Is there an open-source do-it-yourself computer automated loom?
Fabric is very useful, clothing, furniture, sails, bags.
What stages are available in fabric fabrication?
Synthesis: can collect fibers from biological realm (hemp and flax
decortication, sheep shearing, silk pods, cotton boles, the usual
suspects) or make semi synthetically: one I'm particularly interested
in is cellulose carbamate, which can be used for rayon-like fabrics
and is made from cellulose, urea, and carbon dioxide under pressure
(but not unreasonable amounts).
Spinning: can be automated without great difficulty.
Weaving/knitting/crocheting: a good open source loom would be fantastic.
Dying: can be done effectively with a large-format inkjet printer
Cutting: a table gantry can easily do this
Sewing: wide open potential to automate this aspect
Embroidery: more or less nailed already, but not open source
Embedded electronics / flexible electronics: really, a much better
idea than a brittle PCB. Ask Clothbot!
Basically this is a wide open and multibillion dollar market that will
never go away, since people need/want new clothing every few months to
years and this is unlikely to change.
I've been thinking for awhile that the OSE Pattern Language needs an
entire chain dedicated to fabric: they've nailed shelter, food, heat,
power and tools, but clothing is currently absent. I figure this is
because Marcin knows that with the right tools and power and crops you
can make clothing without a lot of difficulty, but it's a big enough
part of the picture as to reward a robust open source toolchain.
There's a few plans via
"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
ambition." - Carl Sagan