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In October 2015, progressive and innovative British company Fourth Element launched BIOMAP, a new imaging system designed to revolutionise the way drysuits are ordered and made.

The BIOMAP system was developed to enable measurements to be taken accurately in store or at dive events, and submitted automatically with a full specification for a drysuit via their new online system, including the Drysuit Designer, where you can specify your options – choosing sea.l type, number of pockets, boot type, etc – to create your unique Argonaut.

BIOMAP.3D uses full body scanning to crate a 3D model of the client’s body from which hundreds of accurate measurements can be taken before determining what size suit you need or, if made to measure is required, to create a unique pattern for your suit. It is generally carried out at dive shows and events, or Fourth Element HQ in Cornwall. uses two photographs to create an accurate set of measurements enabling a suit to be ordered in a dive store with nothing more than a camera, and a computer connected to the internet.

Biomap 1The Test Team were all keen to see this technology in action, so a roadtrip to Cornwall was on the cards. Alas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans already dives a standard-size Kevlar Argonaut, so Art Director Matt Griffiths was drafted in to be BIOMAPPED. Arriving in deepest, darkest Cornwall, Matt was given a bundle of undergarments and despatched to get changed. He discusses the process below: Matt said: “To allow the camera to record the most-accurate measurements of me, I was outfitted with an ultra-thin Fourth Element J2 base layer. Wearing any thick or baggy clothing will ultimately affect the final suit sizing, so it is recommended to wear something closer fitting.

“Once I was changed, I took my place on a circular turntable and was instructed to remain perfectly still with my arms held out at an angle to my side. It began to rotate very slowly and the process was repeated three times, so that the data could be as robust as possible.
“Once ‘bio-mapped’, the laptop showed the final scan of my body in incredible detail.

Biomap 2“Jim made sure my wrist measurements were accurate with a good old-fashioned tape measure and that was it – simple! While getting myself changed out of the J2, I couldn’t help but wonder how accurate the final suit would be, but my hopes were high.”

Jim also took the team through the Drysuit Designer programme on their website, which is extremely user-friendly and dovetails beautifully with the BIOMAP process.

Our gear content is sponsored by Mike's Dive Store, the UK's premier dive retailer. For all your diving needs visit them in-store or online for your diving, freediving, snorkelling and servicing.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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