Introduction: Circular Knitic

With the boom of digital fabrication technology, a 3d printer is gradually turning into a commodity that every creative studio have on their desk. At the same time, Fab Labs and makerspaces are a lot about hard-surface object production while the first digital fabrication tool, which is an electronic knitting machine back to 1976, has been forgotten and discontinued. Hence, with this project, Circular Knitic, and our earlier one called Knitic, we aim to integrate textile fabrication to the makers' culture.

Circular Knitic is completely open source and open design circular knitting machine that is produced by using digital fabrication tools, and thus, allows to be replicated by everyone, who has access to a 3d printing and laser cutting. By using digital fabrication and makers’ tools, like 3D printing, laser cutting, makerbeam, and Arduino, we have designed an automated and replicable circular knitting machine.

Step 1: Print 3D Printed Parts

Download stl files here:

The name of a file tells also the quantity how many of them you will need. Print in high quality max. 0.1mm layer height!

Alternatively you can get the parts from here or also full kit.

Step 2: Laser Cut Parts

you will need 5mm ja 6mm plexi.

Files are located here:

Again file name will tell which plexi is needed.

Alternatively you can get the parts from here.

Step 3: Cut Wood

Use 28x28mm wood if possible. If you use different, you will need to do some re-calculation.

The wood is needed for building a table or a frame for the circular knitting machine. Hence, the dimensions of a table are 60x40cm.

cut the 28x28mm wood into following parts:

4 x 800mm

3 x 600mm

2 x 544mm

4 x 344mm

3 x 180mm

1 x 80mm

28 x L-shapes

some screws

Alternatively you can get the parts from here.

Step 4: Get Other Materials

You will also need:

  • 60 x needles
  • stepper motor nema23
  • Big Easy stepper motor Driver
  • Arduino Uno
  • ventilator 12v 40mm x 40mm
  • power supply 12v
  • cabling
  • arbon fiber tensor 2mm (55cm)
  • 14 x bearings (bore 5mm x 10mm x 4mm)
  • screws and nuts
  • shaft of motor
  • switch
  • 60 x paper clips 50mm
  • 2 x makerbeam 150mm
  • 2 x makerbeam 60mm
  • makerbeam 40mm
  • makerbeam screws
  • 6 x makerbeam Lshape
  • 4 x claw weight
  • spring

Alternatively you can get the parts from here.

Step 5: Wood Structure

using wood, 90degree-angles, and screws mount the wood structure for Circular Knitic

Step 6: Circular Knitic Base

fix base of Circular Knitic to the wood structure using washers and screws.

Step 7: Electronics

Mount electronics, motor and box to the base of Circular Knitic.

Step 8: Mounting Outers

Mount 3d printed parts called outers to the base and fix with the screws and nuts.

Step 9: Big Gear

Place gears into 3d-printed bearings' holders: 4 small and one big one. Then fix them with m3 screws and nuts to the laser cut big gear.

Put the gear to the Circular Knitic and ensure that the gear is moving fine.

Step 10: Place Needles

3d-printed parts called Inners serve for holding needles. Circular Knitic uses 60 needles and 12 inners. It makes 5 needles per an inner.

Place needles to an inner and then fit it to the outer. Fix with m2 screws and nuts. Make sure that the needles are moving smoothly up and down. if not, make sure that you are placing the parts right and file them if needed.

Leave one inner not placed.

Step 11: Mountain

Make yarn feeder from the listed makerbeam parts and fit to the laser cut upper surface. Afterwards use 30mm m3 screws to fix the 3d-printed connectors to the surface. Next place the mountain to its place and fix with screws.

Use the empty entrance to place the upper surface to the Circular Knitic. Make the needles to enter the mountain, connect upper surface and big gear, and place the last inner with the needles. Now make sure that the needles are moving and following the mountain shape.

Place also 4 outer-connectors and try that everything moves well.

Step 12: Yarn Holders

Now place yarn holders on top of the inners. Look that the parts enter until the end and fix them with the screws and nuts.

Step 13: Yarn Feeder

Make the yarn feeder holder from the wood and attache to the main structure like on the photos.

Step 14: Feed the Yarn and Start Knitting!

See Circular Knitic in action:

tutorial how to cast on:

save a stitch:

3D Printing Contest

Grand Prize in the
3D Printing Contest