Industrial Knitting Machine
|Noisebridge | About | Visit | 272 | Manual | Contact | Guilds | Resources | Events | Projects | 5MoF | Meetings | Donate | (Edit)|
|Guilds | Meta | Code | Electronics | Fabrication | Games | Sewing | Music | AI | Neuro | Philosophy | Funding | Art | Security | Ham | Brew | (Edit)|
|Fabrication | Sewing | 3D Printing | Wood Shop | Metal Shop | SparkleForge | Laser Cutter | Vinyl Cutter | (Edit)|
|Sewing | Sewing Project Night | Training | Vinyl cutter | Embroidery Machine | Knitting Machine | Sewing Merit Badge | Button maker | (Edit)|
November 2023: 2/24 yarn acquired and our machine knits. We are refining our methods and working on documentation.
This machine will require training to use. Stay tuned!
- This machine runs on 240V. Use the included transformer.
- ALWAYS keep your hands clear of the bed and carriage while the machine is running or injury may occur.
- Raynen F4000 Intelligent Control Of Flat Knitting Machine Manual - Instructions and details for operating the Raynen F4000 flat knitting machine.
- Machine operations - A YouTube playlist with how-tos for on machine operations.
Yarns you can use
- The yarn HAS to be spooled on a cone
- This is a 7 gauge machine. The yarn/thread used should be between 4.5 - 8 NM (2232 YPP to 3968), or around 4 NeC (Yarn size conversion calculator)
- We've had success with Super Lamb 2/24
- Coming soon: recommended seller
- Replacing needles
- For replacement buy Gold-Beamlight VOSASPEC 80.119D(C) needles
- Oil the machine often!
Knitting machine pattern design software is Windows based. It's installed on the computer located in the Noisebridge print shop. You can also download it to run locally.
3rd party tools
- Knitout - Represent low level knitting operations in a machine-agnostic way. Requires a backend to compile into DAT and other formats.
- Knitout Visualizer - Visualization of Knitout instructions.
- Knit Script - Python library for knitting machine instructions. Outputs Knitout.
- Knit Utils - JS library for knitting machine instructions. Outputs Knitout & DAT.
- Knit Skel - Browser-based design tool for basic shape and pattern construction. Outputs DAT.
- Knit Sketching - Sophisticated, browser-based garment design tool. Outputs Knitout.
- Autoknit - 3D mesh to Knitout generation tool.
Software Tips & Resources
- Choose 7 gauge, H1-1 (simple/roll) when selecting a machine model.
- Manuals and examples are on the computer in Noisebridge's print shop.
- HQPDS has a steep learning curve. There are dozens of YouTube tutorials. Some may be in languages other than English but provided steps are easy to follow along with. Examples:
- HQPDS can import DAT files produced by other knit design software. You'll need to make some adjustments for this file to compile.
- Operation Manual of the Hengqiang Pattern Designing Software - Manual provides instructions for using the Hengqiang Pattern Designing Software for machine knitting.
- Raynen KnitCAD manual - Manual for KnitCAD
Projects & Research
Coming soon. Your project could be here!
- Intro to Industrial Machine Knitting - Primer on industrial knitting machines, creating DAT files, jacquard, cast ons and cast offs.
General Knitting Machine Learning Resources
It can be helpful to compare to manuals for other industrial-style knitting machines:
Noisebridge's sewing guild raised money to purchase an automatic, industrial knitting machine for the space. Shima Seiki and Stoll machines were out of our budget and our initial plan was to buy from a start-up, Kniterate, which came out of the OpenKnit project.
These machines were facing production delays and increased cost, so we turned to manufacturers in China for something similar. We asked 5 vendors for bids via Alibaba/Made-In-China.com/the internet at large and settled on a single system, 52” 7 gauge automatic knitting machine with a controller by Raynen.
We engaged with Changshu Shengxingda Co, Ltd for a machine (model CHJX-1-52) at a cost of ~$4000. The cost of shipping and delivery from China to SF was ~$2000; we had some delays in port, a customs inspection, and needed to rent a forklift for delivery.
Here's the timeline of how everything played out.
- April 10 - Initial research starts.
- April 27 - May 5 - Decision-making and engagement with the vendor.
- April 27 - May 5 - Discussions and paperwork with the freight forwarder.
- May 5 - Deposit paid for the machine, production begins; freight shipper contracted.
- May 24 - Machine delivered to the freight forwarder at Shanghai Port. The sailing vessel is MOL Celebration, with an estimated arrival on June 22 in Oakland.
- June 29 - Ship arrival at the Port of Oakland.
- June 29 - July 14 - Container stuck in Port due to a holiday, port backlog, and a customs inspection.
- July 19 - First delivery attempt.
- July 24 - Machine delivered to Noisebridge successfully.
This is the second time Noisebridge has imported a giant machine. In 2016 we got a laser cutter. It is so big that walls had to be removed to get it through the door at 2169 Mission St.