3rd International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Finite Element Modeling and Validation of a Human Foot through experimental studies

E. Vijayaragavan, T. V. Gopal

Department of Mechanical Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, SRM Nagar, Kattankulathur


Foot, modeling


The mechanical experimentation in human beings is practically very difficult due to various laws and procedures. The use of Finite Element (FE) model of the human parts has a significant effect in research. Foot, the most complex structure in human body consists of 26 bones and 33 joints. As reported in the existing literatures, several finite element foot models are developed by imposing simplifications on its anatomy by considering the ligaments as tension free link element, which has a significant variance compared to the experimental results. This paper attempts to develop and validate a realistic finite element model of a normal human foot with bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments mimicking the actual foot using Image Reconstruction Techniques (IRT). The finite element analysis on this model is performed to simulate the balanced standing condition by applying the necessary loading and boundary conditions. Under balanced standing condition, a maximum Von Mises stress of 0.139 MPa is observed in the heel region. For validating the results obtained from finite element analysis, the experimental studies with (i) Moticon insole and (ii) Noraxon’s FDM-T SciFit Treadmill is conducted, which provided a variation of 4.3 % and 0.7 % respectively with FE studies.

Moticon's Summary

This study aimed to improve finite element modelling of the foot. Specifically the authors goal was to develop a more accurate model representation of the foot incorporating elements like ligaments, muscles, tendons and soft tissue. In this context CT scans served as a basis for the subsequent conversion into 3D imagery of an individual subject's foot. The 3D foot model was further used for finite element analysis and was validated against data derived from Moticon sensor insoles during a treadmill walk test. Results revealed reasonable model predictions.

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