Scanning a baby’s head to make an orthotic helmet

Cranial deformities in infants have plagued mankind throughout its history, with reported cases surging in recent years – from 1 in 300 infants in 1996 to 1 in 30 in 2006.

The condition is treated with tailor-made correctional helmets. To produce these you first need to create a 3D model of the infant’s head.

Scanning may seem too challenging due to uncontrollable head movements, which is why some of our customers think they should start scanning only after the baby falls asleep.

Fortunately, a head is much easier to scan than people think. We’ll prove this by scanning the head of a man who is free to move or turn it as he wishes.

The first rule of scanning a head is to start with the face. Scan it only once to avoid confusion between registration algorithms that may be caused by changes in facial expression.

Second, always keep either the shoulders or the back in the field of view. And third, don’t forget to scan the top of the head.

The resulting scan data may look chaotic, especially if the person moves their head every now and again, but don’t worry – in Artec Studio set the Fine Serial Registration algorithm to ‘Geometry only.’

Now all you need to do is erase the shoulders and the back from the scans with the 2D eraser brush. Be careful not to mark any parts of the head.

Fine and Global Registration will then reconstruct the shape of the head. Use Fusion to complete the model.

Note that the shape of the head remains unchanged despite the movements, which is why it can be easily reconstructed after erasing the shoulders. For faster and easier scanning experience, use Texture Tracking.

There is more about 3D Scanning in Medical Applications here.