Giving Tailor-made a New Definition

CUHK Faculty of Engineering’s Latest Technology Helps Promote Smart Living

 
Professor Charlie C.L. Wang from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering of CUHK (front) and Mark Sheung (back) from the research team introduce the Shape Driven Technology. This project wins the Silver Award in the 47th Geneva International Invention Exhibition.

 

The fabrication of personalised clothes and footwear is an important aspect of smart living. Shape Driven Technology, pioneered by Professor Charlie C.L. Wang from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), combines fast scanning, big-data driven artificial intelligence and digital knitting technology to automatically fabricate personalised clothes and footwear according to individual forms. This project recently won the Silver Award in the 47th Geneva International Invention Exhibition.

Professor Wang and his team aim to transform their technology into daily applications such as clothes, footwear, beauty, dental and medical appliances, which would be a great leap towards smart manufacturing. With support from CUHK, the team established a start-up company, Shape Driven Tech, in 2019.

 


Instead of going through a complicated 3D scanning procedure, Shape Driven Technology only requires a smartphone equipped with a specifically developed app to capture a person’s front and side profiles for building a 3D model.

 

This project aims to break the tradition of standardised sizing of clothing by building digitised 3D human models. The research team is improving the capability to do so by making use of deep-learning and big-data analysis technologies. A smartphone equipped with a specifically developed app to capture the front and side profiles of a human body is all it is needed without going through a complicated 3D scanning procedure. Utilising advanced flattening algorithms, the system would turn the 3D model into a pattern ready for manufacturers to produce personalised clothes and shoes to accurate measurements. With this technology, the time needed to produce a tailor-made suit could be reduced from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 days. The same technology can also be applied to medical and other daily life projects, such as customised dental braces, patient-specific surgical instruments, beauty masks and functional underwear.

 

 
To protect the privacy of the users, their visual identity will be hidden during the process of turning their photos into 3D models.

 

Professor Wang and his team are now exploring the addition of thermal scanning into their technology. In addition to modelling the shape of a human body, the temperature of various body parts would be recorded for customising material thickness and the structure of wearable products. For example, the efficiency of heat convection in sportswear and bicycle helmets can be customised and enhanced. When being applied to a plaster for bone fractures, the design can be customised to improve thermal comfort.

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(June 2019)