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Continuum creates world's first 3D-printed N12 Bikini
08
Jun '11
Developed in partnership with Continuum Fashion, the N12 is the first fully 3D printed Bikini, ready to wear and available for purchase from the Conitnuum's Shapeways Shop.

Designed by Continuum Fashion, the N12 if the first completely 3D-printed, ready-to-wear, item of clothing. Previous experiments into the use of 3D printing in clothing have remained purely experimental, haute couture items not available to purchase. This represents the first affordable design that will lead the way for more items fabricated using 3D printing technologies.

“The bikini's 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.” Mary Haung, Continuum Fashion

The N12 is named after Nylon 12 (WSF), the material in which the bikini is 3D printed. Nylon 12 makes an ideal swimsuit material as it is innately waterproof. As well as being the first 3D printed bikini, it is also the first bikini that actually becomes more comfortable when it gets wet.

The N12 was designed using Rhino 3D CAD software and specially written algorithmic script to create the structure of the 3D printed fabric. The algorithm uses a complex 'circle packing' equation on an arbitrarily doubly curved surface (the bikini). The size of the circles responds to curvature and edge conditions of the form, creating smooth edges and a responsive pattern.

Shapeways

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