Industrial designer Basia Dzaman brought the idea for her customised robotic arm to the 2016 Design Indaba conference. By customising a KUKA robotic arm using specially designed 3D-printed parts, Dzaman was able to create an apparatus that replicates the precise, repetitive weaving pattern found in the traditional Polish embroidery style, snutki.
Inspired by the old design style and the emergence of new technologies, Dzaman experimented with a variety of materials including carbon fibre, glass fibre and kevlar. As part of her graduate project at the School of Form in Poznań, Poland, she presented a variety of patterns weaved onto a supporting structure.
“Every tool works like lego bricks,” explains Dzaman. “It all fits nicely together and is easily mounted. In total, I adjusted it 106 times. That’s how many models I made but [I] only printed six of them.”
Dzaman hopes the device will lead to the exploration of other applications such as the printing of lightweight, cheap carbon fibre parts.