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Dial Indicator

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Dial Indicator

Project developed by User:Devon Smith
This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk.
This OSAT has been prototyped.

You can help Appropedia by contributing to the next step in this OSAT's status.


  1. A dial indicator is a tool used to measure linear displacements. It accomplishes so via the use of a plunger that's constricted to a measured linear movement. Simply, when the plunger is pushed into the body of the tool, the distance it is pushed in is "indicated" on the "dial" face of the tool. This is useful for any kind of precise measurement of thickness, depth, width, and can even be used to ensure a machining device or tool is accurately trammed.
    Dial Indicator Front.jpg

Bill of Materials

Part Quantity Source Comments
PLA ~87 grams Filament supplier of choice Color of choice
Dial Indicator Body 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Dial Indicator Top 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Spacer 2 Youmagine Using PLA
Dial Indicator Needle 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Gear 1-2 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Gear 3-4 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Gear 5-6 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Dial Indicator Plunger 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Gear 7 1 Youmagine Using PLA
6-32 Button Head Cap Screw 1 inch long 3
6-32 Button Head Cap Screw 1.25 inch long 1
6-32 Nylock Nut 4

Tools needed for fabrication of the OSAT

  1. MOST Delta RepRap or similar RepRap 3-D printer
  2. Number 2 Phillip's Head Screw Driver
  3. 1/4 inch Open End Wrench


Skills and Knowledge Necessary to Make the OSAT

  • 3D Printing Knowledge & Capabilities
  • Understand the needs & application for a dial indicator
  • Ability to assemble fasteners and critically aligned plastic components

Technical Specifications and Assembly Instructions

  1. Download and print the plastic components listed in the bill of materials
  • Recommended: Print with a 100% infill at 0.25mm layer thickness or less, print speed may vary depending on printer
  1. Clean burrs and excess plastic from parts that may be remaining from print
  2. Align the corresponding components from the bill of materials to the pictures posted below while ensuring:
    1. All holes align
    2. All gears mesh together
    3. L
  3. Assemble Fasteners so that the head of the screws are on the face of the indicator and washers are on both mating surfaces
  4. Lightly tighten fasteners so that gears spin freely with minimal slop
  5. Assemble needle so that needle is spaced away from dial face

Common Problems and Solutions

  • If the gears don't align and interface properly, first ensure they are oriented with the proper gear in the proper location and proper orientation. Also ensure the layering of the gears is correct and in order. Another possibility is that the holes within the body and top components aren't lined up correctly.
  • If the plunger is difficult to move: The indicator works best when the dial is rotated to move the plunger to it's location rather than useing the plunger to rotate the high gear ratio.

Cost savings

Benefited Internet Communities

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