A Vernier Take On A 3D Printer Extruder Indicator

A common way to visualize that a 3D printer’s extruder motor — which feeds the filament into the hot end — is moving is to attach a small indicator to the exposed end of the motor’s shaft. As the shaft turns, so does the attached indicator.

Small movements of the motor are therefore turned into larger movements of something else. So far, so simple. But what about visualizing very small extrusions, such as those tiny ones made during ironing?

[Jack]’s solution is a Vernier indicator for the extruder. Even the smallest movements of the extruder motor’s shaft are made clearly visible by such a device, as shown in the header image above. Vernier scales are more commonly found on measurement tools, and the concept is somewhat loosely borrowed here.

The usual way these lightweight indicators are attached is with a small magnet, and you can read all about them and see examples here.

This new design is basically the same, it simply has a background in a contrasting color added into the mix. [Jack]’s design is intended for the Bambu A1 printer, but the idea can be easily adapted. Give it a look if you find yourself yearning for a bit more visibility in your extruder movements.

Vernier Calipers And Micrometer Screw Gauges, Measuring Without Compromise

I needed a temperature controller module recently, so off I went to Banggood to order one. As one does I found myself browsing, one thing led to another, and I bought a micrometer screw gauge. While micrometers are pretty expensive devices, reflecting their high precision engineering and construction, this micrometer cost me only about £8, or just under $10, definitely in the spirit of our long-running series of reviewing very cheap tools in search of a diamond in the rough. But perhaps more importantly, this is also the cue for an examination of high precision dimensional measurement. So I’ve assembled a collection of micrometers and vernier calipers of varying quality, and it’s time to dive in and measure some very small things.

Some of you will be metrology enthusiasts with an array of the finest devices available, but I am guessing that many of you will not. The ubiquitous precision measurement device in our community appears to be the digital caliper, a sliding clamp with an LCD display, an instrument that can be had in its most basic form for a very small outlay indeed. For the purposes of this piece though we’re not looking at digital devices but their analogue precursors. If you want a feel for metrology and you’d like some of those heritage tools that parents pass onto their kids then it’s time to learn something about the vernier caliper and the micrometer. Continue reading “Vernier Calipers And Micrometer Screw Gauges, Measuring Without Compromise”