Nov 25, 2011
Comments Off on Continuum Fashion design first 3D-printed bikini

Continuum Fashion design first 3D-printed bikini


Rapid Prototyping has broken into the fashion world thanks largely to the durability of Selective Laser Sintering materials such as PA Nylon. Previous 3D printed fashion collections such as footwear and dresses have been designed solely as haute couture experimental pieces, unavailable to purchase, however thanks to Consortium Fashion you can now purchase ready to wear SLS fashion in the form of the N12 bikini!

Named after the material its made out of, Nylon 12, the N12 bikini has been made entirely by 3D printing with all fixtures and fastenings snapped together without any sewing. Innately waterproof Nylon 12 was selected as the ideal material, as not only is it strong enough to allow bending even when printed very thin (a minimum wall section of 0.7mm can be achieved) it actually becomes more comfortable to wear when wet.

Designing such a bikini was not as easy as simply entering the shape on a 3D modelling software, designers Jenna Fizel and Mary Haung had to ensure it would be comfortable, cost-effective and printable without leaving too little to the imagination. Designed using Rhino 3D CAD software a unique algorithmic script was specifically written to create the structure of the 3D printed fabric.When speaking on the design Mary Haung stated

“The bikini design fundamentally reflects the beautiful intricacy possible with 3D printing, as well as the technical challenges of creating a flexible surface out of the solid nylon. Thousands of circular plates are connected by thin springs, creating a wholly new material that holds its form as well as being flexible. The layout of the circle pattern was achieved through custom written code that lays out the circles according to the curvature of the surface. In this way, the aesthetic design is completely derived from the structural design”

Bikini printed with Selective Laser Sintering

Bikini printed with Selective Laser Sintering

One of the goals of this particular circle patterning system is to allow for its application to any surface making the N12 bikini just the start. Future adaptation of this technology could allow absolute customization with bespoke articles of clothing created from a 3D body scan.

While the N12 claims  to be the first affordable 3D printed bikini, it will still set you back a little more than your traditional bikini with prices starting off at approximately £160 pounds for the top alone. For those of you with £1000 to spare you can get a bespoke fitted model designed around your body alone.

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