Open Source Knitting Machines: Design Your Own Clothes


While most of us appreciate the occasional knitted scarf or sweater, few of us have the patience or time to devote to creating such apparel. The OpenKnit printer, however, just might change all that.

The OpenKnit clothes “printer” was designed by Gerard Rubio. This setup combines an affordable (under $757) build-it-yourself clothing printer with open source Knitic design software to allow you to create your own knitted clothing.

Once the printer is built, all you need is a template and some yarn. OpenKnit allows you put your measurements in, design your own items, and wait an hour for the process to complete. And there you have it! Your very own knitted sweater, shirt, or whatever else you decide to print.

This clothes printer brings printing possibilities to an area that has always been difficult, the clothing line. While most 3D printers are limited to printing materials such as plastics and rubber, the OpenKnit printer is able to create clothing items by using an open source knitting machine. It can knit anything from dresses to shirts to hats. You can also share your design with the world by posting it on Do Knit Yourself – OpenKnit’s growing community of clothing designers.

Rubio spent time learning all about 3D printing and then adapted that to create the OpenKnit concept. While the OpenKnit may not create clothing that would be seen on a fashion catwalk, it could still add some fun new – and practical items for those who enjoy designing their own wardrobe.