In various contexts of science, technology, and manufacturing (such as machining, fabricating, and additive manufacturing), an indicator is any of various instruments used to accurately measure small distances and angles, and amplify them to make them more obvious.
Indicators may be used to check the variation in tolerance during the inspection process of a machined part, measure the deflection of a beam or ring under laboratory conditions, as well as many other situations where a small measurement needs to be registered or indicated. Dial indicators typically measure ranges from 0.25mm to 300mm with graduations of 0.001mm to 0.01mm (metric) .
Various names are used for indicators of different types and purposes, including dial gauge, clock, probe indicator, pointer, test indicator, dial test indicator, drop indicator, plunger indicator.
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