Mannequin wind tunnel testing is an innovative approach to maximising the performance potential of both athletes and products alike.

Meet Graham, one of our 3D mannequins, ready for testing and available to use in our Sports Performance Wind Tunnel.

A mannequin in the cycling wind tunnel
3D mannequin Graham wind tunnel testing at SSEH

Cycling Wind Tunnel testing traditionally required an athlete to move training schedules and undergo rigorous days of aerodynamic testing to find the smallest gains. Furthermore, robust equipment performance testing would be subject to the athlete’s ability to stay in one position between tests.

Identifying this problem, it only made sense to take advantage of Vorteq’s 3D printing capabilities and our 3D scanning technology to produce a mannequin. It’s purpose? To enable robust and repeatable aerodynamic testing of athletes and equipment without consuming the riders training time.

From print to performance

Our mannequins start as a 3D scan of a rider on a bike. By 3D printing the rider in 12 body segments, a life-size model is quickly and accurately fabricated ready for testing.

Everything from helmets to overshoes can be tested on the mannequin in a sterile testing environment.

Fitting the mannequin to the bike is quick process as the segments are designed with a magnetic attachment system. The segments snap together and are secured into place.

3D mannequin Wind Tunnel Testing at SSEH
3D mannequin wind tunnel testing in action at SSEH

The advantages of mannequin testing

Unlike humans, mannequins are able to remain in a fixed position during testing. The stability increases the robustness and repeatability of test. This also means smaller changes are more detectable because any variation in position is removed.

An athlete can continue training whilst overshoes, skinsuits, helmets and other equipment is tested on their mannequin.

Want to find out how you can take advantage of the mannequin technology at SSEH? If you’d like to arrange a meeting to discuss your requirement to contact us on 01327 222830. Finally, be sure to keep up-to-date with the Hub via our social media channels. We frequently post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.