What is OSLOOM?
OSLOOM (short for OPEN SOURCE LOOM) is a project aimed at creating an open source electromechanical thread-controlled floor loom that will be computer controlled. A loom is a device used to weave fabric. The loom itself will be a Jacquard style loom. Jacquard looms allow for the individual control of each thread which in turn allows for photographic imagery to be woven. Jacquard looms like this exist commercially but they are very expensive (upwards of $30,000) which puts them out of reach for individuals and small educational facilities.
The OSLOOM could be produced way more economically than that and truly revolutionize what the studio weaver could accomplish. The idea of a DIY open source loom is one that not only artists could benefit from but many individuals and learning centers could gain a resource by building one of these looms as well.
OSLOOM would have an impact on (but not limited to) the following communities/sectors:
online pharmacies #ff00ff;”> DIY/makers
institutions (large and small)
I believe that in order for a loom such as OSLOOM to have the greatest amount of impact it would need to operate on an open source platform. Therefore the software to operate the loom will be GPL (General Public Licensed) and the hardware will be OHL (Open Hardware Licensed). This would allow other individuals or groups to create this loom or to further develop this loom in the form of a derivative loom.
This project is inspired by MIT’s FabLab concept and other open source hardware projects such as the RepRap and Fab@Home 3D rapid prototypers and the many DIY CNC projects available already.
OSLOOM.org will be the main repository for the OSLOOM. Once research & development creates the first bug-free prototype OSLOOM the loom plans/documentation (hardware/software) would all be placed online on a wiki for easy access. The website will become a hub for the OSLOOM project but also for other types of DIY/OS looms that anyone can build. Potentially the website could also offer assembled looms as well as all-in-one kits for persons not interested in ordering all the parts individually. In addition, a google code page will be started for the software development.