The Printed Bikini

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

By Justin Ray

Here's an interesting take on women’s beach wear to finish out the summer.

Continuum Fashion, with offices in New York and Boston, describes itself as part fashion label, part experimental design lab—just the sort of people that would come up with the N12, the first wearable fully 3D printed bikini. Although many firms have attempted to produce 3D garments, the N12 is the first two-piece to graduate from an experimental, haute couture or otherwise non-wearable state to something you can buy and wear.

The bikini's name comes from its material, Nylon 12. Rhino 3D CAD software programmed with an algorithmic script creates thousands of nylon circular plates. These plates are interconnected by tiny springs that allow durability, flexibility and wearability. In making the bikini this way, the size of the circles responds to curvatures to create a comfortable, responsive pattern. And the Nylon 12 just happens to be waterproof. 

Having made a splash in future swimwear, Continuum Fashion is, of course, looking into other product avenues. Its goal is to make the circular pattern system adaptable to any surface at any size, meaning we may see more clothing items of N12. The company may even reach a point where a body scan can be taken of a person to make exactly fitted clothing. The future will be bodycon, evidently.

The N12 Bikini is available at the Conitnuum's Shapeways Shop

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