In the not so far future, when you need to get a bespoke medical support product you will send the lab a 3D scan of yourself. When you want a dress/suit tailor made for you (or even 3D printed, or digitally knitted), you will send in a 3D scan of yourself. Further down the road you will send in a 3D scan of yourself to get a car 3D printed just for you.

In other words, the body will become “the next interface between business and the consumer”, which is the claim of Body Labs, a New York city based company that has developed an advanced technology for creating 3D digital avatars through a decade long collaboration with Brown University and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems.

“Using the algorithms developed … we believe we can create a new interface between consumers and businesses,” said Bill O’Farrell, CEO and founder of Body Labs. “Consumers will be able to find, acquire and compare goods and services based on their particular size, shape and range of motion,” he added. In Body Labs vision these products will include clothing and product design, 3D printing for speciality equipment and apparel, gaming, animation, as well as online apparel sales.

To create an avatar, customers upload a body scan or enter a few body measurements into BodyHub an online web application. BodyHub also gives users a range of additional functionality, including reposing, resizing or animating the avatar. For apparel design, this avatar can then be uploaded to computer-aided design (CAD) software, where it can be dressed and animated, allowing designers to see how their clothing fits various body types and how the clothing is altered and shaped by body movement.

body 3d printing

This video shows how how the avatar created through BodyHub can be dressed using CAD:

The online parametric systems to model the body is in WebGL (so no Safari) and the software is amazingly responsive, precise and rapid. Making an accurate model of yourself takes only a few minutes (using measurements) and even less if you upload a 3D scan. The body models are fully posable and a wide range of poses are available in the Measurement Package, which costs $150 to download.

This video show how the entire process works

It might still take a little while before companies worldwide fully catch up but there is little doubt in my mind that this will one day be truly a service for every… body.

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