A novel method to assess breast shape and breast asymmetry

J. Pei, Jintu Fan, S.P. Ashdown

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, © 2018 The Textile Institute. Inspired by topography, a new way of systematically extracting breast measurements is proposed and used in analyzing breast shape. Furthermore, we propose an asymmetry index to quantify the degree of asymmetry between left and right breasts. The nude breasts of 46 Caucasian females (BMI below 30, age range: 18-45) were 3D scanned and studied. Contour maps that depict the shape of the breast are generated by slicing the breast scans into sections that are perpendicular to the orientation of the bust point. Contour maps are then converted into a spider-web-like structures. Thirty-five measurements are extracted from the web-like structures. Four shape factors were derived from principal component analysis: (1) the vertical position of the bust point, (2) the volume of the breast, (3) the horizontal position of the bust point, and (4) the fullness of the breast. Representative 3D breast shapes were found for the 46 subjects, categorizing this population into four groups. For intimate apparel designers, the representative shapes are informative for dress form construction, bra cup molding, etc. The new method and proposed index can also be useful in the aesthetic evaluation of breast shapes and improvement of bra products. Moreover, it can serve as a tool for plastic surgeons to develop optimal operation plans and to evaluate surgical outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Textile Institute
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D body scanning
  • breast asymmetry
  • breast shape
  • Caucasian
  • Nude breasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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