AdaCAD Public Resources

Virtual AdaCAD Workshops

AdaCAD is a design tool we have developed for weave drafting. It specializes in generating and managing complex weaving structures that are most often used in Jacquard weaving. It is free, open-source, and under active development as a tool intended to bridge engineering and craft. Specifically, it uses the design paradigm of “generative design” within the context of weaving that allows one to dynamically generate and adjust weave structures programmatically such as the structures shown above (generated using the “random” structure generator where the weaver and specify the size and ration of raised/lowered heddles) and the resulting fabric on the right.

Want to play with it on your own? Follow any of these links:

Alternatively, you can sign up for a workshop to learn more.

We’re running an hour-long workshop to teach people how to use the tool and our next workshop will be April 1 @ 10am Mountain Time (9:00 PST, 12:00 EST, 18:00 CET). If you would like to join, send us your email and we’ll send you a zoom link.

Open Source Public Resources

Prototyping Smart Textiles – A Reader

In support of our newly developed class, we found ourselves writing a reader to explain different techniques, material sourcing and structures of textiles that could be leveraged for so-called “smart” applications (but if you read our intro, you see we get into a bit more complexity on that). This has been authored by Laura Devendorf, Sasha De Koninck and Steven Frost but it is available via Github so you can contribute as well if you so wish. You can find the complete book at the link below:

Open Source Public Resources

Soft Object Open Curriculum

We developed a course and curriculum for teaching textile structures to an audience of students interested in engineering and physical prototyping. We have released this course, as well as our materials lists, kits, and assignments, as an open education resource here:

AdaCAD Open Source Public Resources

How to Use AdaCAD

AdaCAD is a drafting software that we are developing in the lab. Our hope is for the tool to support both experimental forms of weaving and experimental forms of draft making that borrow from principles of generative design.

AdaCAD Open Source Provocations Public Resources

AdaCAD – The Beginnings

Photo of the AdaCAD user interface

In 2017, the Unstable Design Lab received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop AdaCAD, a software tool that would facilitate weavers who needed to integrate circuitry into their design.

This post includes a transcript of our first presentation about AdaCAD, delivered at CHI 2019. In this presentation, we talk about the rationale, process, and features of AdaCAD. Long story short, we presented how we learned that providing specific support for multilayer weaving and viewing your weave in terms of the draft as well as the paths of the individual yarn types within the design could go far to support weavers, and non-weavers, entering this emerging design space.

Since giving the talk in 2018, we have contributed development and you can view our current documentation and use the tool here: