A- Frame level for contour Farming - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

Lesson Details

Age Ranges
Fab-Safety.2, Fab-Modeling.2, Fab-Fabrication.2, Fab-Design.2

You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.


komal raut


This lesson introduces students to agriculture practices and its benefits. Students will learn about contour farming and vegetable cultivation. When studying contour farming for vegetables, students will gain specific insights into how this agricultural practice can be applied to vegetable cultivation. Students will learn how to make A-frame level- simple tool for contour farming. By actively participating in making an A-frame level, students will have a hands-on learning experience that enables them to grasp various essential concepts and skills related to contour farming and land management.

Students will gain a deeper understanding of topography and contour lines by physically measuring and marking the contours of the land using the A-frame level. They will learn how to identify the lines of equal elevation on the ground.

Overall, the process of making an A-frame level contour farm will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of contour farming principles, its practical applications, and the positive impact it can have on sustainable vegetable cultivation. Additionally, they will develop valuable skills that can be valuable in their future endeavour’s related to agriculture and land management.

Pre-assessment – Before students begin learning about contour farming, a pre-assessment can be beneficial to gauge their existing knowledge, skills, and familiarity with relevant concepts. The pre-assessment can be through written tests, quizzes or surveys. Based on the results, educators can plan their lessons effectively, and ensure a more engaging and enriching learning experience for the students.

Interactive discussion – By facilitating an interactive discussion, students are more likely to actively engage with the subject matter, share their perspectives, and develop a deeper understanding of contour farming and its relevance in modern agriculture.

Ask students if they have heard about contour farming before and what they know about it. Encourage them to share their initial thoughts and understanding. Discuss any local or regional initiatives related to contour farming that students may be familiar with. use visual aids like diagrams or videos to illustrate the process. If possible, demonstrate how an A-frame level can be used to create contour lines in a hands-on activity. 


JULY CONTEST – The challenge (FAB 23- Bhutan)

Theme – Climate adaptive agriculture

Farmers can grow vegetables in all kinds of places. Although most farmers would prefer level/flat area for their vegetable garden, but slopes and hillsides are a natural part of the landscape in some region. Farmers can use this region to grow their vegetable gardens using contour farming. Contour farming help absorb the impact of heavy rains which reduce soil erosion, fertilizer loss and increase water infiltration and crop yields.

we can use A-frame level for constructing contours on hillside. The A-Frame Level can also be used to determine the percent slope of a hillside.

Students can make DIY A-frame level for contour farming and help farmers to grow their vegetables. 

What You'll Need


2D/3D design software

Machine software


Material :

MDF/Plywood – 3mm or 6mm (3*2 feet)

nut-bolts – 3

Thread or light cord or string

weight (e.g. a stone)


FAB Machine:

Laser cutter / Wood cutter

drill machine

drill bit

The Instructions

CAD design

Designing of the frame in 2D/3D Software, which will be converted into DXF file.

  1. Design 3 parts or plates of the frame in any 3D or 2D software.
  2. Convert into .dxf file 

Cut all parts using Laser cutter or wood cutter

Designed parts will be cut on 5mm Plywood sheet on Laser Cutter or CNC Wood Router.

Here I have used RD works – laser cutter machine software

  1. Set the desired parameter of Power & Speed for Laser Cutting Machine as per material and machine setting.
  2. I have set power 60 and speed 12 mm/s for our 70W SIL Laser.
  3. Take plain plywood sheet and place it on the cutting area/bed of the laser cutter.
  4. Switch ON the machine, set origin and start cutting
  5. After cutting is done, switch OFF the machine. 

Assemble A-Frame Level

Fix all parts as per instruction and tie stone with string.

  1. Connect the 2 long parts or plates together at one end (where have 45-degree angle). Make a hole using drill machine and fix the plates with the help of nut-bolt. 
  2. Connect the shorter part or plate securely across the middle of the longer poles to form a figure “A”. This is the crossbar. Make a hole using drill machine and fix the plate with the help of nut-bolts. 
  3. Tie one end of the thread or light cord to the top of the “A” where the two poles are joined. Tie the weight (e.g., a stone) to the other end of the string so that it hangs about 15 cm below the crossbar.