Integration and Extension of the Scope of Anthrometric Data Stored in Large EU Pools

Introduction

Over the last decades, human body metrics have been used to improve human-product interaction. Along this period, the use of 1D-measurements in “classic” ergonomic applications (e.g. workplace design) has been extended to consumer goods industries such as the automotive, apparel, furniture or orthopaedic products.

New technologies for the gathering, storage and analysis of anthropometric data (i.e. 3D scanners) have boosted the availability of digital anthropometric resources. Since 1999, over 16 large-scale national body scanning surveys have been conducted around the world (six in Europe) gathering 3D shape data from over 120,000 subjects (~50,000 Europeans). The availability of these data pools has created the opportunity to exploit shape information beyond current 1D-measurement use.

 

State of the art on the use of digital anthropometric data and Eurofit advances

However, these data pools are dispersed and heterogeneous (e.g. obtained through different scanning technologies and owned by different organisations) and, above all, the exploitation of 3D data at industry level requires knowledge, skills and resources beyond the means of companies, especially SMEs. These barriers have until now confined the use of existing 3D shape data to scientific and academic research. Our main objective is to develop and deliver the Eurofit portal, an online platform and an open framework that enables:

  1. Designers and industrialists to draw useful shape information and use it in their product development processes in an easy and direct way
  2. Database owners to pool the data they already hold and obtain revenues from its exploitation
  3. Third party IT companies to develop new services to reuse pooled data in unforeseen ways

Eurofit portal scheme and stakeholders

 

R&D work focused on the systematisation and extension of proven methods for 3D shape data aggregation and analysis in a reliable but economically sustainable way, as well as on the development of sector-specific applications and user-friendly interfaces.

Main R&D objectives of the project were:

  1. Anthropometric Data Harmonisation

  2. Analysis and extraction of new shape information from Homodels.

  3. Developing specific functionalities to the reach of design teams of companies.

  4. Implementing a secure, upgradable and scalable Eurofit portal architecture.

All these new 3D-based functionalities and extended features are underpinned by a series of new developments that were necessary to overcome state-of-the-art technological barriers.

They are:

 

  • New methods enabling the massive harmonisation of 3D data, based on the creation of homologous 3D models from raw scans databases and the posture harmonisation.

  • New methods enabling the recreation of 3D homologous models from individual datasets of measurements. This technology has enabled both the aggregation of measurement databases and the creation of representative avatars.

  • Stand-alone tools for the shape analysis, manipulation of shapes and interactive measurement.

  • Optimisation of shape analysis techniques and algorithms enabling online real-time shape space exploration and the creation of statistically representative mannequins or avatars

  • PCA-based data compression techniques enabling the online real-time transfer of huge volumes of shape information.

Steps of the 3D harmonisation process

At the demonstration phase, the end-users participating in the project had the opportunity to assess and develop new products making use of the new EUROFIT functionalities and data.

The three industry application cases included into Eurofit project

 

The next figure depicts the main Eurofit project results and how the Eurofit portal is set up.

 

You can download the fact sheet of the project HERE