3D knitting as an additive manufacturing process for the textile industry

3D flat knitting is a resource-saving and efficient technology for the textile production of 3D geometries and individualized textiles. Initial approaches for the automated implementation of simple geometries using algorithms are already available.

In the research project AddKnit, funded by the AiF, the Center of Management Research is looking at the entire production chain in order to use the application of 3D knitting as a universal tool for textile additive manufacturing. For this purpose, measures for the preparation of 3D geometries from 3D scans are being developed and a model for the description of different materials is being developed.

The algorithmic generation of knitting programs will be explored and global segmentation approaches valid for a variety of 3D models will be developed.

The aim is to develop a machine-independent manufacturing system. It should enable knitwear manufacturers to produce a wide range of products, starting from the 3D model, in small batches or individualized, in an automated and efficient way. In addition to knitwear manufacturers and manufacturers of technical textiles, mechanical engineering companies and software producers should also benefit from the results of this research project.