Three-dimensional measuring methods: a review of the technology and the development of a method for measuring the human body

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Virginia Tech


The type of measurements that can be used to describe the body are dependent upon the measuring instruments used. Traditionally, the body has been measured with a tape measure, calipers and, an anthropometer. These instruments, however, provide only two-dimensional measurements. Two-dimensional measurements specify a magnitude of the body that is located within a single plane. Unless the relationship between these measurements can be specified, very little information is conveyed which describes a three-dimensional form.

Advances in technology have provided instruments and methods which provide precise three-dimensional measurements. These three-dimensional measuring systems were investigated as a means of measuring the human body.

The purpose of this study was to identify a means of defining and specifying an average three-dimensional human form from any given sample of human bodies. Existing measurement methods were first identified and analyzed for the feasibility of their use to complete this study. Because an economical and completely developed method which provided detailed and comprehensive information about the body was desired, the development of a new method was undertaken.

The method which was developed did not provide accurate information. Further refinements of this method may yield better results in the future. However, it may be more advantageous to pursue the further development of an existing method of three-dimensional measurement.