Cylindrical Slide Rule

by Mortimer, published

Cylindrical Slide Rule by Mortimer Apr 11, 2013
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A printed version of a brass slide rule (that I keep in my car to calculate gas mileage) I made previously. I'm having trouble coming up with a good way to join them. Ideally, I'd like the joining to be done with one piece that still allows for a hole in the middle, like with the brass version, but I didn't like any of the ideas I came up with. Please help / derive.

Update: I came up with a center piece that I'm happy with. As I am currently CAD-less, my friend J. Ferrari did the CAD work for the center piece.


The center piece is bent to fit in the center hole. The ends of that piece won't bend as easily by themselves, so I had to bend them a little with pliers. Also, it's designed to be printed with 0.25 mm layers.

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How exactly does this type of slide rule work?

Perhaps printing assembled with a dovetail may work. Check out the company rotite, they are 3D printing interlocking fasteners that use dovetails and are printed assembled or separate.

I just created a thing


which is my concept for a core to join the two halves of this slide rule.

Slide Rule Core

Hello Mortimer,

How do you use this ? I've never seen something like that before.

For your request,

you might try to print a ring (1) 1mm thick whose external diameter corresponds to the internal diameter of your rings.

This ring than 2mm on each side.

After you could print two washers (2) with a form of "u" at the level of the ring (1)

I (2)
c -----(1)------ (2)

Wikipedia has an article that explains the use and history of the slide rule.


you might try to open one hole on one half by, 1mm and adding a section to the other half for the first one to slide onto. you can add a lip to lock it on and its will only be 2 parts. and you can keep the hole in the center. i forget the correct terms but i hope you get the idea.

If you do that, then you're printing with support which won't leave a smooth surface and the pieces won't slide as well together. I also don't like having a lip that protrudes in the Z direction. If it's thin enough to snap together, it'll be likely to break along a layer boundary. But if you can come up with a good way to do it, I'd love to see it.