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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

3D Body Scanner set to revolutionize SA Clothing Industry

BETTER FIT: Prof Michael Ernst demonstrates the 3D body scanner BETTER FIT: Prof Michael Ernst demonstrates the 3D body scanner

An innovative method of determining body measurements will help South African clothing manufactures to develop garments with a better fit.

South Africa’s first portable 3D body scanner has been set up at CPUT’s  Technology Station Clothing and Textiles (TSCT) and was recently unveiled to industry.

This innovative device was acquired from Germany, thanks to sponsorship from the Technology Innovation Agency.

Director of the TSCT, Shamil Isaacs, says the machine will revolutionize the country’s clothing industry, helping them to produce better sized garments for a diverse consumer base.

Instead of relying on the traditional measuring tape, the scanner uses infrared technology to measure, generating up to 44 different measurements in a few seconds. The scanner is also portable and can be set up in just 30 minutes.

Isaacs says the scanner will allow them to conduct large scale measurement exercises that could result in the development of the first sizing chart for the South African population.

“A current sizing survey undertaken in Mexico, where about 109 million are living, will at least have to measure 18 000 people to get an accurate chart. Here in South Africa we need to measure at least 6 000 people for us to get an accurate size chart,” he says.

Prof Michael Ernst of the University of Niederrhein in Germany who demonstrated the machine’s capabilities, says it has multiple applications, ranging from sizing surveys to virtual product design.

The machine generates avatars from the data recorded and also allows clothing manufacturers to conduct virtual fittings, says Ernst, an adjunct Professor at CPUT.

Clothing manufacturers, big or small, who would like to make use of the services offered by the TSCT can contact them at 021 959 6826 or


Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.