We present an inexpensive tabletop loom that offers fully computational patterning while maintaining the flexibility of handweaving. Our loom can be assembled for under US $200 with 3D printed parts, and it can be controlled straightforwardly over USB. Our loom is explicitly a hand loom: that is, a weaver is required to operate the weaving process and may mediate row-by-row patterning and material specifics like yarn tension. This approach combines the flexibility of fully analog handweaving with the computational affordances of digital fabrication: it enables the incorporation of special techniques and materials, as well as allowing for the possibility of computational and creative interventions in the weaving process itself -- for skill-building, for interactive design, or for creative reflection.We describe the mechanical and electronic implementation of our loom and show examples of its use for personal fabrication.
This work, by Lea Albaugh, James McCann, Lining Yao, and Scott E. Hudson, was presented at CHI 2021 by Lea Albaugh. The paper is available on the ACM DL (Open Access): dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3411764.3445750