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Archive for the ‘embroidery’ Category

A needle and thread is extremely useful if you need to fasten a few pieces of fabric or sew on a button, and a sewing machine takes things up several notches in speed an accuracy. This venerable machine, however, can now be enhanced with a trio of stepper motors under Arduino Uno GRBL control to take things to an entirely new level.

The “Self-Made Embroidery Machine” employs a setup very similar to a 3D printer or CNC router. Two steppers move the fabric around, while a third actuates the needle. This allows the user to program in decorative shapes and patterns as shown in the video below, and the build process is well documented if you’d like to create your own!

Sewing machine part is any old or new sewing machine. Only change for original is stepper motor with synchronised pulley system (chain/belt drive) and more embroidery friendly presser foot. It is recommended to use older sewing machine, way more convenient to mount stepper motor to cast iron and prices are relatively cheap.

XY movement consists mainly 3D printed parts, 12 pcs and similar parts known from self build 3D printers. Both axes use GT2 belts, NEMA 17 steppers and both directions are fully scalable.

Synchronous movement comes from Arduino powered GRBL G-code interpreter, it is mouthful, but basically machine moves using G-code send to Arduino. It is not that complicated and it is only carrier like any other one when going from system to another one.

Now we have movement and code, but how to make nice shapes and export to G-code. It is nothing to do with medieval sorcery, it is a matter of downloading Inkscape and extension called Inkstitch.

Help and examples how to use Inkstitch extension can be found address above. End result should be really close to hobby level embroidery machines, just slower speed. After all, embroidery machine is nothing more than overgrown sewing machine.


Embroidered Nyan Cat Brings a Meme to the Real World

adafruit, arduino, arduino hacks, audio, audiofx, cat, embroidery, Github, LED, meme, nyan, nyan cat, Sewing Commenti disabilitati su Embroidered Nyan Cat Brings a Meme to the Real World 

Have you ever come across an Internet meme and just thought to yourself, “I have to bring this into the physical world!” Well [0xb3nn] and [Knit Knit] did. They decided to take the classic nyan cat meme and bring it to life.

The frame is 24″ x 36″. Many hours went into the knitting process, but the result obviously turned out very well. The stars include 24 LED sequins to add a sparkling animation effect. These were sewn onto the back of the work using conductive thread. They are bright enough to shine through to the front where needed. These connect back to an Arduino Pro Mini 5V board.

The Arduino is also connected to a capacitive touch sensor. This allows the user to simply place their hand over the nyan cat image to start the animation. No need for physical buttons or switches to take away from the visual design. An Adafruit AudioFX sound board was used to play back a saved nyan cat theme song over a couple of speakers. The source code for this project is available on github. Be sure to watch the demo video below.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Generating Embroidery with an Arduino

arduino, arduino hacks, embrodermodder, embroidery, TFT Commenti disabilitati su Generating Embroidery with an Arduino 

Arduino Embroidery Generation

Want a nifty way to combine the craft of embroidery with electronics? The folks working on the open source Embroidermodder demoed their software by generating an embroidery of the KDE logo using a TFT screen and an Arduino.

Embroidermodder is an open source tool for generating embroidery patterns. It generates a pattern and a preview rendering of what the embroidery will look like when complete. It’s a cross-platform desktop application with a GUI, but the libembroidery library does the hard work in the background. This library was ported to Arduino to pull off the hack.

While generating pictures of embroidery with an Arduino might look neat, it isn’t too useful. However, since the library has been ported it is possible to use it to control other hardware. With the right hardware, this could be the beginning of an open source embroidery machine.

After the break, check out a video of the pattern being generated.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Touching Conversations: Email Snippets Scroll By on Electro-Embroidery Piece

arduino, arduino hacks, embroidery, laser, LED, led hacks, Microcontroller, wearable, wearable hacks Commenti disabilitati su Touching Conversations: Email Snippets Scroll By on Electro-Embroidery Piece 


[Wei Chieh Shih] really moves the needle when it comes to wearable technology. His textile design project entitled There is No Love, Just Relationships is a striking marriage of masterful hand embroidery, delicate circuitry, and careful programming.

[Wei] is using an Arduino micro to drive a matrix of surface-mount LEDs in the Hello, World video, which is a ramp-up to the scrolling text version that’s in progress. That full version is part of his residency project at Arquetopia in Oaxaca, Mexico and displays snippets of emails from his past relationships. It’s huge, with multiple matrices as large as 8×25 pixels!

No build notes could be found for this or any of [Wei]‘s similar projects, like this awesomely dangerous 200 laser diode jacket or this eerily beautiful light installation on Taiwan’s north beach. Based on the pictures, our speculation is that he is using ordinary 6-strand embroidery floss to make stem or half cross-stitches on all the paths. He then runs very thin, flexible conductor underneath the channel of stitches and solders the wires to the component pads.

If [Wei] wants another way to wear his heart on his sleeve, he could investigate these dynamic LED clothing hacks.

[via adafruit]

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, led hacks, wearable hacks

Meet the maker – Afroditi experiments with embroidery, soft circuits and diy electronics

arduino, embroidery, Interview, Lilypad, MakerFaire, music, Processing, Sinthesizer Commenti disabilitati su Meet the maker – Afroditi experiments with embroidery, soft circuits and diy electronics 

afroditi psarra

The work of Afroditi Psarra includes experimentation with embroidery, soft circuit and diy electronics. I got in touch with her after discovering she was holding a workshop in Barcelona around sound performances using Lilypad Arduino along with a really cool embroidered synthesizer (…and also submitting her project to Maker Faire Rome !).

Even if her background is in fine arts, as a little girl she got interested in creative ways of expression: on one side she was lucky enough to have all sorts of after-school activities that included painting, theater games and learning but also how to program using LOGO and QBasic. That was in the days of black-and-white terminals and MS-DOS commands:

I still remember the excitement of not knowing what to expect at the opposite side of the screen. So for me, technology has always been a major part of my life.


Below you can find my questions to her:

Zoe Romano: In which way you started mixing art, technology and craft?
Afroditi Psarra: I had the chance to spend a year in Madrid as an ERASMUS student and there I encountered the work that was done at the Medialab Padro and had my first physical media art experience at the  ”The making of Balkan Wars: The Game” exhibition.  Two years later I went back to Madrid to do a post-graduate course on Image, Technology and Design and there I got familiar with Processing. I started working on interactive applets, but after some time I felt like I was missing the manual, hands-on labour of creating, so while I was coding I was also working on simple embroideries oriented around women and technology. These embroidery skills were passed on to me by my grandmother who taught me everything about knitting.

How did you get to know Arduino?
At the various media art workshops that I attended at the Medialab-Prado I was always hearing about Arduino, but for me electronics was something totally unknown and was always connected to robotics and automation processes. About two years ago a friend and very talented media-artist, