Body scanning technology is being used at LSU to study how body shapes change during weight loss and to help the apparel industry better fit clothing to a particular body shape in a range of sizes.

The research is being done by the LSU College of Agriculture’s Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising.

Casey Stannard, an assistant professor in the department, said information from the research could allow the apparel industry to move into “purchase-activated manufacturing,” where clothing is customized to the size and fit of the customer and manufactured after purchase.

Purchase-activated manufacturing can reduce waste in apparel manufacturing and give customers better fitting garments. Before the apparel industry can move to this model, technical issues related to grading patterns for various body shapes must be solved, Stannard said.

Stannard and Laurel Romeo, another assistant professor in the department, are recruiting men and women 18 years and older who are in a weight loss program for participation in their study.

“Participants will receive a 3-D body scan with each 10 pounds of weight loss,” Stannard said.

The body scanner uses infrared depth sensors to record 400 measurements in less than 6 seconds. The session takes about 15 minutes, Stannard said.

Participants will receive a printout of their measurements along with a 3-D computer-generated image of their body shape and size. This can help them track their weight loss progress.

Stannard said all data collected will be confidential. Anyone interested in participating can contact Stannard at stannard@lsu.edu or Romeo at ldromeo@lsu.edu.