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Tools To Measure Children's Height

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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.

Tools To Measure Children's Height[edit]

Project developed by Katherine Wendt
This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk.
This OSAT has been prototyped.

You can help Appropedia by contributing to the next step in this OSAT's status.


This OSAT allows for children's heights to be accurately measured in any environment. Traditional stadiometers are expensive, costing around $159, which can be every expensive in low-income and rural areas. The simple design of braces and a tape measure eliminates the need for expensive equipment in developing regions. Measuring children's height over a period of time and seeing growth indicates that they are growing properly. In combination with their weight and age, their BMI can be calculated to see if they are properly nourished and active. In developing areas where children's health is very important, this tool can be super useful.


Bill of Materials[edit]

1. 4 #6x3/4 screws ~$2.97

2. Tape Measure ~$4.99

3. Base Holder

4. Tape Measure Holder

5. Clip

Tools needed for fabrication of the OSAT[edit]

  1. MOST Delta RepRap or similar RepRap 3-D printer
  2. Philips Head Screw Driver

Skills and Knowledge Necessary to Make the OSAT[edit]

Knowledge of 3-D printing

Technical Specifications and Assembly Instructions[edit]

  • Print time: 35 minutes/part or 1.75 hours total
  • Assembly time: 5 minutes
  • Figures show assembly onto a 1ft plank due to limitation of renting a room while at University, directions will apply to assembly on a wall
  1. Align the Base piece against the floor and wall (figure 2).
  2. Secure into place with screws (the chair frame is shown in figure 3).
  3. Position the Tape Measure Holder onto the wall 7 ft directly above the base(one piece is shown in figure 4).
  4. Secure into place with screws (figure 5)
  5. Fit the tape measure securely into holder, zip ties or a cord can be used for a tighter fit (figure 6)
  6. Wedge the end of the tape measure between the base piece and the floor

Printer Settings for clip, base, and holder

  • PLA at 200C
  • Print speed 40mm/s
  • Infill 10% grid
  • 4 top and bottom layers
  • No supports

To use:

  1. Position child in front of tape measure
    1. Make sure their shoulders are relaxed, heels are together and head is level
  2. Take the clip and align on top of child's head
  3. Snap the clip onto the tape to record child's height

Common Problems and Solutions[edit]

  • Ensure the base and holder and secured tightly, zip ties or cord can be used for secure hold

Cost savings[edit]

  • If your solution is not a low cost one then it is not really appropriate.
  1. TOTAL COST = $8.22
    • Total PLA = 13 grams, PLA costs $20 kg
    • Clip = 3 grams
    • Base = 3 grams
    • Holder = 7 grams

Total Cost = $0.26

  • Screw = $2.97
  • Tape Measure = $4.99
  1. Equivalent = $49 Growth Chart [1]
  2. $44.01 savings, 89.8% saving

Benefited Internet Communities[edit]

  • First Focus on Children [2]
  • World Health Organization [3]
  • Projects Aboard [4]
  • Red Cross [5]
  • International Medical Corps [6]


[1] [2]

  1. web page:World Health Organization, WHO (2008) Available: https://www.who.int/childgrowth/training/module_b_measuring_growth.pdf
  2. web page: United Nations, Assessing Nutritional Status of Young Children (1985) Available:https://unstats.un.org/unsd/publication/unint/dp_un_int_81_041_6E.pdf

[[Category:Health]] [[Category:Technology]] [[Category:Children Health]].