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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Jeremy O'Halloran, and I'm currently getting my bachelors degree for industrial design. For one of my classes, im designing an ergonomic digital protractor/level. I would love any sort of feedback about the tool.
 

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Last year Lee Valley started to import one from China for $20 (now $25). I bought three (two to give away) and while it is as accurate as I can measure, I lament why didn't we (USA) come up with this design in the first place?

Jeremy I commend you on your effort. Let us know how it turns out.

Harbor Freight has one with a magnetic base that is more for tool alignment:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95998


HF no longer carries the model that I have, but it is still carried by Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=58801&cat=1,43513

Here is a link from March 2009 on another forum
http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41820

Attached are two annotated pics of mine:
• The 1st Pic is the Lee Valley Angle Finder & a cheap plastic Speed Square.
• The 2nd Pic compares the Lee Valley bubble level against a Stabila torpedo Level.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link! My goal is to improve the tool ergonomically. So, do you have any complaints toward it? For instance, size,shape,texture (material), sound, the buttons (too big too small) etc..any sort of input like that would be appreciated. Pictures of you holding it would be a plus as well

Thank You!
 

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Jeremy, No ergonomic complaints on this tool. It is a measuring tool and compared to measuring tools that are used frequently e.g. measuring tapes, this tool doesn't get used that much so unless there are glaring design problems, there are few complaints.

My only criticism was not anything to do with ergonomics but the design of the 'OFF' button, where unless the button was held down for 5 sec the tool would just go into a 'Hold' mode that still puts a small drain on the Battery. Then if I didn't use it for three months, I could find the $6 Li-Ion battery Dead.

Here is another link to a follow-up thread:
http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43301
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks once again. Any possible chance I could get some pictures of you or someone using the tool? Im just curious as to how people may hold it during use. Also do you wish the level had any other features?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wow thats a really good idea, ill more than likely put it in my design...any other suggestions?
 

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My opinion on levels is:

The bubble in the tube is a good technology to determine levelness and it is mostly accurate, but its hard to get it directly in the center of the two calibrations. You will never get it perfectly level. Laser levels that are based off of the bubble/tube are even less accurate because the further you project a line off of an angle that is not exactly plum, the more off it is in the end.

The smaller the project you are woking on, the less precise the angle needs to be is and the more precise the distance needs to be. The bigger the project, the less precise the distance needs to be and the more precise the angle needs to be angle needs to be.

Mechanical engineers need very precise distance measurements. Civil engineers need very precise angular measurements.

That's my 2 cents worth. I'd rather just eyeball it because if I get it right that way, it makes me feel like a real man.
 

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Thanks once again. Any possible chance I could get some pictures of you or someone using the tool?
How about getting one of the Lee-Valley's or similar Skil type units and have a colleague try it while you take a series of pics to demonstrate how ergonomics play in using a new tool for the first time?
 

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I have the Bosch DWM-40L (predecessor to the DAF-220K) and find that it's quite easy to work with. The only thing that might make it a bit easier is a hand hole with rubberized edge additions, like a Stabila level. That's the digital protractor.
DAF220K

For levels, I have a 24" and 48" Stabila Tech level. Both of those are electronic and accurate down to .1 degree. I wouldn't change a thing about them, not one. Stabila has the design down pat.
Stabila Tech level
 
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