Open source hardware

Build a new machine. Understand the potential of open source hardware in the area of textiles. Learn the possibilities for updating obsolete machines with new technology. Explore how to use digital fabrication to fabricate an open source machine or tool for knitting, weaving or similar processes.

Class 8
  • SoftwareSublime, Adobe Ilustrator.
  • MachinesLaser Trotec speedy 400 flex
  • Materialsmdf, rubber band, wool, silk
  • ComponentsStepper motor, Mosfet f520, potenciometer 10k, 12v power supply
  • Download files -

How to make a yarn spinning machine

Fab Lab Barcelona

From Boston to Barcelona, ​​this week I change my lab to share experiences with my colleagues in Barcelona (Ana, Lara, Catherine, Bethany, Valeria, Ana Laura, Jenny and Anastasia as a teacher) where I can be part of the creation workshop of a yarn spinning machine together with the guests Sara and Natalija by Stuido Hilo.

Studio Hilo

"The spinning machine HILO challenges the process by which yarn is produced, making it more efficient, personalised, and sustainable. The innovation of HILO lies in its flexibility and ability to produce yarn of desired tactility in a single spin. It is also sustainable, as it produces only the required amount of yarn. HILO reinvents textile manufacturing by reevaluating the potential of traditional yarn spinning techniques."

Working group

In the first workshop session we held a work session to understand the processes that are needed to generate a garment from the raw material to the final finish. For this, we created a panel with key words, about materials and processes that we finally discussed for its correct organization.

Understanding processes

These are the results that we obtained after the debate and distribution of the concepts


This machine has the advantage of having simple materials and easily achievable in a fab lab. We use the laser cutter to cut the case of the machine in mdf, two metal tubes of different calibers, a stepper motor, a 10k booster, a mosfet r520, and a 12v power source. Other materials needed were two types of rubber band, and glue to glue the pieces.


The assembly of the machine is relatively simple having as reference the image of the machine that the teachers had previously made.

Making holes

At the time of assembly we realized that several holes are missing necessary for the operation of the machine. Specifically, two holes for the rubber and two to keep the motor on the platform. And we had to perform this process manually with a drill.

Time to glueing

Once we solve all the details, we start to paste the pieces between them. It is important to stick the tubes to the MDF surface to work properly.

More holes

Another detail that must be taken into account is to make a hole in the metal cylinder of smaller diameter to insert the thread with the custom yarn.

Metal milling Machine

To make this hole in the cylinder, we use the router of the fab lab with a drill bit of suitable diameter. In this photo my super teammate Jenny sanding the surface of the cylinder so that the edges do not cut the thread with the movement.

More details

Once we have all the elements correctly assembled, we add some hooks where the thread has to go through so that it stays in the outer cylinder.

Placing the Motor

For this occasion we fixed the motor with simple flanges that held it tightly to the base of the machine


In this diagram we can see the scheme of the connections we made before welding the components. Depending on the connection, the motor polarity varies direction when spinning.


We connect the components in a protoboard to test the first prototype, checking the power of the motor and the potentiometer variability.+


The test was satisfactory, so we soldered the components directly between them. We do not weld the power supply for the time being until we check that the machine is working correctly.

The machine

Finally the machine is finished, it is time to take action and start spinning.


Monochromo TeamJenny Kleininger, Montserrat Ciges