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An Efficient Inexpensive Way To Build In Space

In 1989 I was visiting a friend in Lumberton, NC.  While I was there I had to pick up someone from work who happened to work in a T-shirt factory.  I had never been in a T-shirt factory before and as I was walking along the factory floor I was amazed at all of the knitting machines they had and how they operated.  Because I arrived early I had plenty of time to explore and to get an opportunity to see how these knitting machines worked.  Essentially, these knitting machines were constructed in a cylindrical shape approximately four feet in diameter.  The entire machine was eight feet tall and stood on four metal legs.  It had a cylindrical knitting head with a row of bobbins on top.  This particular machine knits the seamless portion of the T-shirt that covers your torso.  As the machine knits it creates a seamless and continuous tube of fabric which is collected at the bottom of the machine in a plastic tub.  I was simply amazed at how this machine worked and as I watched it operating inspiration hit me.  I began to see a way that you could use a machine like this to construct objects in space using carbon thread instead of cotton thread.

Below is a rough drawing depicting the machine as I saw it at T-shirt factory.  All of the drawings in this web site are reduced to the minimum essentials necessary to convey the concept.  As a result they are not detailed.  I'll have to leave that to more capable hands.

The Machine

Knitting Machine

It became apparent to me that if you wrapped this machine around a cylinder and added some sprayers to apply epoxy resin, followed by some wheels to advance the knitting machine as it created the fabric you would have made a knitting robot.  Over  years of thinking about it the concept fleshed itself out into what I present on the following pages.

 

We need the ability to build structures like this in space, because once we can do this we will have the ability to leave our planet and travel to the stars.  It wont happen until then.

 

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Cyber Systems

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