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Disney research creates 3D compiler for machine knitting
23
Jul '16
Courtesy: 3ders.org
Courtesy: 3ders.org
Introducing 3D technology to machine knitting, Disney Researchers have developed a new compiler that lets knitting machines behave like 3D printers and easily produce customised objects.

Called 'A Compiler for 3D Machine Knitting', the machine features a transfer planning algorithm that converts commands into basic knitting procedures and enables users to complete variations in knitted objects much easier and quicker.

Although industrial knitting machines can produce very detailed, seamless, 3D surfaces quickly and autonomously, they are almost impossible to program for small, customized batch production.
In contrast, the compiler enables users to simply input specific high-level shape primitives (rather than detailed stitch descriptions).

“These primitives are knittable by construction – that is, they can be automatically transformed into stitch level instructions. With our primitives, users can create and edit designs at a high level, and easily change knitting order, needle location, shape, and scale” said the researchers involved in the project.

“Also, because our input format provides scheduling (knitting order and location) as well as shaping control, users can see which needles on the machine will be in use at a given time and adjust their design to avoid any conflicts; without changing its shape.”

So far, the compiler has shown to work very well, and Disney has already knitted numerous unique shapes and toys, said the team adding they are planning to incorporate surface texturing options as well.

Manufacturing principles are changing thanks to digitally controlled 3D printing and CNC milling innovations. “We believe that 3D machine knitting should join 3D printing in the pantheon of end-user-accessible additive fabrication, and that getting it there will require new tools, algorithms, and data exchange formats,” they said commenting on the market potential of the product. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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