Digital Calipers


Rendered with KerkyThea:



You made the second set of calipers with Sketchup and then rendered it?

Oh my Lord.

Very nice!
(The shadow looks very sharp, is there a setting in KT to change this?

I tend to use the sun and sky color for my admittedly simplistic renderings … KT suggests using a “point” light source with a radius to provide true fuzzy shadows. Here’s a stab at using a single spherical light in a room with white walls and ceilings:

I think I like this native SketchUp version much better:

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I think I’m just going to sit here with my jaw dropped open…

Other side …

[added] Much better result using platinum instead of stainless steel:

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In. awe.

Congratulations on producing this excellent model!

(So was this a metric calipers draw in ft/in? Or…? : )

It’s nominally a 6-inch caliper* but the display reads in inches or millimeters (toggled by the button). For the past 30 years, I’ve relied on this to take accurate measurements when building or modeling something; this was one of the few projects where I couldn’t use it to measure the object being modeled (I used a 30-foot tape measure instead). Unfortunately, this means that the model isn’t really accurate enough to use as a measuring device, but I convinced myself that it was close enough for visual uses.

One of the few drawbacks to SketchUp is the inability to natively handle tiny geometry. As a result, I created the model in inches at a scale of 1000:1 so I wouldn’t have to worry about the hassles created by this feature. Since the render engine works best when rendering models in real-world sizes, I made the model a component and then scaled a copy by 1/1000 before passing it into KerkyThea.

* I’ve always called this class of devices “calipers”, but it appears that “caliper” is more correct. However, they are also referred to as a pair of calipers or a set of calipers.

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in my line of work, they are always called ‘very nears’…


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An apprentice of mine thought they were called Calpernias.
An odd mix of vernier caliper.


In my younger days, I used something like these to measure things:

Later, I moved up to one of these:

The dial was driven by a tiny gear train riding along a geared track (or rack). The digital version simply replaced the dial with a rotary encoder … no other changes to the caliper was necessary. Later versions used a sensor track of varying styles to more accurately determine the position of the slide (eliminating the need for the toothed rack):

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Modernity has deprived us of the pride to you can feel when able to interpret the nonius scale.


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poor image of mine, used daily

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I want some good ones but for now I use a cheap one from China. But I do not make anything important like manned space flight vehicles like my dad did.