Circular Knitic

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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: https://github.com/var-mar/circular_knitic/tree/ma...

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: https://github.com/var-mar/circular_knitic/tree/ma...

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:

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    65 Discussions

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    push_reset

    3 years ago

    This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. I feel like Instructables HQ needs a knitting machine, the accessibility of this is inspiring. Hopefully I can find the time to make it happen. :)

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    WeldonS3

    Question 25 days ago on Step 4

    Can I get more pictures of the big easy driver and uno. Please

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    WeldonS3

    Question 4 weeks ago

    Laser cutting can be expensive and I know some would like an alternative to plexy glass

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    WeldonS3

    Question 4 weeks ago on Step 2

    Getting everything together but would like to do the top in MDF can I get a PDF file for printing so that it can be cut in wood

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    EmiLou9

    12 months ago

    Hi Varvara,

    I am making the circular Knitic out of the Fablab Yucatan in Merida. We are currently having big struggles finding the needles you mention in the tutorial: XKN8. No store carries them in town and I can't seem to find anything that will ship in less than a month from zeppy.io. Plus none of those needles seem right. Can you help us please?

    4 replies
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    WeldonS3EmiLou9

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Found mine on eBay no problems

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    varvaraEmiLou9

    Reply 12 months ago

    Hi again!

    I found the measures of LK150 needles and they are 1cm longer from the LK120 ones that we are originally using.
    Look here:
    LK150: http://shop.sckmcl.com.hk/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=138
    and in our tutorial you found measures of the needle: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nrkddmp5kf053zp/pdf_circularknitic_version_dec16.pdf?dl=0
    you better email me, then it is easier to communicate that blog comments.

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    varvaraEmiLou9

    Reply 12 months ago

    Hi!

    This is exactly the problem we tried to explain during the class. Only option is to re-design Circular Knitic for the new needles. We haven't done it yet. However, it is in our near future plans.
    You can give it a try to re-design the machine for the new needles!

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    EmiLou9varvara

    Reply 12 months ago

    Oh darn it :( I guess we didn't understand that in the class.. Since we don't have a lot of background knowledge on circular knitting, do you think these ones would work? Empisal LK150 Zippy 90 HK100 XKN11.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Knitting-Machine-Needles-for-Knitmaster-Empisal-LK150-Zippy-90-HK100-XKN11/142495838147?_trkparms=aid%3D777003%26algo%3DDISCL.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D49476%26meid%3D9c41eb8667104f83907648cc8e8590f6%26pid%3D100013%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D3%26sd%3D200962643133&_trksid=p2047675.c100013.m1986

    In which way would they differ from the original ones?

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    WeldonS3

    Question 8 weeks ago on Step 1

    I have received my needles I ordered the lk150 and the inner seams to be to short any help please

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    WeldonS3

    Question 8 weeks ago on Step 1

    Connection files are not complete any help would be appreciated

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    WeldonS3

    Question 2 months ago on Step 4

    What size of needle is needed because there are several sizes

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    videorov

    2 years ago

    Sent emails but no response from anyone about machine. I was looking into

    buying one complete kit with power supply. But no one return emails.

    videorov@verizon.net

    Jack

    6 replies
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    varvaravideorov

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi Jack!

    I have replied your both emails. Please check if you have received them.

    v

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    74albiavarvara

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi varvara,

    I just tried to access the links, but they dont work. The same on your website: The start-page is working, but none of the sub-menus. All links give back an 404-error-message :-(

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    varvara74albia

    Reply 2 years ago

    yes, our web was hacked and we are still recovering from this

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    HeatherH174varvara

    Reply 1 year ago

    Is there another website to purchase a kit from? The posted links lead to nothing. It's been 9 months since you posted the site was hacked... just wondering if it was fixed, moved or maybe just forgotten about :'(

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    varvaraHeatherH174

    Reply 8 months ago

    hi there,

    I think the site is not going to be fixed because we lost all the content and I have no time to recreate it. If I remember right, then entire fit was 630eur + postage. also can be bought only 3d printed parts, or laser cut ones, etc.

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    varvara

    12 months ago

    The original ones are gauge 8 and LK150 model, which has 6.5 gauge.
    you might find this useful: http://www.aboutknittingmachines.com/sr-by-model-~-accessories.html
    It means LK150 is a bit thinner. It might work though. I think you should try.