Amasky Digital Vernier Calipers

If you're thinking about getting into 3D printing, one of the most important tools that you're going to need is a good set of Vernier calipers (also known as dial calipers, or simply calipers.)

Calipers are an instrument that measures the outside or inside diameter of an object, with very fine accuracy.  When you're designing objects to print, you will need to measure the size of nuts and bolts, for example, that need to be factored into your design.  Many materials will experience some shrinkage, particularly ABS, as they cool after printing.  You will need to measure there exact dimensions and make adjustments, and things of that nature.

Another thing I use them a lot for is measuring the diameter of filaments. Most printers use 1.75mm filaments, but 3.0mm is also available.  The actual diameter of the filaments can vary though, causing under-extrusion, over-extrusion, and even jamming.  With a good set of calipers you can accurately measure the diameter and anticipate problems before they occur.  I also use them because I review new filaments on Amazon, and I like to include my measurement of the diameter in my reviews.

For years, I've been using an old set of dial calipers that only had English measurements.  Any time I wanted to measure something in millimeters I would have to first measure in 1/100ths of an inch and then convert to metric.  It was a big pain in the ass, and a spacecraft-crashing-into-Mars situation waiting to happen.  

(Speaking of this, I thought it was funny when a while back they printed the first 3D printed tool in space.  Here on the ground, thousands of us printed out the same tool and it was a really neat working ratcheting socket wrench.  But as I looked at it, it was marked in inch-pounds of torque.  I couldn't believe it.  Its 2016 and our space program is still using inches and pounds!)

This morning, however, this set of Vernier calipers from Amasky arrived in the mail.  This was another item I received for testing and review on Amazon.  They retail normally somewhere in the $30 range.  I've been looking for a set like this that's a little nicer than the Harbor Freight ones, without spending $200+ for an American made set, etc.

I am going to give them a really good review.  These are niiiice calipers.  The build quality is actually a lot better than I expected.  They are HEAVY when you pick them up compared to my old pair.  I tried taking a few measurements with them and they are dead on accurate, too.  

If you're looking for a good caliper for your 3D printing needs, this is a good one.  You can find them on  

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