3D Printing – from fabric to tissue

A ready-to-wear 3D-printed bikini. A breakthrough in fashion + technology.

This statement you can read on the website of  Continuum presenting their newest design: The N12 Bikini.

Why running through a shop searching the perfect fitting swimwear when you are also able to fill out some boxes and Continuum will print a bikini for you?

Some of you may wonder how it will look like… A piece of paper on my body? Ready to wear in the water? 

Continuum combines exciting emerging tech with a sensibility for beautiful, wearable design.

Looks familiar, right? But how is it possible?

In my this week’s post I’ll try to find an answer how this technology works and I’ll promise that my post will end completely unexpected.

The N12 Bikini is the first ready-to-wear item of clothing sale. Designed by Jenna Fizel and Mary Haung of Continuum Fashion it will be printed out by a 3D printer and of course is there a lot of technology involved. M. Haung says:

Thousands of circular plates are connected by thin springs, creating a wholly new material that holds its form as well as being flexible. 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.

WordlessTech offers  a wide variety of pictures and images how this new bikini will look like.

Furthermore I found an Intro Video of this printed swimwear where Mary Huang describes the main idea of this invention and Jenna Fizel is talking about the technology itself and here you can see the circle packing patterning script in action.

As we all know is the whole topic of printing everything without actually manufacturing controverial. Besides the very high costs there is always the question of the public acceptance. How far can scientists go without demonstrating that they are god?

While searching for some information concerning the N12 Bikini I stumpled upon a very interesting and much more debatable topic- the printing of organs and tissues.

The Wake Forest School of Medicine used

 inkjet printing technology to build heart, bone, and blood vessel tissues.

Sounds unrealistic, right? But here you can find a very interesting talk about “Printing a human kidny” by Anthony Atala. He demonstrates

an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney.

Wow. I didn’t expect that my research will end with information about the possibility of ‘printig’ organs. It was actually the first time that I had to broaden the focus of my research.

If you want to get to know some promises and challenges- check this out.

I guess I’ve collected enough articles and interesting videos- now it’s your turn: What do YOU think about the whole topic of 3D printing?

You are very welcome to leave comments :)

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About Lisa

20-years-old blogging newbe, living in fantastic Berlin and studying International Business Management. View all posts by Lisa

6 responses to “3D Printing – from fabric to tissue

  • domwoj

    First of all very interesting and informative post and of course, the picture you have chosen is fantastic =)
    I haven’t heard of 3D printing yet, but it kind of really sounds like playing God, as you have stated. I mean if you can print out a Bikini as well as human organs, it sounds like you can print out almost everything which means you can “create” almost everything. Furthermore I think printing organs is comparable to genetic engineering which is another controversial topic, so 3D printing is not only fun like in the case of the Bikini but also an innovation that, if brought to perfection, might cause serious damage to humanity.
    Beside this your post is very well structured and the video gives a good overview.
    Well done!

  • natiliab

    Lisa,
    Your topic is very unusual BUT very fascinating at the same time. I have not heard about a bikini that can be printed and I think today’s technological advancements are so unexpected and at the same time revolutionary. It is difficult to keep up with all of the new developments and inventions.
    The last part of your post brought you to a totally different direction: you went from fashion to medicine- that is unbelievable. I did not expect (like you promised in your introduction) that your post will end like that.
    Every week you choose very interesting and current topics that broaden my knowledge about technology!!

    On wordpress I have found an interesting post about 3D printing. The author concentrated on examples of the construction of houses. http://www.nevblog.com/3-d-printing-the-next-big-thing/

  • itgalina

    Dear Lisa!
    Wow, there’s a big jump in your blog. First you write about bikinis and then switch to organs. When I red your annoucement that there will be a suprising ending I was excited, but I didn’t expect that : )
    So first you caught my attention with that cool video and of course the idea of making bikinis online is lovely. Which girl doesn’t hate the H&M changing room where you ALWAYS look fat? So I would definitely prefer to try bikinis comfortable at home!
    But then came the interesting part about medicine. Do you know how advanced this technology is? When searching for more information I found this cool video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80DhBLEhdzk. In a way scarry but at the same time sooooo fascinating and important. Hopefully this technology is totally reday when we are old nd might need new organs!
    Well done!! This subject is really on my mind now!

  • lisabu00

    Hey Lisa.
    At the beginning I thought your post might be about new fibers of clothes, new production methods or whatever. But i didn’t expect to end up in medicin with printed organs. Great structure and argumentation.
    I specially liked the TED talk and the controversial question of the moral background of all this. In my opinion, this new technologies can help humanity to heal many different diseases and gives a lot of new opportunities. But on the other hands I agree with what the others said and it might damage more than it heals. I think a human being is not made to be changed by computers and high technologies. This could be a start for the time, when our organs are more and more replaced by chemical and technical elements, which allow us to become 150 years. But is this what we want?

  • itwanda

    Hey Lisa,
    if someone told me that it is possible to print out a bikini which can be worn or human organs I probably would have just laughed and would not believe it- so good that you provided so many links that confirm what you wrote :) Actually one should not even be surprised because there are steadily new technological inventions that make all kind of things possible.Besides your choice of the topic I also liked your writing style and how you aroused the reader´s interest by promising that your post will end completely unexpected. And you were right! You really got me interested in 3d printing and I found this really cool video:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12520951

  • Nadja K.

    Hey Lisa,

    first of all I want to say that you have a great style of writing – you leave a personal printmark but still keep being objective. It is more than interesting to follow the process of discovery. As for the topic I was also really interested in reading your story since I posted about 3D printer as well. So I was aware about the organ printing but I really wondered what technology to use for printing bikinis. As for what I have researched before, I just couldn’t imagine how the smoothy parts can come into existing! So thank you for explaining this in detail. So this video is still my favoriting. Showing a a music instrument was printed – and yes, there is a melody.

    I think 3d printers are after all something very fascinating since there seem to be no borders. Thank you! Nadja

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