Sculpt, etc.

It’s not a good design, sorry.

Camera navigation should have a dedicated self-explanatory panel.

It is not an optimal solution, but it is better to have that workaround.

Back ago in the 2.7 series I had been using the Numpad. Gradually I stopped using it.

I use the ALT key to snap the viewport while rolling. Also for VIEW FOCUS is use the ALT-MIDDLE button, which is not the same as OBJECT FOCUS, though the shortcut can be customized from the user, so it could be CTRL+ALT+MIDDLE.

I recently bought a tenkeyless keyboard (=without numpad) because it coexists better with a tablet, and I’ve been missing :

  1. the perspective/ortho switch (numpad 5 key), which isn’t part of the view pie
  2. the local view toggle (slash key)
    All the rest is doable with alt+mmb flick (hold alt and flick to a cardinal direction) and the view pie (tilde key)

I have willingly avoided emulate numpad because I know it messes with some standard hotkeys. Similar to you @cconst I have rebound “frame selected” a very long time ago, since I use it so often it’s now on alt+x.

you have less keys on your keyboard, this isn’t rocket science- some things will have to go. If you don’t like the substitutions that were made to emulate numpad keys there’s a keymap editor there to help you customize it to your workflow. When some default keys are overridden, someone is going to be unhappy about what was chosen- there’s no avoiding it. There’s also a pie menu if you’d like to avoid using the numpad hotkeys altogether.

Not a good approach. If you can’t map the most common operations to standard keys on an average laptop keyboard and keep them there, then I think there is something amiss in the UI guidelines for Blender.

I’ve never had to remap keys to get default behaviors for menus that are visible on any screen to work properly in any 3D app, and I’ve used quite a few.

I’ve also never seen critical, commonly used operations mapped only to the numpad.

Pie menus are not suitable for continuous operations like camera navigation.

1 Like

Most people have numpads, so I think it’s a totally reasonable default. personally I use a tablet- I think everything should be mapped to a tablet friendly interface, so I’ve customized Blender to work well with how I like to work, and I would never suggest that everyone else in the world adapt to my personal preferences.

That would be a matter of a poll. I don’t have any keyboards with numpads, since they take up too much space here, and many own 70% keyboards, because they never use the numpad.

And as said, critical features are not typically mapped to the numpad, and the only app that I have that uses the numpad for default behaviors is Blender.

It would be fine to use the numpad for extra customization and should continue to be recognized as such. But not for default behaviors.

On the contrary, they concentrate many actions under a single key. It’s particularly ideal for navigation since a flick of the wrist to the left will get you to the left view, and so on.

Sorry, I didn’t phrase clearly enough. Continuous actions, where you hold down a key, like zoom/pan/rotate/dolly, etc. are ill suited for pie navigations.

which of the numpad hotkeys are modal (what you are calling continuous)?