A new thingy in the verse

My very first original creation for my 3d printer was an attempt at a garter bar for one of my knitting machines, designed using FreeCAD. Fortunately, it was absolutely precise, as you would expect such a tool to be. Unfortunately, a combination of my inexperience and the limitations of FreeCAD meant that I made a fairly critical design error early on, which rendered the garter bar pretty much useless.

My second attempt at an original print was much more successful though, and is now officially up on Thingiverse!

A 3d rendering of a corner joint for a pot-holder loom

My pot-holder loom comes in three parts – a corner piece (shown above), a side piece, and a connector piece. They can be combined to create square ‘pot holder’ looms with sides of any multiple of 10cm… Within reason. Once the looms get to 30 cms or larger, they start bowing quite a lot in the middle under the pressure of the warp. Printed plastic is just a bit too flexible for that.

The loom can be downloaded and printed in its entirety from Thingiverse here.

Two assembled pot-holder looms, both square, of different sizes.

This design was made with OpenSCAD, a platform I think I’ll stick with for now. While I prefer the wysiwyg approach of FreeCAD, the ability to tweak and adjust and loop through things in OpenSCAD won me over in the end. It helps that I’m already a programmer, I suppose.

I was pleasantly surprised by the analytics that Thingiverse provides for uploads. While not exhaustive, they do give some nice, ego boosting numbers like view and download counts, lists of other people’s collections which contain your item, watchers, and a very pleasing graph.

So, what next? I have a few thoughts… I’d like to create a heddle, or at the very least a hook, which I can use to speed up the use of my pot holder loom. I’d also like to try a peg loom, since the concept is so very simple to get going. I’m also keen to make a speed knitting loom – just like a regular, rectangular knitting loom, but with multiple picks connected together at the correct distance to complete a whole side at a time.

Outside of the craft space, I have a vague plan for an “every body” doll. The concept is to start with some sample Makehuman meshes and add joints to turn them into a “barbie” style doll which can be customized based on height and weight and body type options… Make it possible to have dolls of every shape and size, not just the singular, unrealistic doll body that so many companies aim for. Once that’s done, I’d might even diversify the parts a bit to provide for people with physical disabilities, or add some similarly resizable printable accessories. But I’ll need a bit more experience before I try that.

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