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Analysis of body armor fit and comfort using 3D body scanning: a case study with an industry partner




Conroy, Brittany L. W., author
Park, Juyeon, advisor
Li, Yan, committee member
Hess, Ann Marie, committee member

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This study adopted a single case study approach to evaluate the fit and comfort of a company's body armor product, and improve the design of the product. To achieve this goal, I developed a mixed-methods strategy driven by the co-design paradigm and operated it in the three-stage product development process. A total of 13 individuals including five police officers and seven company employees participated in the study as collaborators for the product evaluation and development process. The police officers –actual users of the product – were recruited as external collaborators through the case company, and asked to participate in a series of data collection methods including the pre-survey, 3D body scanning, occupational task analysis, and exit interviews to provide holistic user feedback on the product. The company employees – developers of the product – were interviewed to share the insider's perspectives as internal collaborators. As results, key areas of interaction between the body and the vest were identified during Stage 1 (Problem Definition and Research), which subsequently informed the creative design and prototyping process in Stage 2 (Creative Exploration and Evaluation). During Stage 3 (Implementation), final recommendations and plans for implementation were developed with the case company. The outcome of this research is expected to benefit the case company who manufactures the body armor product, as well as police officers who wear it in the line of occupational duty, as the resulting product will offer better fit for their body and be more comfortable to wear.


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body armor
3D body scanning
occupational health
case study


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