A new data structure and workflow for using 3D anthropometry in the design of wearable products

S Verwulgen, D Lacko, Kristof Vaes, Femke Danckaers, G De Bruyne, Toon Huysmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The human body is a complex biomechanical system that exhibits many variations. Wearable
products should be both functional and comfortable. They require a close and accurate fit to the
body of the end-user. Current approaches to design body near products rely on 1D anthropometry
and unrealistic manikins, e.g. constructed from simple surfaces such as spheres and cylinders
connected by splines. With the uprising of 3D scanning, a myriad of accurate 3D body models
becomes available. In this paper we present a framework to use this 3D shape information in the
development of wearable products. The key concept that we introduce to achieve this extension, is
an enriched shape model: a statistical shape model of the human body that also contains all 1D
anthropometric data in it. With enriched shape models, a 3D shape can be parameterized with a
given set of anthropometric features. Thus the dense geometric information of an individual’s shape
can be obtained simply by tuning that individual’s anthropometric values. By designing on the
generated 3D surface, a product can be obtained that closely fits the individual’s shape. We thus
extend the method of linking 1D anthropometric data with the dimensions of a product. This results
in three design strategies that link both body shape with product geometry: design for collective fit,
design for fit within clusters and design for individual fit. Each strategy is explained and studied
with the design of wearable EEG headsets that fits the human head.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Mass customization
  • EEG headset
  • computer aided design
  • Parameterized design
  • 3D Anthropometry
  • Statistical shape model


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