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Simple Forestry Densiometer

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Simple Forest Densiometer[edit]

Project Developed by Brian Swanson User:Btswanso


  • 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]

  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]

  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]

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

Required Skills and Knowledge[edit]

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

Printing and Assembly[edit]


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


  • 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]

  • 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]

  • 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%.

See also[edit]

MOST Delta filament as guide.JPG This page was part of an MTU course MSE4777 OA and MSE4777 OB/MSE5777/EE4777/EE5777: Open-source 3-D printing

Please leave comments using the discussion tab. The course runs in the Fall semester. It is not open edit.