Micrometer Set Inch/Metric

by LtDan, published

Micrometer Set Inch/Metric by LtDan Jan 11, 2016


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Inch and metric versions of a two piece printable micrometer. The Inch micrometer has a travel length of 2.5 inches and the metric has a travel length of 30 mm. I have included an additional base piece for each one with a slightly longer anvil. This should allow you too file down one end to make your micrometer as accurate as possible. I have printed both versions and the inch version is generally accurate with in +-3 thousandths. The metric version can be really accurate (+-40 microns).

I strongly recommend printing the calibratable versions of the base piece. This version is designed so that you can sand down the clamping point until you get the accurate measurements. If you use the standard base piece you may end up with measurements that are offset by 15 thousandths or so.

EDIT (1/12/16): I re-uploaded the rod piece because I thought the knurling was too deep and was painful to turn. It's only a slight change though and you probably don't need to re-download it.

EDIT (1/15/16): I uploaded the part Base_Inch_Calibrate in which I added 20 thousandths to the anvil (the static end). I did this to compensate for the fact that mine measures 16 thousandths too short and I suggest sanding or filing it down until the micrometer reads the correct value.

EDIT (1/16/16): I have uploaded stls for a 30mm metric version. To print this one you need 4.3 inches vertical. I strongly suggest printing the Base_Metric_Calibrate part so you can adjust it to be as accurate as possible.

Also check out Ultimaker's cool time lapse print of it here!

Print Settings


Doesn't Matter




Probably less than .2mm


The base part will need support but the rod part should not have support generated for it. I believe if you're using 'normal' support settings in your slicer you should be able to print both pieces at the same time.

The base part is is 6.7 inches tall so make sure your printer has enough room.

With 10% infill and .15mm layer height, I printed both parts at the same time and it took 18 hours and used about 200 grams of filament.

It may take some breaking in once you make it but it should be sturdy enough that you can twist pretty hard on it. Once you twist through it a few times it should turn nicely.

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Just to be sure I have this correct, the metric reads 24 (0 is 25), and each represents 1/10 mm right? So if you turn from 0 back to 0, it moves 2.5 mm?

That's correct, each full term is 2.5 mm. The tick marks on the longitudinal axis are every 2.5 mm and labeled every 5mm. It makes it a little difficult to read but that is about as small as I could make the threads such that it would still be accurate and work well.

It turned out great, operates nice and smooth. Thanks for the great design!


This is a great job indeed. I just understood how yours work, at first I didn'nt understood why the rod only marked 24... ano not 99. Now after seeing the base I understand.

Great Job LtDan. This is type of idea/problem-solving/inventiveness is what is so cool about 3D printing. I have been musing on your design, and I would like to proffer a thought: If you maintained the current design of the micrometer body, thimble, etc - but used a 1/4"-20 screw for the spindle, it would be more accurate without difficult-to-find or expensive components. Though you have made surprisingly accurate models, that level of precision may not be available with many of the import printers used so commonly. A design based on a machine screw would allow the masses to build your design.

Those are usually called calipers man.... You skipped engineering school didnt you? :P For 5-9$, you can get one at Harbor Freight (less than a fraction of a roll of filament). A digital one too... Do you really think this is even close to accurate at these distances? Its not even close....

By the way, your Z axis is bent / warped, i can see it in the prints. This is usually typical of a bent helical Z axis, (for reference, this is what Makerbot and many others use) it happens in shipping, improper use of the machine, or when the upper part of the Z axis screw is not braced. This also means that since the part was printed vertically, the scale is badly inaccurate on the micron scale. If i had to guess, i would say yours is braced because of the pattern, it suggests the bend's apex is lower down, meaning it was torqued laterally while either printing or while bed was up near nozzle.

you come on here to state you don't know the difference between a micrometer and a caliper?

This is a hilarious comment because of how stupid it is. You don't need to be an engineer to use a 3d printer, you're insinuating the designer doesn't know what calipers are, when in fact, you do not know what a micrometer is. And I noticed that you have "engineer" listed on you page, which is funny because you just outed yourself as not only never even stepping foot in an engineering school, you don't even have enough knowledge of the subject to know what a micrometer is. Seriously, if you were even at all interested in engineering even a little bit, you would have found out what a micrometer is. Also, your belief that a $9 calipers are more accurate in any way is a joke.

