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Open Source Hardware - From Fibers to Fabric#

Mar Canet & Varvara Guljajeva

The class explores the open source hardware field in general and focuses on its potential in the area of textile. How to update obsolete machines for producing textile? How to take advantage of digital fabrication and open source technology to come up with an open source machine for knitting, weaving and invent new techniques.

This class focuses on the importance of the techniques, tools and machines that create traditional fabrics. The lecture will give an overview on the evolution of these tools and how these impact production and manufacturing, with the focus on hacking, both machines and tools, and creating open source accessible machinery for a broader public.

Program outline#

  • Intro teachers
  • Techniques & history
  • Knitting
    • History
    • Knitting as first manufacturing home machine
  • Weaving
    • history
  • Machines
    • knitting machines
    • mechanical
    • electronic
    • digital / industrial
    • looms
    • mechanical
    • electronic
    • digital industrial
  • open source machines & hacking machines
    • knitic
    • circular knitic
    • open knit -> kniterate
  • updating the industry with new tools, democratizing machines


  • Software: CAD / CAM


  • laser cutter
  • big milling machine
  • electronics setup


  • Research and document existing fabrication methods, machines and industries , add references and sketches of the machine and the chosen process
  • Design and document the files of the machine, machine hack or tool and fabrication - assembly process
  • Document the schematic and the programming code (if any)
  • List the materials: electronics, materials amount other (references of the components)
  • Design, create and document a final outcome, a sample project of your process
  • Make a small video of the machine
  • Create an interface for controling your machine

How will it be evaluated#

  • References : tutorial , links, inspiration
  • Design : sketch , 3D modeling skills, Parametric modeling skills
  • Fabrication : Capable of executing from file to production workflow, from 3D modelling to 3D printing , parameters, materials
  • Documentation : Anyone can go through the process and understand
  • Final outcome : Is the project assembled, functioning and complete
  • Originality - Aesthetics : Has the design been thought through and elaborated


Review 2019-2020#