Design of a 3-D surface scanner for lower limb prosthetics: A technical note

Paul K. Commean, Kirk E. Smith, Michael W. Vannier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional (3-D) noncontact optical surface range sensing imaging system that captures the entire circumferential and distal end surfaces of lower limb residua in less than 1 second has been developed. The optical surface scanner (OSS) consists of four charge injection device (CID) cameras and three white light projectors, mounted on a rigid frame surrounding the subject's residuum, allowing 360° surface coverage of the lower residual limb. Anatomic 3-D computer graphics reconstruction of a residuum surface, recorded with the OSS imaging system, is used for visualization and measurement. One cubical and two spherical calibration test objects were used to obtain a system precision of less than 1 mm. In a study conducted with 13 persons with below knee (BK) amputation, the OSS system was compared to calipers, electromagnetic digitizer, and volumetric computed tomography with better than 1 mm precision on plaster positive casts and approximately 2 mm on the residual limbs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-278
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • anthropometry
  • orthotics
  • prosthetics
  • surface digitization


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