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What Is a 3D Body Scanner?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A 3D body scanner is a human-sized booth meant to take multiple three dimensional images of the body to detect body fat and overall dimensions. Many different industries use this machine for determining body shapes during clothing design or for medical purposes. The scanning technology uses a mixture of cameras and lasers to create a true-to-life body image.

Patients enter the 3D body scanner wearing only undergarments. They must stand still for approximately 10 seconds while the scanning technology performs the analysis; the cameras and lasers work together as they move across the person's body. The resulting image shows skin texture and body fat distribution, but does not show any internal images, like an X-ray would create.

Clothing designers are using this technology to improve upon garment dimensions; every human body has a different shape, but designers must accommodate these variations to match within the industry's sizing standards. Scanning different people with a 3D body scanner provides designers with specific dimensions that allow them to change clothing to a better fit each size range. In fact, sizing parameters can be improved with the use of a 3D body scanner for future design creations by taking hip, waist, and chest measurements into consideration.

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Body fat distribution is a direct reflection of a person's overall health. Most experts agree that excessive fat around the stomach area can lead to many health problems, such as heart disease and morbid obesity. A 3D body scanner can show a true-to-life image of a person's body fat distribution; as a result, a physician or dietician can create an exercise and diet routine to target those specific problem areas.

The images that the 3D body scanner creates can be manipulated on a computer screen; users can look at the image from above, below, or from the side. This image manipulation helps users understand where certain body curves are located, as well as how the body shape affects a person's gait. Medical personnel may find this helpful for designing a plastic surgery procedure, or for determining a dieting patient's progress.

If greater image detail is needed, the 3D body scanner can be programmed to collect more data points within the same scanning period. Medical scanners tend to have more data points collected since having more information can help improve a patient's care. In contrast, scanners meant for clothing design do not need as many data points. As a result, each 3D body scanner can vary in price, depending on the amount of lasers and cameras necessary for the application.

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