Crash Test Dummy Positioning

“Creaform’s MetraSCAN 3D Scanner and Dummy Positioning Tool enable validation and documentation of test scenarios with unprecedented precision and speed.”

Capgemini engineering dummy ready to be scan surounded by target


Crash test dummies are used in the development of almost all types of vehicles, to test, in simulations, the effects that a traffic accident could have on the human body. Today, such tests, as well as the use of dummies, are mandatory across the board for vehicle certification.

The Capgemini Engineering Passive Safety Center, based in Austria, is known as a category A service provider in the automotive industry for passive safety with more than 20 years of experience. The company provides support to its clients around the world from the early concept phase of the vehicle to SOP with its in-depth know-how in engineering, simulation, testing, and homologation. In addition, Capgemini Engineering is also known for developing and building test systems.

By integrating vehicle safety into the entire development process, Capgemini Engineering can offer complete solutions for vehicle development. Because of this, they can offer state-of-the-art development expertise for crashworthiness, restraint systems, and other passive safety-related interior and exterior design issues such as pedestrian protection and interior head impact. The development can vary from a single component to an entire vehicle.

Positioning of Crash Test Dummies Using the Dummy Positioning Tool

Creaform offers a tool that helps to position the dummies more quickly in the prescribed position. For this purpose, positioning adapters are attached to the dummy, and are then tracked by a camera system. In the dummy positioning app, the deviations from the target position are then displayed simultaneously for all points in real time and highlighted in color. Now the dummy must simply be moved until all values are green. Distances can also be set up quite easily. For example, the knees have to be a certain distance apart. Once the dummy is set up, a protocol for all measurement points is created simultaneously at the push of a button.


MetraSCAN 3D scanning red shirt dummy with lasers White 3D image of scanned dummy

At Capgemini Engineering, this software program has been used since 2020 together with the MetraSCAN 3D scanner and the HandyPROBE tactile measurement system to measure complete vehicles and part setups before and after a crash. In addition, test setups are also scanned before and after a crash test for test evaluation and coordination of the test setup with the customer.

On the software side, in addition to the Dummy Positioning Tool, the data acquisition software VXelements from Creaform and Polyworks from Innovmetric are also used.

Before acquiring the Creaform system, Capgemini Engineering used a camera-based measuring system, which was unfortunately limited in its functions. It required a fixed measuring room, which had to be calibrated at great expense. With its solution, Creaform enables a combination of tactile measurement system and 3D scanner in one system for the measurement of crash vehicles.

Features and Advantages

  • A broad range 3D scans are possible:
    • The system is capable of scanning and referencing large objects.
    • The system can also display small objects with sufficient detail.
  • Tactile measurement and 3D scanning in one system:
    • Easily combine 3D scanning and tactile measurement in the same project.
    • Use the same reference for scan and tactile measurements. Discrepancies between scan and tactile measurements are thus eliminated.
  • Easy to use and well-documented user interface to VXelements:
    • Capgemini Engineering proprietary software tools such as FMH Wizard are easy to implement

Capgemini Engineering is very satisfied with the flexible Creaform crash test measurement solution, which is used in the in-house test laboratory as well as on the Capgemini Engineering crash test track. The time saved during the measurement process is also enormous.

Mr. Manfred Harrer, Senior Test Expert at Capgemini Engineering summarizes the benefits as follows: “Due to the possibility of creating 3D scans quickly and easily, the test setup is (especially during the Corona pandemic) more and more often coordinated with the customer by means of 3D scanning. In addition, test projects that are carried out together with the internal engineering department are processed more efficiently, since each test setup can be 3D scanned. Unlike the camera system used in the past, the Creaform solution places the reference on the vehicle. This means that the vehicle can be measured independently of a measuring room or a measuring wall and without having to be fixed in place. Previously, the vehicle was not available for other test preparations during the measurement. With the Creaform measurement system, other work can be carried out on the vehicle in parallel with the measurement, which increases efficiency.”

MetraSCAN 3D scanning dummy head on a table

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Article written by Creaform

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