There are a lot of builds out there that retrofit modern electronics into ancient knitting machines. The ability to print in yarn is very cool, but when you look at the total costs of these projects – especially the ancient Brother KH-930 knitting machines – these projects start getting very expensive. A much cheaper solution to these $700 knitting machines is the Brother KH-910 model, the first of its kind, and a machine that can be purchased for about $100. For their entry into The Hackaday Prize, [chris007] and [andz] put modern electronics into this slightly less capable knitting machine, turning what was once old junk into something with the same capabilities of a much more expensive machine.
The more expensive KH-930 and -940 knitting machines are fairly impressive pieces of technology, controlled with a floppy drive, and can be retrofitted with a serial cable to upload patterns. This is the basis of the Electro-knit and Knitic, but they simply don’t work with the Brother KH-910, a machine programmed with a primitive scanner and semi-transparent picture cards. It’s like the difference between punch cards and a disk drive, really.
[chris] and [andz]’s new controller for the Brother KH-910 is based on the Arduino, acting as a connection between a PC and the 200 solenoids and pins inside the knitting machine. That in itself is impressive – now, instead of being limited to 60-pixel wide yarn prints, the Brother KH-910 can use its full width, limited only by your arm strength and amount of yarn.
The project featured in this post is an entry in The Hackaday Prize. Build something awesome and win a trip to space or hundreds of other prizes.
4 thoughts on “THP Entry: All Yarns Are Beautiful”
I’d love to see this combined with a DFA. That way you can quickly produce stuff like http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fbz/rule-110-scarf
I love this project. Downloaded brd files and ordered some pcb from oshpark. Hope to have working soon. My nitpick with the article. Have at least half a dozen kh930s and as many kh910s. Never paid anywhere close to $700 for a kh930. As an example, there is a brand new still in box kh930 on ebay for $500 right now.
help…all I get is a long beep when I plug the computer into the arduino…what am I doing wrong? thanks
do you have a video on the firmware set up thru the computer somewhere…not the one that just shows flashing the firmware, but actually showing what exactly to download and then run, I have a long list of files on my computer after the download, and I am not really sure which ones I should be choosing to run, I have hit the ayab application and it gives me the screen to flash my firmware or to knit, but then my laptop says it couldn’t find the firmware for the plugged in item and the flash says error. any hints as to what I am doing wrong? thank
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