This is how I mounted my dial indicator

I wanted to see how true my bed was to my router. I dug around and found a scrap piece of oak and some screws. Drilled a few holes and here ya’ go…

Works great. I place in the corner I believe to be the highest, run z down some so that the pin compresses, set my dial marker to 0, then I slide it around to the other corners watching how much the dial changes. With 2 screws attaching it to the motor mount it is quick and easy to attach and remove.


Great idea.
I like it.:+1:

Just a FYI for anyone wanting to try this. Be careful when moving your dial indicator across the waste board when doing this (under powered movement) as when you cross one of the hold down holes you will snag your dial indicator and the movement will not stop. this will more than likely ruin your dial indicator. I know this sounds like common sense but just wanted to warn everyone before they try this and find out the hard way.


Yup…although I move mine manually I was careful to avoid the holes.

I just 3d printed one from online that basically is the same thing.

Can a dial indicator with a data port be used to plot the curve of a surface for engraving an image on for example, an Macbook?

I can only guess yes. I would think the hardest part is writing the gcode to move the way you would need.

My thought would be for pcbs that might not be totally level or if you need to add a cut of engravibg on a curved surface.
Neoteck DTI Digital Dial Indicator 0.001/0.00005’’ Digital Probe Indicator Dial Test Gauge Range 0-25.4mm/1’’ Dial Test Indicators Electronic Indicator Gauge

This is the one I looked at. It has an RS 232 data port. I was thinking of using the for retrievibg the data. Clockwise Tools DTCR-01 RS232 Digital Indicator Data Transfer Cable

My previous plotting experience is with Photoscan and photogrammetry tracking markers with known measurements. I was hoping their might be a similar way to use this to square or at least located non-square objects with a curved surface.
I guess I nees to watch more videos of the entire standard workflow before getting ahead of myself.

I think you just asked me what I was asking you. :slight_smile: I’m thinking of using the xcarve with Photoscan, Zbrush, maybe Mudbox.
Basically, with Photoscan you can create highly detailed terrain maps or standard 3d objects using tracking markers in the photos with exactly measured distances. It takes those known marker placements and can extrapolate a fairly precise measurement scale, texture maps, and high res 3d model. So I was wondering if any systems or software existed to do something similar with the dial indicator or a laser depth measure.

My hope was to do something like what I can do in Photoscan. The workflow allows scanning in a model as a rough messy texture map, taking that model into Cinema4D, 3D Coat, Blender, or Zbrush, creating a clean UV map so the texture map isn’t a mess, clean, optimize, and detail the 3d topo of the model, and then exporting the whole clean package as a dxf or fbx file.

In CNC, I was hoping to be able to roughly map in an object with the dial indicator, add engravings or whatever to the surface, then have the CNC go and apply those carves to the real world object.

Some of this styff is probably all theory and confusion on my part until I just get my hands dirty making a few objects and I’ll know what I’m not thinking through fully or just misunderstanding about the workflow. Thanks!

what you are describing would be the long way around the problem. just use a sender program with height map built in, like chillipeppr or Bcnc. You use the program to map the surface at whatever intervals you set within the program, then it modifies the G-Code to that height map.
If you have a non-metallic surface area that needs probed then you can use some aluminum tape to map the surface. these programs work great for this purpose and you have no need to translate the “data” from the probe to a new G-Code file as they do all that for you automatically.

Thank you for those suggestions! I’ll watch some tutorials to see the workflow

please let everyone know if this is what you needed. as there are many different ways of doing things and we are always wanting to know more. Thanks.