Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitting Robots

Don't even consider knitting an iPhone cozy...let robots do it for you!

Miracles of 3-D Printing

If you can create a 3-D graphic (which isn't me), there are companies that will "print" your 3-D image using various materials.

The cases shown above were made by a 3-D printing company called Shapeways, and they were "printed" so that each strand of yarn in the fabric is separate and it moves independently of the other strands...just like real knitting.  I would imagine the sculpted fabric would also add a level of protection to an iPhone as well.

I decided to see if I could  make a printable 3-D image and I got pretty far along in the process, but wasn't quite able to get it in a state that was printable.

I started off with the 2-D JPG image of the Men's Knitting Retreat graphic.

Then, I downloaded free software (Inkscape) to convert the graphic to an SVG file (Scalable Vector Graphics is an XML-based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics).

Then I downloaded another free software, Blender that does 3-D graphics (mostly for animation) that allowed me to "extrude" the flat graphic into a three dimensional version of the grapic.

That was the difficult part...understanding graphics software (like Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape) is difficult's a whole new language of understanding vectors and and tracing, but then to add on a whole new dimension (so to speak), and the language gets exponentially more difficult to understand.

I tried uploading a 3-D graphic similar to the one shown above to Shapeways to see if I could get it printed, but it didn't qualify.  I think it was that the walls around the outer edge weren't thick enough.

Even still the exercise was quite fun and I learned a ton.

Current Knitting

I finally finished 15 inches on the body of my current pullover...I'm thinking at least 1/2 an inch more before I start shaping for the arm holes...almost there!

Readers' Comments/Questions
Teresa (aka Katsapw) writes, "So ... I have to say I'm two yrs new to the art of Knitting and I haven't touched my mini mochi yet. I'm dying to. I am curious as to the pattern you are using in this. I'm thinking it's the double dayflower. I hope to hear back soon even tho this is an old post of yours. You should be happy it comes up on image searches for lace mini mochi searches. Thanks so much for posting it. It's a great idea."

Thanks Teresa...Mini Mochi is a wonderful yarn, so I'm glad to be able to promote it a bit.  The scarf you googled is something I ended up calling the Man's Lace Scarf and is a free pattern both on Ravelry  and here:

I'm sure I took the pattern repeat from one of the Barbara Walker books, but I honestly don't remember what it's called.

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