Source: Pakistan Textile Journal

1. Introduction

In earlier days most of the 3-D scanning techniques are used as industrial applications such as automotive and mechanical. These techniques are highly accurate for static objects but not suitable for capturing human subjects because of body movements and underwear reflectance. Now a days textile centres and research centres are focused on 3D Body scanning system for an apparel industry by scanning the human bodies. Which is the combination of body scanner and measurement extraction software. The emerging applications of these technology includes apparel sales, sizing survey, fit evaluation etc., and other applications like medical, virtual reality, ergonomics etc.

2. Body Scanning Technology

Body scanning is a core technology developed globally for apparel mass customization and other apparel applications for more than decade. The system dedicated to body scanning has taken advantage of different depth-sensing techniques. The structure including

  • Light triangulation
  • Phase measurement profilometry
  • Moir fringes
  • Infrared position-sensitive detectors and
  • Stereo-photogrammetry.

The Body Scanner is similar to a dressing room in structure and utilizes laser technology to generate the exact dimensions of the human body. The 3D Body scanner consists of four columns each including two CCD cameras plus one class 1 eye-safe laser. The units are fixed onto the floor. The scanning time requires only 8 seconds from top to bottom of the human body. For this purpose, the customer has to steps into the body scanner and removes all clothing, with the exception of his undergarments or tight sportswear such as Lycra or aerobic gear is worn during scanning.

The data collected during the scanning process-97 measurements (few of those are needed to manufacture a suit or a lady's costume) are sent directly to a computer program, which is a part of the body scanning system. But scanning on its own cannot produce a finished item of clothing the key is the software solution, the means by which the garment is configured. With the assistance of an experienced sales person, the customer chooses a cut and a fabric and discusses his or her individual wishes.

A computer program is on hand to help the customer keep track of the vast number of possibilities and choices that are available in the retailers, the consumer can get an accurate idea of how the finished suit or costume will look by comparing all the different details (colour, fit, style etc) to generate a realistic 3D representation of the customer is called 'Digital Twin' of the person scanned.

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Originally published in Pakistan Textile Journal: April 2009