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3D Printed Caliper Box


Trying to take advantage of the free time due to the quarantine, I decided to work on some projects using materials I already had at home. One of the projects is an environmental monitor and I’m planning to post about in the upcoming months. The monitor should show the readings from a sensor on a TFT touchscreen and on a web page. I wanted the design a 3D printed enclosure to fit the screen, the microcontroller, the battery and the rest of the parts. Then, when I looked for my vernier caliper to start taking the measurements of the components, I saw that the box where it came in when I bought it was damaged, and since I had already opened Fusion 360, I went from designing the case for the environmental monitor to designing a new box for my caliper. Later I’ll be able to continue with the environmental monitor project.

The original box seemed to be made of a rigid and brittle plastic and looks like the hinges broke by a hit. Starting, I made some drawings of how the box were supossed to look. The base and lid of the box are not hinged together, instead, they are held together by neodymiun magnets to avoid moving parts that use to wear pretty quick.

I took the measurements of the caliper (with a ruler) and made a basic model on Fusion 360, based on this model I made two blocks and then I subtracted the volume of the caliper, and some millimeters for tolerances. Then I made the holes for the magnets and some notches to fit the fingers and be able to separate the parts. After making couple adjustments I sent the files to a Fab Lab for printing, and after a few days the parts arrived by mail.

The pieces were printed in blue PLA, with a 0.3mm resolution and 30% infill. I just had to clean some places with a scalpel and sandpaper. Now that the caliper has a new box I’ll continue with the design of the environmental monitor. The STL and STEP files are available on GitHub.

GitHub: CaliperBox

If you have any question, feel free to ask.

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