DIY Distance Sensor

Design Report

Mechanical machining & prototyping
March 2017
Built With: 5/16"-18 bolt, acrylic disk, aluminum

Design project for Introduction to Statistical Analysis course. A distance measurement system to measure the thickness of a Canadian coin was built on first principles using a 18 threads per inch 5/16" bolt. The distance sensor operates by turning the nut with the attached acrylic disk and calculating the distance using the number of turns required to touch the placed object on the machined aluminum platform and the thread pitch distance of the bolt.

The system was calibrated using gage blocks of standard thicknesses, and the sample average was calculated to be 0.827 (± 0.0003) in. The calibration curve and deviation were plotted, and the maximum uncertainty was determined to be (+0.0113in, - 0 in). During the lab validation, the real measurement was within this uncertainty range.