13 Oct 40 years of fitting and measuring: farewell Dr Johan Molenbroek
Quite a lot of people have been measured by associate professor Johan Molenbroek during his long career as an expert in ergonomics at TU Delft. Also for Sports Engineering Molenbroek deployed his expertise in the field of ergonomics and inclusive design. He has carried out research into the fastest swimsuit for Olympic swimmer Kromowidjojo; he was a graduation supervisor involved in the development of an innovative protection method to prevent ankle injuries (EXO-L) and the Red Dot Design Award winning Tithon helmet BBB Cycling. On Friday 14 October, he began his retirement with a valedictory symposium about his work, entitled ‘40 jaar passen en meten’ (40 years of fitting and measuring).
From calliper to 3D scanner
At TU Delft, Johan has lived through numerous developments in the science of measuring: “I started out with a calliper and later worked with students on the development of the measuring stool and Peter the Lower Leg Measurer. In those days, visualisations of body measurements were still in 1D or 2D. Now you can scan anything in 3D in a flash and send it to the 3D printer.” A 3D full body scanner was recently installed in the Body Lab in the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. It can be used to scan the human body from head to toe and extrapolate the body dimensions, even after the test subject has already left.
“In the run-up to the Olympic Games in London, I measured swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo using a 3D scanner in order to create a made-to-measure swimsuit. I am currently supervising Master’s students who are trying to develop a low-cost 3D hand scanner, because hands are still hard to scan. People find it difficult to keep them still. This information will prove useful in the design of gloves and handles, for example for bikes.”