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A 3D printed component holding digital calipers, some batteries for the calipers and a small screwdriver. The box-like component has recesses in it to precisely fit these parts.

A Horizontal Digital Caliper Module

I’ve generally been pretty happy with the vertical Caliper and Ruler module. Even though it’s a little crude, it’s a good small footprint solution for a crowded work area, but it’s not exactly convenient for storing calipers in a drawer. The first solution works best for me because I’m more than a little ADD: if something is out of sight, it might as well cease to exist. So I’ve got a messy desk where everything that still exists is visible and space is at a premium.

This doesn’t work as well for people who like to have clean desks. Sticking your calipers into a drawer vertically just doesn’t work. So I give you the Horizontal Digital Caliper module. Although there is another “flat” option that uses even more footprint but offers a lower profile, but then you might as well use the case it came in, right? Fine, maybe someone will do one of those too.

This was one of those “should be easy” projects that turned out to be anything but. After a series of careful measurements, I confidently printed the first version of this, only to discover that a) some measurements were not as carefully done as I thought, and b) Other things simply didn’t get measured. Not good.

Worse yet, in my overconfidence I had simply set up a model of the calipers on the fly, not bothering with making anything adjustable. So I started over, making every aspect of the caliper model parametric, all 20 of them. Then I did a test print of just the caliper slot, made some minor adjustments, tested those, and finally did the print you see here. I figure that even though all the calipers I’ve seen look like they come from the same factory, there are bound to be minor variations so it’s best to have the ability to tweak the model to fit yours.

The model and FreeCAD file are now available on Printables and Cults3D.

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