Lather that sun tan oil on. Summer is here and you look FABULOUS. But don’t worry about going to the mall to find that unique two-piece. They don’t do the 3D printing thing and oh, what a shame, because the latest fabric-free, platastic feat is bridging swimwear and SLS.
Designed by Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion and brought to you by none other than Shapeways, the first 3D printed bikini’s are now making waves in the world where fashion meets emerging technology. All the details and ‘safe for work’ pictures after the break.
Nylon is the new Black
The bikini line is named the Continuum N12, named after the material it’s created from, Nylon 12 (WSF). As a sleek, porous material with slower reaction to sulfuric acid than lower grade nylon, it provides the strength and flexibility need for such jonts into high fashion. A selective laser sintering (SLS) process is used to shape the nylon into the small, formable shape you see. Just don’t wear it out in the sun too much as it tends to yellow in direct sunlight… (who wears bikinis in the sun these days!)
The interesting bit is how they create the plastic fabric. Using Rhino, a complex ‘circle packing’ algorithm was created to fill a 3D curved surface with small, interconnected circles. A unique, non-uniform pattern is generated. The pattern adjusts to the shape of the surface adding just the right density and support in areas that need it. Each circle is connected with a mesh of Nylon springs that add additional flexibility to the outfit. With all parts printed as one, it goes together without sewing. Ready to go all plastic?