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March 20, 2013 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Braiding machines can be used to create automobile parts, wiring harnesses, and art, among other things. It turns out watching them is pretty hypnotic.
posted by selfnoise (14 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's awesome. I love how if you follow the individual strands, you can see that they are just robots making a maypole.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 6:55 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Visual ASMR. Swap in audio of a Swedish woman whispering about your hair, and your brain will melt like ice cream on a warm day.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:05 PM on March 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


The number of times I've watched a maypole dance and had the urge to build one of these braiding machines approaches infinity.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:11 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love how if you follow the individual strands, you can see that they are just robots making a maypole.

*flees strand in tears*
posted by passerby at 7:49 PM on March 20, 2013


Watching that last one, it occurs to me that someone should put H.R. Giger in charge of one immediately.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:16 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh - the other day, I was trying to visualize a system to form a braid or weave of some type by using a water vortex, funneling the strands on the sides to the bottom where they would get woven together and pulled through... I don't know what they're called - they have like a screw on the bottom, but then a round needle-eye style top? Like a hook or hanger of some type, but closed completely. And just a little machine to slowly pull it through. I don't know why I thought this, but I thought it interesting and wonder if it would actually be possible to do or not.

I'm also thinking about the mechanization of labor during the industrial revolution (specifically the textile mills in England, those dark satanic things), and how this reminds of that process for some reason.

Also? Like, I pictured robots playing double dutch.
posted by symbioid at 9:56 PM on March 20, 2013


I always thought they went faster. How do they make thousands of feet of wire, with a braid approaching 80% coverage (sometimes two) by going so slow?
posted by Brocktoon at 10:25 PM on March 20, 2013


There's definitely braiding machines that go faster. This one. After a couple of minutes slowly looking around the factory full of these machines, you can see one going at a pretty rapid clip here.

I think the examples were chosen to show the intricate movements of the spindles, which you can't see with the machine at speed.
posted by gingerest at 11:26 PM on March 20, 2013


One of my favorite manga shows a a braiding loom for hand-braiding.

I think the examples were chosen to show the intricate movements of the spindles, which you can't see with the machine at speed.

I think physically tricky to shuttle the bobbins around more than a hundred rpm, meaning one strand twists around the core only 100 times a minute. If it's a fine strand, going around a fat, 1 inch core, at a 45 degree angle, the strand only goes a vertical distance of 2 * pi * 1 inch. In a minute, the 100 rmp machine will make 2 * pi * 1 inch * 100 inches of rope. (628 inches.)

This machine looks typical, and the bobbins shuttle around at about 20 rpm, meaning one strand twists around the core only twenty times in a minute.

This was fun: 24 mm steel wire cherry-red at the foundry.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:13 AM on March 21, 2013


I think physically tricky to shuttle the bobbins around more than a hundred rpm
By that I mean here's one that goes 220 rpm, the others on that page are 110 - 175 rpm, but it'd be difficult to build a machine that did it 500 or 1000 rpm.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:33 AM on March 21, 2013


God, I could watch this kind of stuff for hours. Thanks!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:40 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do they make thousands of feet of wire, with a braid approaching 80% coverage (sometimes two) by going so slow?

My first job out of college was at a wire factory. Line speeds for Wardwell braiders (in slow motion) are typically 1-6 ft/min, so 1000 ft is going to take 3-16 h to run. The decks rotate at a constant speed, and the gears are changed to alter the speed of the takeup sheave. This changes the braid angle, which affects percent coverage (in conjunction with the braid material thickness). But braiders have an advantage over most other wire machines, in that there's a tension lever which shuts off the machine if a bobbin runs out or a strand breaks. Braiding was costed as 1 operator per 10 machines, and that's pretty much how they ran (excepting setup).

Our plant had somewhere around 6x the number of braiders as other machines. It worked out fine; braiding was never the bottleneck.
posted by disconnect at 9:04 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Neat stuff. Here's a better quality video of the "automobile parts" link, an infomercial showing a carbon fiber loom for the Lexus LFA.
posted by exogenous at 9:34 AM on March 21, 2013


Am I the only one who now wants a machine that can braid spaghetti and other edible fibres into 2D surfaces?
posted by logopetria at 9:37 AM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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