Knitting machines are general-purpose fabrication devices that can robustly create intricate 3D surfaces from yarn by cleverly actuating thousands of mechanical needles. Knitting machiens are an established feature of the textiles production landscape, in use today to make everything from socks to sweaters. However, the current design tools for machine knitting are sorely lacking - often both requiring exetnsive taining and the use of a particular brand of machine. In this talk, I will describe our vision for the future of on-demand machine knitting fro everone, enabled by a simple file format and some fancy new software tools -- both of which are being actively developed in the Carnegie Mellon Textiles Lab.
Jim McCann ecently joined the Robotics Institute as Assistant Professor. He is interested in systems and interfaces that operate in real -time time and build user intuition. He has been applying these ideas to textiles fabrication and machine knitting as the leader of the Carnegie Mellon Textiles Lab. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Jim was a researcher at Disney Research Pittsburgh, a one-person game studio called TCHOW, LLC, and a Research Scientist at Adboe's Creative Technologies Lab, though not all at the same time. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Meelon University.