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### Geek Culture / Measure thickness of very large object?

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Posted: 21st Aug 2020 20:45
Question came up in another forum which lead me to a possible theory. We know you can measure thickness of an object using a caliper, but what if the object is too large to get a caliper around it?

Say you want to measure the wall thickness of a large object. Maybe it's only an inch thick but you'd need like a 6' long caliper to reach around both sides due to the shape. Or simply, imagine an infinite wall expanding forever in length and height.

My idea is to use two magnets; two separate objects that can be place on either side of the wall without requiring any rigid connection. How could I measure the magnetic force of one of the magnets? They'll have the greatest force when touching unobstructed, equally 0mm between them. As the magnets are pulled farther apart, that force of attraction decreases and I believe should be measurable to convert into an actual distance.

It's all just a crazy idea at this point, but thought it seemed like a cool project to look into.

Or maybe using radio waves to measure distance, but I feel like the structure of the object might affect that more.
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2020 14:19 Edited at: 23rd Aug 2020 14:59
I'd use GPS if the thickness of the object were, say, kilometres. Otherwise it's hard to give an appropriate solution without knowing the range of values we're talking about, both in size and in required precision.

Here are some good ideas: http://www.optimet.com/blog/non-contact-distance-measurement-technologies/
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2020 18:02
Material might only be an inch or less thick, but due to the size or shape of the object a typical caliper wouldn't work.
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