Mar.23, 2014

AngryMonk has created a fully assembled, 3D printed, 4ft tape measure with 114 separate parts. See the video below:

The 3D printed tape measure is a follow up on his previous 3D printed 4" dial calipers, which has 9 seperate moving parts and can be printed as one complete assembly or in pieces. It includes inside & outside jaws, depth gauge, adjustable & locking dial, and thumb wheel. You can find all the 3D files here on Thingiverse.

AngryMonk explains:

The smallest gaps between seperate pieces are about 0.010", so if you want to print this as one complete assembly make sure your printer can support this and can print modeling and support material together. Alternatively, you can scale up the design to increase the gap size or print out the pieces and assemble it by hand. I haven't tried assembling this from the seperate pieces but it should go together with a little hand work and super glue.


If you find that there is too much friction to move the calipers try applying a plastic-safe grease to the gear teeth and gear faces. I used a little Crisco cooking grease for this and it worked very well.


I actually found the precision in measurement to be surprisingly accurate. With a little care you can get correct measurements to within +/-0.0025".

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Christopher Sherman wrote at 3/27/2014 2:48:22 AM:

What system were you printing these on? Attempting the calipers model using Dimension's Catalyst software and a uPrint Plus, which theoretically can do 0.010" layers, results in no support between several of the components and a fused assembly (and yes, I've looked at the slicing layers on Catalyst, there are no support layers in the cmb in those places).

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