Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0874

Development of an open source finite element adult model for seating discomfort investigation 2020-01-0874

To understand the causes of seating discomfort, computational finite element (FE) human body models (HBM) could be useful to estimate internal loads and soft tissue deformation, which cannot be easily measured experimentally. However, most existing models only represent a limited number of body sizes and postures and cannot be easily personalized and repositioned. Moreover, these models are proprietary and not publicly available, thus limiting the possibilities for research purposes. In recent years, an open source software package has been developed within the European project PIPER (available at, making it possible to personalize and to position an HBM used for crash injury simulation. In addition to the personalizing and positioning tools, a child model has also been developed and is also now available. The present study aims to derive an adult HBM to study seating discomfort from the PIPER child model using the PIPER personalizing tools and publicly available information concerning both external body dimensions and internal skeleton. The paper describes the model development approach, main encountered difficulties, and perspective of using such an approach to create a model of differently sized sitters in multiple postures for seating discomfort assessment.


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