When it comes to 3D-printed clothing, one company is starting small. Very small.
The N12 bikini claims to be the world’s first wearable “print”, with all of the pieces made directly by 3D printing. And they snap together without sewing.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
Named for the material it’s made out of, Nylon 12 is created by a laser in the printing process that layers plastic so it bends without breaking.
The bikini was designed by Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang of Continuum Fashion, and made possible by US company Shapeways, which says the material is waterproof and flexible.
Shapeways provides a platform for designers to directly sell their products, in which printed designs are shipped straight to consumers from their point of manufacture.
The bikini is a starting point. It is possible to make a complete 3D-printed dress, zipper included, in a similar way.
As the technology develops, it’s possible that any range of clothing can be made directly from digital designs, without any sewing and on one machine.
If you are an entrepreneur with a flair for fashion, why not try your hand at it?