AAA Drafting Blog

A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Laser distance measuring

I have used a Hilti PD-30 laser distance measure for about 6 months now and at first the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy electronic measuring tape seemed crazy. But I have come to depend on this little electronic wonder.

For some of my drafting assignments, I often have to take measurements in the field. Before, If I wanted to measure something high, I would have to climb up and have a helper hold the end of the tape. The laser measurer lets you do almost all your measuring from the ground. It often eliminates the expense of the helper. This is doubly important because often shop personnel have to be assigned to help me reach high areas. The laser measuring device means I dont have to bother my customers maintenance department and more importantly keeps me safe on the ground rather than climbing around on ladders and catwalks.

The Hilti was the least expensive model in Canada but it is of high quality. It is extremely rugged and dependable. There are more expensive models like the Leica Disto, which have many more features but I dont think the features would get used due to the inconvenience of fiddling with buttons and features in a dirty industrial environment. I think the more expensive units would be more prone to damage.

One feature that is useful is the ability to store dimensions. The PD-30 only stores the last 3 measurements. I think the ability to store 10 measurements or more would be better. Its not a huge isse though. Even if the unit remembers the dimension, you still have to note down where the dimension was taken, and note taking can be a big pain in the field in a dirty environment.

If you are considering a laser distance measuring device purchase I would reccomend the hilti PD-30. Now there are more models to choose from, and from other manufacturers. I have shown some of them on my website link below. Please check them out if this interests you.

Using a laser distance meter


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