dha College of Design
Human Dimensioning Lab

The Human Dimensioning© Laboratory (HDL) is one of the lab/studios in the Wearable Product Design Center. Researchers in the HDL focus on measuring and analyzing the shapes and dimensions of the human body to develop wearable products that provide good fit and function. HDL body analysis equipment includes a 3D topical body scanner that can scan a human body in 8 seconds-- from top of head to tips of toes. The system captures surfaces of the human body and produces a precise 3-D representation within the computer—a “digital twin” of the person. A digital tape measure can then automatically extract approximately 100 surface measurements from the scan. Cross sections, profiles and volumes can also be analyzed. The scanner can be used to analyze body shape and size of one person or to compare shapes and sizes of many people.

Current HDL Projects include:

  • Breast Cancer Survivors’ Altered Body Form, Quality of Life, and Satisfaction with Apparel and Breast Cancer Specific Products. Grant: UMN College of Design   
  • Protective Clothing Design Project (in collaboration with the Wearable Innovation Studio). Contract: 3M 
  • Does Visualization of posture in 3 dimensions and of the center of gravity, over the course of therapy, improve the patient experience of posture modifying therapy?   Grant: Community Collaborative Pilot Grant, Clinical & Translational Science Institute
  • Developing a Body Satisfaction Intervention Using 3D Body Scan Technology. Grant:  UMN Institute for Advanced Study and Office of the Vice President for Research, Body and Knowing Project


HDL Research Team and Awards (pdf)

HDL Research and Publications (pdf)




In the News:


Karen LaBat was named Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Chad Sowers conducted tour of the HDL for UMN President Eric Kahler


U of M Design Students Learn Benefits of 3-D Printing


Human Dimensioning© Laboratory Researchers


Karen LaBat, PhD


Professor, Apparel Design and Apparel Studies


Elizabeth Bye, PhD


Professor, Apparel Design and Apparel Studies


Lindsey Gordon

Graduate Research Assistant


Saemee Lyu, M.S

Graduate Research Assistant


Karen Ryan, M.D.
Research Associate


Lettie Wen, M.A.

Graduate Research Assistant








Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices,

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

[directions and maps]

Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

[directions and maps]

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