Project data
Authors Brian Swanson
Made? Yes
Replicated? No
Cost USD $ 2.85
Export to Open Know How Manifest
Page data
Type Project
Keywords 3D printing, forestry, densiometer, foliage coverage, plastic
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG15 Life on land
Authors Brian Swanson
Kathy Nativi
Published 2014
License CC BY-SA 3.0
Affiliations MTU
Michigan_Tech's_Open_Sustainability_Technology_Lab
Language English (en)
Page views 739


Simple Forest Densiometer[edit | edit source]

Project Developed by Brian Swanson User:Btswanso

Abstract[edit | edit source]

  • The forest densiometer provides a practical, objective way to measure the density of tree canopy. This tool removes all guess work out of determining canopy cover, which is a very useful metric for foresters and construction companies looking to predict how much foliage and tree removal must be done in an specified area.
  • Files may be downloaded off of the Thingiverse here: Files


Proper Use[edit | edit source]

  1. Align grid to the portion of canopy you wish to measure.
  2. Hold stationary, it is highly encourage to use a tripod with the associated mounts.
  3. Count the number of square holes filled over 50%, this number will be the density percentage of the canopy.

Bill of Materials[edit | edit source]

  1. The essential material needed to create this densiometer is 44 grams of PLA plastic. At an average price of $25 per kilogram, this part costs $1.10.
  2. This part has optional mounting 6 mm bolts. A pair of these approximately cost $1.50. A pair of matching 6 mm nuts will add an additional 25 cents to the bill.

Tools Required for Fabrication[edit | edit source]

  1. One 3-D printer capable of printing a 102 mm by 102 mm by 20 mm component.

Required Skills and Knowledge[edit | edit source]

  1. Ability to operate a 3-D printing device.

Printing and Assembly[edit | edit source]

Printing[edit | edit source]

  • The print is a single component that takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to print. It requires approximately 44 grams of plastic.

Assembly[edit | edit source]

  • For mounting, simply place 6 mm bolts into holes on outside flanges and use nuts to fasten to whatever mount you desire.

Common Troubleshooting[edit | edit source]

  • To remain accurate and objective, clean grid lines are a necessity. Proper calibration is a must, along with with minimal peel up. If peel up occurs, this may be limited with application of a glue stick to the print bed or use of a heated print bed.

Estimated Savings[edit | edit source]

  • On the low end, a densiometer typically costs around $100. Thus, this print at its highest cost with attachments renders a savings of 97.15%.