Similar to 3D printing for various plastics, 3D knit product development uses layers of connecting loops of yarn to create a textile product by controlling the fabric geometry. The yarn loops around individual latch hook needles while new layers of yarn are added with each pass of the machine. This allows us to create an intricately detailed 3D shape within a design, providing isolated individual performance features through stitches and yarn that conventional knitting methods cannot provide.
Using our STOLL 7.2 Multi-gauge CMS ADF-32W machine, we use digital pattern programming to create seamless and knit to shape products. Multiple materials can be integrated into a single production-level prototype. These machines can incorporate over thirty different yarn types, including carbon fiber and conductive materials, inlayed with the fabric. With its highly controlled and precise design capabilities, digital knitting transforms the material into an engineered textile with specific functional purposes.
Cut and sewn products involve piecework and significant effort of human handling to construct the product. The time involved in cut and sewn products can increase the cost of production and create variation in each prototype.
With digital knitting, the product is designed to be knit to the exact shape and size you desire, which offers little to no wastage fabric when prototyping and helps to reduce prototyping and production costs. Automated knitting does not have any human handling because of its digital format and each prototype will be exactly the same.