RogerBW's Blog

Vernier Caliper 05 March 2016

Since I've started making things with the 3d printer, I've found the need for measurement more accurate than a ruler or a tape measure can provide, particularly of non-cuboid shapes.

The obvious answer is a micrometer or caliper of some sort. Most calipers now seem to be electronic, but an old-fashioned vernier scale is still available, no less accurate, and more pleasing to my way of thinking. (Not to mention not needing batteries.)

One reads the millimetre scale to the zero on the vernier, then matches up the vernier divisions with the main scale divisions to get the sub-millimetre measure if needed. (Here, allowing for parallax, I'm measuring 43.72mm.)

This particular model will measure inside or outside distances up to 150mm, or the depth of a hole, to 0.02mm accuracy.

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  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:51pm on 05 March 2016

    Have you checked this for accuracy? Silverline is a budget manufacturer and they're not always spot on. I'd be interested to know.

    I agree that Vernier scales are cool.

    Micrometers offer greater accuracy but with less flexibility. I have a metric micrometer (Moore & Wright) that measures to hundredths of a mm up to 25mm wide. It doesn't have a vernier, models with can messure to thousandths of a mm. Which is probably a pointless level of accuracy for a 3D printer.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:00pm on 05 March 2016

    I don't have anything to calibrate it against, but feeding measurements from it into the printer results in things that pretty much fit. I'm not building rocket engine parts here.

    The theoretical best resolution from the printer is the same 0.02mm that this claims to measure to.

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