Despite being of the male persuasion, even I know that bikini season is no day at the beach. Finding the right fit in a style and cut that threads the needle of decency is enough to make any woman throw up her hands and opt for a one-piece with shorts.
Well ladies, Jenna Fizel and Mary Haung of Continuum Fashion have heard your dressing room distress calls. In search of the elusive 'perfect fit,' they've designed the N12 bikini, the world's first 3-D printed two-piece made of small nylon discs held together by thread-like springs.
The N12 gets its name from the material it's made of: Nylon 12. Shapeways uses their 3-D printing technology to create the material for the designers and calls Nylon 12 "ideal swimsuit material as it is innately waterproof."
"Thousands of circular plates are connected by thin strings, creating a wholly new material that holds its form as well as being flexible," the designers explain. "The layout of the circle pattern was achieved through custom written code that lays out the circles according to the curvature of the surface. In this way, the aesthetic design is completely derived from the structural design."
This design means the circular nylon plates can adapt to curved and flat contours or any size. Although it's not personalized yet, the algorithm used to create the bikini can be calibrated, leaving open the potential of the ultimate custom fit 3-D bikini.