Some of OpenKnit’s early results.
For the crafty and not-so-handily gifted alike, a Spanish graduate student’s final project usefully combines 3D printing with textiles and a DYI ethos. Gerard Rubio’s open source platform, OpenKnit, has what a lot of 3D printers are currently missing: practicality.
While making little plastic objects — as most desktop 3D printers now do — is amusing, it’s pretty obviously limited compared to what the technology is rapidly becoming capable of. Rubio’s OpenKnit printer, which you can build yourself for less than $800 (most 3D printers are commercially available in the four digit range, not three), turns out sweaters, scarves, hats, or really, any knitted item you program using related design technology.
The knitting machine lets users create bona fide bespoke clothing in about an hour, which sure beats the endless clackety-clack of knitting needles. While we probably won’t be building our own OpenKnit printer anytime soon, we can’t wait to see the platform’s results begin appearing on Etsy.