3D printing has been mind blowingly awesome for years now, but now it’s reached new heights, with 3D printers Shapeways printing the world’s “first completely 3D-printed, ready-to-wear, item of clothing”, the N12 bikini.
Designed by Continuum Fashion, the bikini is named after the Nylon 12 material that it was created with. It’s also potentially the most complex bikini ever made:
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.
While it can be bought, the N12 bikini isn’t cheap. You need to buy each component of the bikini separately, including each cup and straps. Each cup costs $US90, so the price adds up pretty quickly.
But for designer chic with a large slab of geek thrown in? I’m sure your girlfriend/wife/mistress would love it.