The N12 bikini is the world’s first first ready-to-wear, completely 3D-printed article of clothing. All of the pieces, closures included, are made directly by 3D printing, and snap together without any sewing. Designed by Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion, and made possible by Shapeways, N12 represents the beginning of what is possible for the near future.
N12 is named for the material it’s made out of: Nylon 12. This solid nylon is created by the SLS 3D printing process. Shapeways calls this material “white, strong, and flexible”, because its strength allows it to bend without breaking when printed very thin. With a minimum wall thickness of .7 mm, it is possible to make working springs and almost thread-like connections. For a bikini, the nylon is beautifully functional because it is waterproof and remarkably comfortable when wet.