3D anthropometry : from the ergonomist's perspective

Daniell, Nathan & Paul, Gunther (2010) 3D anthropometry : from the ergonomist's perspective. In TTCP Defence Human Systems Symposium, May 17-19, 2010, Sydney, NSW. (Unpublished)

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Since the availability of 3D full body scanners and the associated software systems for operations with large point clouds, 3D anthropometry has been marketed as a breakthrough and milestone in ergonomic design. The assumptions made by the representatives of the 3D paradigm need to be critically reviewed though. 3D anthropometry has advantages as well as shortfalls, which need to be carefully considered. While it is apparent that the measurement of a full body point cloud allows for easier storage of raw data and improves quality control, the difficulties in calculation of standardized measurements from the point cloud are widely underestimated. Early studies that made use of 3D point clouds to derive anthropometric dimensions have shown unacceptable deviations from the standardized results measured manually. While 3D human point clouds provide a valuable tool to replicate specific single persons for further virtual studies, or personalize garment, their use in ergonomic design must be critically assessed. Ergonomic, volumetric problems are defined by their 2-dimensional boundary or one dimensional sections. A 1D/2D approach is therefore sufficient to solve an ergonomic design problem. As a consequence, all modern 3D human manikins are defined by the underlying anthropometric girths (2D) and lengths/widths (1D), which can be measured efficiently using manual techniques.

Traditionally, Ergonomists have taken a statistical approach to design for generalized percentiles of the population rather than for a single user. The underlying method is based on the distribution function of meaningful single and two-dimensional anthropometric variables. Compared to these variables, the distribution of human volume has no ergonomic relevance. On the other hand, if volume is to be seen as a two-dimensional integral or distribution function of length and girth, the calculation of combined percentiles – a common ergonomic requirement - is undefined.

Consequently, we suggest to critically review the cost and use of 3D anthropometry. We also recommend making proper use of widely available single and 2-dimensional anthropometric data in ergonomic design.

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ID Code: 49290
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: 3D anthropometry, 3D scanning, Anthropometric design
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 201 The Authors
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2012 03:19
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2012 03:19

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