Measuring a straight (flat) distance between two points isn’t difficult with a measuring tape or ruler. What happens when you need accurate measurements for a 3D object? You need different tools and tactics to take measurements for objects with multiple surfaces.
Whether you’re a builder, engineer, artist, or using a 3D-printer, accurate measurements are critical to your finished product. What are some of the best ways to measure objects for creation or reproduction? Try these five tips.
1. String It Up
A piece of string is one of the best tools for taking measurements for round objects. A ruler can’t bend around anything that isn’t a flat surface. With a piece of string, stretch it around the object and mark when the end (or starting place) catches up to the middle of the string.
Holding that spot on the string, stretch it out along a tape measure or ruler to get an accurate measurement.
2. Scan It
Using 3D scanners for measuring can generate some of the most detailed measurements for almost any object. With a portable scanner, users can scan almost any object, anywhere.
Handheld scanners are light and easy to use in compact spaces. They produce precise measurements for analysis, production, or reproduction for various objects with recorded time details. Learn more about handheld 3D scanners from this article.
3. Bring In the Calipers
When constructing anything with corners or joints, it’s challenging to measure precise angles with only a ruler. Digital calipers help measure the thickness of an object or fit joints.
This inexpensive tool delivers highly accurate details and can measure inside or outside dimensions. You can also use calipers to measure circumference if you don’t have any string available to try Tip #1 above.
4. Avoid Assumptions
A 2 x 4 board might not be exactly two inches by four inches. If you’re relying on exact measurements for a project (or a client’s specifications), it’s best to measure everything rather than relying on assumptions about an object. Even if a board has a label noting “2 x 4,” it doesn’t hurt to measure it before assembling a project.
Use a measuring tape to double-check the thickness and width of all materials before assembly. It can be an expensive mistake to rely on a delivery slip when following the specifications during construction.
5. Be Consistent
Not all tape measures are built the same! While an inch is always an inch, the markings can vary from one tape measure to another. If you’re used to looking at one tool, don’t assume the markings or base width is the same for another tape measure.
When you find a tape measure you love, stick with it. Picking up a new tape measure can alter measurements if the metal tab sits differently between the two devices.
Accurate Measurements Help You Deliver Quality Work
Even the slightest inaccuracy can impact your project or build. Commit to taking accurate measurements to improve the quality of your work!
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