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3D Printed Caliper Box


During the quarantine, I decided to make the most of my free time by working on some projects using materials I already had at home. One of the projects is an environmental monitor that I plan to write about in the coming months. The monitor will display readings from a sensor on a TFT touchscreen and a web page. I wanted to design a 3D-printed enclosure to hold the screen, microcontroller, battery, and other components. However, when I went to retrieve my Vernier caliper to take measurements, I noticed that the box it came in was damaged. So, instead of working on the environmental monitor, I switched gears and started designing a new box for my caliper.

The original box appeared to be made of a rigid and brittle plastic, and it looked like the hinges had broken from a hit. I started by sketching what the box was supposed to look like. Instead of hinging the base and lid of the box together, I designed it so that they would be held together by neodymium magnets, which are less likely to wear out than moving parts.

Using a ruler, I took measurements of the caliper and created a basic model in Fusion 360. Based on this model, I created two blocks, subtracted the volume of the caliper and some extra millimeters for tolerances, made holes for the magnets, and added some notches for my fingers to be able to separate the parts. After a few tweaks, I sent the files to a Fab Lab for printing and received the parts by mail a few days later.

The pieces were printed in blue PLA with a 0.3mm resolution and 30% infill. I only had to clean some areas with a scalpel and sandpaper. Now that my caliper has a new box, I can get back to designing the environmental monitor. The STL and STEP files are available on GitHub.

GitHub: CaliperBox

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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