For this week's assignment the idea was to create a machine, which can create different patterns controlled by a joystick. You can put your design on a plate full of wooden dowels, which will keep the yarn in the desired place.

Just watch this video of the machine to understand what I mean:

For creating this machine we need a framework with two motors. The two motors are needed, so that each of them can move one of the necessary axis (x- and y-axis). We could use a open source machine from our FabLab:

After that we had to create the “design area”. This means, creating a plate with holes, which have to be so big, that the wooden dowels do not pass through, but can also be detached. We decided to do it this way, so only the desired pattern is on the plate, to avoid confusion while working with this machine. We designed this perforated plate with Rhino. The required settings for the lasercutter were: 5% speed, 100% power and a frequency 25. We worked with MDF wood of 4mm thickness.

Note: You have to do some tests to detect the right size of the holes. We used wooden dowels with a diameter of 6mm and to fulfill our ide, we decided to use of diameter of 5,89 mm after our final test.

Finishing the perforated plate, we had to design a funnel in Fusion360. We need this funnel as thread guide as you can see in our video linked above. We printed it with an Ultimaker 2+ for about 50 minutes. Because it worked quite well, we did not had to do another printing.

The next step was to connect the joystick to the two motors. For this we used an Arduino Genuino, the joystick, two Stepper Motor drivers, two 22 μF capacitors,a breadboard, many cables and a power source.

Then we had to do many tests, try out different variations to get our machine working.

Note: If you start to work with something for example an Arduino, then search for the datasheet of it - it is quite helpful to see how it has to be connected or which ports are on the backside of it.