College of Design
Anthropometry is the science of measuring the size and proportions of the human body, as applied to the design of products. It is the root of engineering product for the human body, establishing appropriate fit and product performance. In the past, manual methods using tape measures and anthropometers were used to collect this type of data. However, over the last 20 years, body scanning technologies have been adopted by researchers to collect high-resolution images of the human body that can be transformed into avatars that designers/engineers measure digitally. The once laborious and time consuming manual methods of measuring are slowly becoming obsolete. The future of this space is even more exciting, as 3D scanners have the ability to collect traditionally “hard-to capture” parts of the body like hands, while incorporating motion capture.
The world-class Wearable Product Design Center (WPDC) at the University of Minnesota works at the intersection of engineering, design, apparel, physiology, and cognition, and works in application domains where wearable products are relevant (e.g., medical devices, personal protective equipment, commercial products, aerospace/military, athletics, etc.). This is an interdisciplinary group of scientists connected through the field of wearable products with expertise in sizing and fit for wearable products, wearable technology, computer engineering, aerospace engineering, and human factors. For 15 years, using 3D body scanning and motion capture technology for anthropometric and ergonomic analysis has positioned scientists from the WPDC at the forefront of research in areas of human factors and apparel engineering.
These researchers are using Mimics and 3-matic software to analyze scans of the human body for the purposes of measuring the human body and understanding how the body dynamically changes through the day.