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The caliper is an indispensable tool to take accurate measurements.

The caliper is a measurement tool widely used in both work and domestic, especially by users who need to take measures accurately. The caliber is the invention of the French mathematician Pierre Vernier (1580-1637) who has passed to the history for the invention of high precision measuring instruments such as the Vernier scale used in the calibers.

This tool consists of three zones to perform the measurements. The first and main are the clamps for external measurements with which diameters of screws or rods are measured, and lengths of the external faces of parts. The second are the clamps for internal measurements, which as its name suggests, are used to measure internal areas such as holes, or lengths between internal faces. And finally, the lower rod, thanks to which you can measure depths, although the hole is narrow.

Parts of a caliper

Image 1: 1-Jaws for external measurements, 2-Jaws for internal measures, 3-Lower rod. Source: Wikipedia


Every user, both the one that is dedicated to the manufacture, repair and construction, as the one that performs non-professional applications, needs a caliper to take measurements with precision, measurements of future pieces, check diameters of holes, diameters and lengths of screws and nuts , etc.

More specifically in the world of 3D printing, calipers is very useful to check diameters and important distances between components. Here are some examples of where it is highly recommended to use the caliber:

-Check the diameter of the filament to ensure that it is within the tolerances indicated by the manufacturer. When using low quality filaments, clogging may occur in the 3D printer extruder continuously because the material has high variations in diameter. For this test, 8 measurements should be made with a separation between them of 1m with the part of the outer measurement clamps firmly holding the filament (without crushing it).

-Make sure that the diameter of the extruder and the HotEnd components are the diameter used by the 3D printer. When assembling or changing the components that make up the HotEnd (Heat Break, Heater BlockThermistor Block and nozzle) it must be verified that the diameter of the elements through which the filament passes is correct. For these measurements the jaws should be used for internal measurements.

-Verify the state of the nozzle. One of the ways to check the state of a nozzle is by measuring its total length and contrasting it against the original size of the nozzle. To know the values length of the nozzles visit the download section of this component and consult the technical data sheet.

-Certain manufacturers like E3D recommend a series of separations in the assembly of their elements, for example between the nozzle and the heater block, between the heater block and the heatsink, to ensure proper operation. To be able to give these separations correctly, the jaws must be used for internal caliber measurements.

Caliper of medium and high precision

Image 2: Caliper of medium and high precision


The medium precision caliper is made of high-strength plastic materials alloyed with carbon fibers, giving it even more resistance to shock and wear. Its capacitive sensor with 0.1mm precision shows the measurement clearly and easily on an LCD screen up to a maximum measurement of 150mm. It also has zeroing in any position.

Medium precision caliper

Image 3: Medium precision caliper


The high precision caliper is hardened and polished stainless steel with a wide LCD screen. The capacitive sensor shows a precision of 0.01mm, able to measure with an accuracy more than enough 98% of cases, both in the professional and domestic. On the trigger, apart from finding the screen, two help elements for the measurement are located. One is a wheel that makes it easier for the user to slide the trigger to obtain the measurement easily and accurately. The other is a locking screw, with which the measurement is immobilized, something very useful to check the same distance in a series of pieces. The buttons located around the screen allow the ignition, the shutdown, zeroing in any position and the change of units of measurement mm / inch. In addition to the rear has a table with the measures of the metric (ISO) and whitworth threads.

Table of threads

Image 4: Table of threads

High precision caliper

Image 5: High precision caliper


Therefore the caliper of high precision differs from the one of half precision in the material of manufacture (stainless steel / plastic with fiber of carbon), in the aids of blockade of the measure and in the precision of measurement (0.01 / 0.1 mm) .

Before making any measurement with the caliper, you must make sure to reset the numerical value to the desired position.

Model High precision Medium precision
Precision 0.01 mm 0.1 mm
Maximum measure 150 mm
Material Hardened and polished stainless steel Hardened plastic with carbon fiber
HS Code 9017.3

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