3D Calibration Ruler

by RichieC, published

3D Calibration Ruler by RichieC Jun 26, 2012
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Ever wonder how accurate or how well calibrated your 3D printer is?

Well now you can find out!

This "thing" has 100mm rulers for each of the X, Y and Z axis and also has 1mm - 10mm holes, in 1mm increments to check that holes come out the right size in your prints!


Load the STL file into your favorite slicer applicaiton and print!

Measure the X,Y & Z rulers with a real ruler and see how well calibrated your printer is!

If your printer is not spot on, you can use this information to update your steps/mm values in your printer firmware's configuration.h file.

This is my first "Thing" that i've created so if you have any suggestions/comments for improving it .. let me know!

Now updated to Version 2 - with a hole gauge on the Y-Axis as well as the Z-Axis as requested by Se5A.

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Hey, Nice piece and all. But Why would You not put the measurements on the Inside edge? that way it could be used to give dimensions in pics of items that are scanned. Just sayin ;) Let me know if u do, I may just have to print one myself.

I would love to print this, but when i slice it, the numbers seem to disapear, do you have any idea what i can do ?

"This "thing" has 100mm rulers for each of the X, Y and Z axis"
yeah except it doesnt ... this thing has 125mm rulers. i was wondering how my config could have been so far off well ... it wasnt ...

My printer didn't really print out the text at all, it just left a couple tiny blobs where each letter should be(more blobs on the X axis than the Y axis, and the Z axis is almost legible [The "Z" printed fine on the Z axis, but the "X" and "Y" letters did not print at all]). I'm not sure if it's because it's reversing then not extruding enough before starting the letters, or if I just don't have it extruding, or something else entirely. It also really didn't do much of a ruler on the Y axis, just a few tiny blobs here and there. The X axis ruler part looks ok, just lots of little blobs where there should be text.

I have also been noticing pretty regular gaps in my prints, where every few cm there's a couple mm gap in the filament, or sometimes not a gap, but a thin spot. I don't have a clue what's causing that. Any ideas? Thanks!

Good part to stress-test printing of large flat sections, among other things.

@RichieC, the circle holes on the Y axis are a bit too close. Makes them hard to print. Could you move them apart a bit, maybe leave 4-5 mm between them?

slic3r said it had a hole, so I ran it through netfab (which said it didn't) The result crashed slic3r 0.9.9 on my mac? I'll retry with a new verson or a different machine. thanks for a nice test.

I love this print! Not only a good calibration print, but a handy tool for use afterwards.
For the Z-height measurement, I have 101mm for the Z-ruler. the ruler measuring itself seemed fine, but the thickness of the plate is 2mm and ruler starts at the bottom of the plate at 1mm.
Is this a build issue or a flaw to be corrected? :)
(total lengths X 124.31mm, Y 126.28mm, Z 104.07mm) were the total lengths also designed for specific length? My X and Y rulers ended with a good 100mm each. They seemed pretty spot on, but I cant read it more accurate than that.

It was never really ment to mesure the build height (with the ruler starting at the bed), just to check that the calibration is correct when compared to a "real" ruler on each of the axis.

This is cool but when you find issues your gonna need a lot of iterations callibrating. Try the callibration cube first : it's 2 by 2 by 2 cm and has a 1 cm hole. Print a couple of these fixing all issues then start print on one scaled to 500 % on x,y that will give you 10 by 10 cm which you can stop after a few layers and repeat if it's not accurate. The cube is super fast in slicing and prints in less than 10minutes:


Cube callibration test (added highres and 1cm versions)
by wALLe

Yes, this uses write.scad library for the text.. just download write.scad and put it in the same folder as the ruler scad file before you open it and it should work fine..

Hmmm...crashes OpenScad. Looks like it relies on write.scad. :-(

Yes, this uses write.scad library for the text.. just download write.scad and put it in the same folder as the ruler scad file before you open it and it should work fine..

good stuff, I'm printing it now.
if there was another ruler going diagnollay between x+y far ends, I think it would show if x+y were truly perpendicular.
same with x+z and y+z.
now 100% sure since geometry was a long time ago, but it's something like that. :-)

This is very cool, I'd suggest putting holes along one of the x or y axes as well as the z.

Good Idea! Consider it done..

I have updated the ruler with a hole gauge on the Y-Axis as well as the Z.
Hope you find it useful.