Weavey, the Smart Loom


I’ve been a big proponent of cottage style industry for years now, and I spent my time dreaming up different solutions to marry technology with craft. One of my favorite crafts is weaving, and for my final in Physical Computer, I’m working with a group of my classmates Kristina Budelis, Danqing Wang, and Ma Tan to build a “smart loom” that allows the user to enjoy weaving without having to worry about the keeping track of a pattern.

threadedloom_scaledThe tabletop loom is operates with a 3-shaft heddle that lifts and lowers using stepper motors. The following diagram illustrates the basic concept for the mechanism.

 

loom_shaft_technicaldrawingWITHTEXT

Steppers rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, lifting and lowering the heddle cards respectively. ┬áThe heddle cards contain the “program” that addresses which threads are lifted/lowered.

The logic behind the stepper movements is controlled with an Arduino Uno which uses serial communication to talk to Processing.

The user will use an application written in Processing in order to design their weave pattern. The available patterns depend on how the cards are printed. The user can take these presets and drag and drop them into a canvas, thus populating a repeat that goes from 2 to 10 rows. These mock-ups are provided by Kristina Budelis.

screen1

When the user is ready to weave, they receive prompts that let them know what direction to weave next. This process repeats until the cloth is completed to the user’s desired length.

weaveprompts

 

From our user testing, we realized we need to clarify that the shuttle must pass through the shed. We will be replacing the flat prompts above with a short video (and ideally an animation) of the shuttle passing through.

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1 Comment

  1. Octavious Brown

    How would I go about obtaining a smart loom?

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