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Before Dachtein Mars simulation, Humans factors are being taken in account in the Aouda.X suit design, especially in the shoulder region: exploring 3D body scans to develop new generation shoulder pads to bear Hard-Upper-Torso (HUT) and Portable Life Support System (PLSS) weight.
As current pads are not especially designed for the suit use and suit tester’s morphology (they are made to have extra heavy layers under), a preliminary work has been conducted to design a proper mould for the hard shoulder pad layer.The full shoulder pads (SP) project is also dealing with mechanical external solicitations (HUT parts in direct contact with the external layer) while the part discussed there is only oriented on human factors, in other words: how can we optimize the weight spread over the shoulder?
A part of the answer resides in the shape of the shoulder pads dictated by its hard layer (fiber glass fabric layer) itself coming from the actual shoulder shape of a suit tester. After looking at NASA STD-3000 standards to check astronauts measurements in the shoulder area, a 3D body scan (Polygon Mesh) has been selected from a bank to have approximately theses measurements. Then the shoulder part has been extracted.
The shoulder is a joint between the arm and the torso so body scanners have difficulties to render this area properly, it was necessary to clean the virtual shoulder in order to get a smooth shape. Self intersecting faces are the expression of these errors in joint areas. Appropriate software to deal with polygon meshes is “Meshlab”, its function “remove self intersecting faces” was used to perform this job.Furthermore, to print a mould with a 3D printer, ones need a watertight shape, and because faces have been withdrawn, a reconstruction function has been used in Meshlab, there: “Surface Reconstruction : Poisson”, the output of the function is a watertight object assuring the surface’s continuity. The Mesh can now be exported to “Autocad” format (there, “.dxf”), it will then be sliced to fit in the 3D printer dimensions. The virtual mould is then exported to “.stl” to build it in reality.
The blue layer is the final fiber glass fabric layer, it is obtained after laying down the fabric over the mould, building a rigid structure able to resist the weight of the HUT and PLSS and providing comfort to suit testers by being more adapted to their morphology.
This article is available in: German
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