We are proud to announce the first 3d printed bikini,
made in partnership between Shapeways and Continuum Fashion.
It started in August of 2010 when Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion
visited our booth at SIGGRAPH and was immediately captivated by our Digi-Fabric
sample printed from White Strong & Flexible. “You could make a bikini
from this,” Mary said, and the project started. Jenna Fizel then also
joined Continuum, contributing her background in 3D computational geometry, and
together they aimed to make the first wearable, accessible 3D printed garment.
Over the following months much research and trial and error was done to model
the highly complex 3D structure that would create a design that is visually
striking as well as comfortable to wear. Early in 2011 the first samples of the
now finished product were printed, and the photoshoot with the first full
prints were done in May. Today the product is ready for launch and is available
for sale at a reasonable price through Continuum’s Shapeways shop.
The significance of this launch should not be underestimated. Of
course there has been some 3d printed fashion on catwalks around the world, but
those were concept pieces that are impractical for usual wear, and not readily buy-able. Continuum is demonstrating that with the current state of the
technology and a platform like Shapeways you can make an innovative fashion
design that is immediately accessible to everyone. This is a totally different
industry that can start to use 3d printing for personal production, which is
huge. The Strong & Flexible material (selective laser sintered nylon) is very
versatile, and has proven itself in a number of unexpected applications. As the
technology gets better and even smaller and thinner structures can be printed
the possibilities for 3d printed fashion will grow.
It is great to see the first 3d printed clothing. It will hopefully
inspire the fashion and couture industry to imagine new directions in how to
use 3d printing. Meanwhile we are proud to have to worked with Continuum on
this product and further possibilities. It truly shows that 3d printing is a
serious production technology. We can’t wait to see what’s next!