Summer 13 Update – It weaves (crappily but hey)

News May

Happy Summer everyone! The really good news is that despite the lack of updates enormous progress has been made all thanks to the help of Nathan Clark our new local mechanical engineer and Chris Yanc our software developer. The 64 prototype (photos to follow) actually wove for the first time at Mini Maker Faire Cleveland. Unfortunately, the design of the heddle hooks snagged with each other and ended up being a bit imprecise so it wove a good mess. We already redesigned the heddle holders and have to redesign the heddles next to make the 64 thread successfully weave a bit better. A special shout out to Steve Otlowski (one of the awesome folks we met at the faire) who gave us some wonderful ideas to try on the heddle redesign. We have to fine tune the lifting mech, but all the commands get sent via software to the Arduino and the Centipede shield. Here are some photos:

 

 

We are now using a 1600W power supply which gives us enough power to expand to 320, which is our next step once we are back in the states in August. We have been on osloom hiatus since Mini Maker Faire as we are currently on a Fulbright/Artist-in-residence at quartier21/Museumsquartier in Vienna (working on a different project).
One side effect of the muscle wire actuators is the fact that the loom is so quiet (it is a bit uncanny). Upon our return we will meet with Nathan and Chris and get the kinks out to accurately weave with 64 threads. The main problem remaining is to design the heddles more accurately and we will be working on that in August but probably a bit thru fall as well. Once we get back to the US we are going to start the documentation of the hardware and schematics and releasing as we get them tweaked and finalized – the electronics and software will come out first while we tweak the heddles).  As far as timeline, we are looking by the end of Fall 2013. Again our sincerest apologies this has taken so long but since this is all based on volunteer labor and this is complicated at best. Once the plans are good to go we hope some of you will help develop and refine for the full scale osloom.

Thanks for your continued support (and incredible patience).

Margarita, Markus and the osloom team.

 

 

 

 

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OSLOOM is a project intent to build an affordable open source jaquard loom for studio weavers.