The 3D-printed power loom shows just how complex weaving is

The seemingly humble flying-shuttle loom, originally designed to make the weaving of wide fabrics quick and easy, stood at the doorstep between the world of handicrafts of the past and the world of automation in the aftermath. And judging by how much work has been done on this miniature 3D-printed power loom, not to mention how messy it is, it’s a surprise that we all still don’t wear homespun clothes.

Debt and everything in between is not easy to deal with, e.g. [Fraens] Discovered with this construction. The main idea with knitting is to raise alternate warp threads, which run along the length of the fabric, creating a virtual space, called a shed, through which a shuttle carrying weft thread passes. The weft thread is then pressed into place with a comb-like device called a reed, the handles change the position of the warp thread, and the process is repeated.

[Fraens]’The version of the flying-shuttle loom is mostly made from 3D-printed parts, which include aluminum and acrylic. There are plenty of levers, shafts and cams, not to mention the gears and sprockets that drive the mechanism through a 12-volt gear motor. The process of moving the shuttle back and forth in the shed is particularly interesting; The shuttle uses the cam to release the excitation stored in the elastic band to flick left and right. Shuttle timing is very important, because some fail after video shows. [Fraens] You had to play with the shape of the cam and the length of the lever arm to get the right time, you had to resort to a chain drive to get enough torque to move the shuttle.

We’ve seen power looms before, but mainly those that work at a slightly decent speed. Hats off to [Fraens] To show the actual complexities involved in automatic weaving.

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