The project OpenEmbroidery begins at the en of 2014 with the development of the sewing department at the Electrolab. Back then we only had a sewing machine and a serger.
We had the idea of adding an embroidery machine. We knew nothing about it but seeing the prices on the market and the restrictive choices we quickly decided the build our own.
Seeing how simple the mechanic was (2 axis, 3D printers have a minimum of four) we thought we would have a lot of choices between the open sourced projects. However this was note the case, the department lacks of finished project and documentation.
So let’s get it right, we have an entire department with open sourced documentation , we are in a hacker-space with all the right instruments/machines to build that kind of thing and we were looking for a cool, useful project to work on and we wanted to learn new things along the way …. well .. what are we waiting for ?
We inherited an old sewing machine from the 60ies from a Lab gave use the ability to start.
Fast forward two days later and, a bit of machining some wood with a file 2 screwing ball,a breadboard an arduino some stepper drivers and the “dirtyest hack ever” was born.
After smoking for 15 mins (literally smoking ) we had our very first pattern around 11:45 pm on December the 31st,2014.
The second version allowed us the rectify the most important (and numerous) problems of the proof of concept V1. (version 2). the version has been developed through a Singer Curvy sewing machine available at the Lab.
Our decision to be able to find the components very easily brought us closer to the 3D printer ‘world’ and of the RepRap where standard components are 6mm straps, stepper drivers Nema 14, and 8 mm steel axis and finally ball slides.
this version that had evolved , changed during a year and a half allowed us to learn a lot on embroidery technics, mechanics, and constraints linked to this domain.
There for we needed to create patterns and pilot our own electronics to test it . Facing the lack of open sourced software we decing in spring 2015 to work on our own.
We are still currently working on it and the evolution are due the our researches on the matter during 2015-2016.
As we write these lines we are working on version 3 . To accelerate the speed and the quality we have to rethink some choices we made on V2 (cheap steel axis replaced by industrial slides for instance).
We also work on the aestheticism and the possibility to make it a small serial production, we are thinking of adding embroidery kits to the shop du lab ?.
* comme l’a surnommé un des visiteur du lab