If you're going to insult somebody, at least know the subject matter before making yourself look like a total fool.

Those are actually micrometers, which you would know if you ever went to engineering school.

"less than a fraction"???

Those are actually called micrometers. Did you skip engineering school? btw. cheap digital calipers are worthless :P

It's true that these are definitely micrometers, and not calipers, but I will say that cheap calipers are not worthless at all. A $14 caliper from harbor freight or amazon is still a good tool. I have a mitutoyo and 5 various chinese cheap versions, and all of them measure 1.000 on a 1" gauge block , and 2.000 on a 2" block. The chinese ones do kill their batteries in 3 months, and turn themselves off all the time if not moved for longer than a few seconds, instead of lasting 3-4 years, left on 24/7 like my mitutoyos. They also don't feel as nice, but they work, and they work well. For sure they are worth the $14. Batteries are cheap. If I hadn't gotten an amazing craigslist deal on the Mitutoyo I wouldn't have it.

wich slicer did you use?

how you do to get an perfect print? i use too but my prints seems to be like fat, i think can be becouse i dont have xy compensation...

It's probably not a slicing issue, but rather a firmware issue. Calibrate your X-, Y-, and Z- axes using this calculator: http://prusaprinters.org/calculator/. Also, look up calibrating extruder, as over-extrusion could be an issue as well.

This is nice work, Love the detail. Although I am a buckeye fan I reluctantly commend you! LOL

Ha, nice. Cool idea with the rotation.


Very cool idea and very nice job!
What CAD tool did you use to design the micrometer?
Are you willing to share the CAD files?


I used SolidWorks. You can get the .sldprt files here if you want. I couldn't figure out how to pattern the numbers correctly in places so it's a little messy.

nvm i understand now the support would mess with the threads probly

is there a reason u printed the C shape part upsidedown / like in the blue file pic ?

I printed it that way because I wanted the measuring surface to be as flat and accurate as possible. Had I done it the other way, it would have need support generated up to that surface and it wouldn't have been as clean. My printer generally doesn't make the first few layers after support very well (as you can see in the 5th picture) and so I didn't want to support that part.

Hi LtDan,

Did you print the micrometer with full infill? with support?

I was Thinking about printing at 15% Hexagon Shape infill without support. I dont know if this is possible (Still waiting for Prusa i3 to arrive) :)

I used 10% infill so that should be fine. I tend to use thicker walls and lower infill.

i cant able download the metric version....please help

Metric Agreed! Looks cool!

Uploaded a metric version.

One huge hug for metric ^^

Uploaded a metric version.

that is quiet cool, but, the big question is, how accurate is it??

and how accurate does the printer have to be to get accurate results with such a precision instrument?

also vote for metric version. although i have learnt to read/use both in my field of work.

Uploaded a metric version.

If there was some way to zero it, the accuracy of the printer wouldn't really matter so much as long as it could print so the threads didn't have any slop in them...

Is there a way that this tool can be designed to allow zeroing?

Otherwise great tool and good addition to one's toolbox. But having to have a very precise printer for this makes the precision advertised very relative.

If the numbers on the rod were a separate ring that could snap on and rotate, I think you'd be able to zero it.

I've just finished the metric one and calibrated it and it's good within 30 microns or so.

There is now kind of. I added a second version of the base pieces for the metric and inch micrometers which have a slightly longer measuring end. This is so you can sand that end down so it zeros correctly.

And my vote for a metric version, please.

Uploaded a metric version.

Here is my vote for a metric version.

Uploaded a metric version.

Metric Vote 2

Fantastic model! I'd love to try printing this, but my printer only has a 4.5" tall build volume. Please count this as a vote for a 1" micrometer.

Thanks for the feedback. I will try to keep the parts under 4.5.

Wow...if you made a small metric one that could measure filament width you'd be straight into the featured list with the download being a "must have" for newbie 3D printer owners.

metric to inch conversion is easy too.

Good idea. I'll get on it.

Metric Vote 3.

Uploaded a metric version.