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8. Open source hardware: from fibers to fabric

Is amazing how from nature we can create fibers to then create different objects. This week I worked on creating our own spinning machine to make yarns. The workshop we had with StudioHilo was very inspiring. How we had forgot to create owr own machines and owr own products.

For using this yarns I found a universe of tools but not many Open Source. This one I found it interesting and it has a HOW TO DO IT tutorial.

Here is this project of 3D Weaver Machine from Oluwasey Sonsaya that I found super amazing. About weaving in the 3 axis X,Y,Z. At the begining I tought the materials are yarns but when you see the result it looks like 3D printer filaments. Not sure what it is. Here is the link to his web page Sosa Fesh Without doubt he is a maker.

At the end I decided to make a conductive wool yarn using an Bekaert stainless steel thread and using the machine to encapsulate it with wool. Then I also did a mini loom and a mini knitting really easy DIY!

Spinning Machine: AURORA!!

So we worked in groups. My parter in crime was BETIANA PAVON and we did a Spinning Machine following the workshop of the amazing SARA DIAZ RODRIGUEZ and NATALIJA KRASNOPEROVA creators of HILO.

What we used:

  • MDF 0.5 mm
  • Laser cut (settings: Power 80 - Speed 0.5 - PPI/Hz 1000)
  • Metal Tube of 10mm diameter and 240 mm lenght
  • Metal Tube of 13mm diameter and 164 mm lenght
  • DC motor - Transistor - and Potenciometer... (maybe also need a Capacitor and a Resistance but we didn´t use them this time)
  • Breadboard - Wires and 12V Power
  • Solding kit
  • Glue and stick (I prefer to use my fingers)

So first, Build the Machine!!

When building it: The most important is to BE PATIENT and make sure the circuit is perfect. Try it firs using the breadboard befor solding. The potenciometer is to help changing the speed of the DC motor. So is very helpfull.We were trying and even do we burnt a potenciometer.

And let's start!!!! We used Cellulose - Wool - Cotton fibers to create the yarn.

Week 08. OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE - From Fibers to Fabric / Testing spinning machine from Betiana Pavon on Vimeo.


Week 08. OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE - From Fibers to Fabric / Yarn process from Betiana Pavon on Vimeo.

Spinning Conductive and Resistive thread

After this I though it should be great to use resistive and conductive thread to make some trials for wearables use.. So heres is how to do it. I used Wool - Cellulose and Cottond fibers.

Encapsulando hilo conductivo from Ana Correa on Vimeo.

Here are some samples I've done:


Next step is to do something with the yarn... So I did a MINI LOOM to make decorative fabric. Taken the idea from WavingLab It is not open source and its not sure when are going to start selling them so I did my own file.

I used:

  • Rhino
  • Laser cutter machine
  • MDF 0.5 mm (settings: Power 80 - Speed 0.5 - PPI/Hz 1000)

And once cutted:

You can play


I also wanted to try the knitting to make the fibers strech so we can use the resistive thread. I found this video on youtube Knitting

What I used

  • Piece of 3D printed tube (I found it - I didn't print it)
  • 4 Sticks
  • Wool yarn
  • Elastic bands

Place the Sticks around the tube using the elastic bands. This is the step by step.