Most of us use calipers when working with our 3D printers. Not [Albert]. He has a clockwork caliper design that he 3D printed. The STL is available for a few bucks, but you can see how it works in the video below. We don’t know how well it works, but we’ll stick with our digital calipers for now.
The digital readout on this caliper is more like a sophisticated watch. A window shows 10s of millimeters and two dials show the single digits and the number after the decimal point.
While we can’t validate its accuracy and we imagine it would depend somewhat on your printer’s abilities, we can say it looks pretty amazing in operation. This would be just the thing to be in a movie about an alien or post-apocalyptic machine shop.
Like a real set of calipers, there is a depth gauge, although watching it spin through the measurement is a lot more entertaining than the usual measurement. Towards the middle of the video, you can see the parts involved. As you’d expect, the main part is a rack with pinions driving gears that move the numbers and pointers.
Probably not very practical, especially when a reasonable set of calipers doesn’t cost very much anymore. But great fun and would make a nice show project for your 3D printing skills.
We have to admit that these calipers would be easier on batteries than the pair we use every day, but then again there are other ways to solve that problem. If you want a crash course on how to use calipers to reverse engineer mechanical parts, we can help.