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OpenKnit: An Open-Source “Clothing Printer” That Lets You Make Your Own Garments

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There’s 3D printers for chocolate, food, jewelry, houses, plastic parts and now there is a 3D printer to knit your own clothes. The OpenKnit Printer by Gerard Rubio will let you knit your own sweater in less than an hour. Made in your own home or studio, these DIY clothes are designed with the help of Knitic software and the open source knitting platform to express yourself on the fly and on demand.

Everyone can go to the store and buy a sweater, but not everyone can knit a sweater and certainly no one can knit a sweater in less than an hour. But with your very own knitting machine, you can design your own shirt, scarf, sweater, dress, whatever and then set the OpenKnit printer to work and have a completed garment in no time. Imagine seeing a sweater you liked while out shopping and then coming home to make your own version in your exact size.

Spanish designer, Gerard Rubio came up with this open source platform for his final project in university where he spent a lot of time learning about 3D printing, textiles and machinery. Rubio explained to us that, “the project started as a simple curiosity to experiment and hybridize tools and disciplines and it ended up being a new production system.” At first, Rubio had little experience with knitting, but after a lot of research, he adapted knowledge from the 3D printing world to develop the machine. Printing his first sweater was the most challenging project Rubio has completed thus far and it really shows extend of what OpenKnit can do.

Rubio offers up a list of materials and instructions to build your own OpenKnit printer, which costs around 57. After the printer is all set up, use the open source Knitic software to design your garment using whatever colors, yarn type and styles that meet your fancy. After the garment is complete, share your design and your results on Do Knit Yourself to be part of the growing community of DIY printing knitters.

“I wish it generates enthusiasm in makers and tinkerers so more machines are created, that way a community would flourish and the project would evolve collectively and organically, since every new user becomes a developer,” Rubio explains when we asked what he hopes to come of his OpenKnit platform. “The possibilities of this technology are awesome. The next milestone, beside improving its reliability, is to develop the ability to create two color patterns. Can’t wait for that.”

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“OpenKnit: An Open-Source “Clothing Printer” That Lets You Make Your Own Garments”