I've been working on a method to machine knit with copper wire, for creating eTextiles.
- wire needs to come off the spool with zero drag
- 30-36 AWG magnet wire is super thin and breaks easily, also tangles
- magnet wire spools are heavy, which means inertia and momentum if the spool spins, which will snap or tangle the wire.
- it's got to be cheap
the solution (so far):
- place the spool on the floor in front of the machine
- mount a wisker disk on the top of the spool
- place a guide hoop above the spool for the wire to pass through
- attach a light-weight rope thimble to the tension mast, to minimize bending of the wire
things to improve:
a better stand
experiment with larger rope thimbles (maybe 3D print?)
I based this design on industrial coil winding methods. For instance:
This research has been a part of my Public Engagement Maker Residency at UIC/Mana Contemporary, working with Professor Sabrina Raaf. Also, props to Ed Bennett, for pointing out the tension mast wire-bending issue.