The N12 bikini claims to be the world’s first wearable “print”, with all of the pieces made directly by 3DPrinting – and they snap together without sewing. The bikini was designed by Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion.
Named after the material it’s made out of, Nylon 12 is created by a laser in the printing process that layers plastic so it bends without breaking. Nylon 12 is strong, flexible and 3DPrintable with an impressive thinness of 0.7 mm (0.027 in).
The material is innately waterproof so it’s ideal as swimwear and according to the designers it actually becomes more comfortable when it gets wet.
A process called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is used to achieve the complex geometrical design which combines circles connected by tiny strings.
“The bikini’s design fundamentally reflects the beautiful intricacy possible with 3DPrinting, as well as the technical challenges of creating a flexible surface out of the solid nylon,” says Mary Haung.
The bikini is a starting point, 3DPrinted dresses, zipper included, have been manufactured in a similar way. As the technology developed the range of clothing that can be made directly from digital designs, without any sewing and on one machine continues to grow rapidly.
Here’s Mary Haung’s talk on the future of fashion and 3DPrinting at NEXT Berlin 2012: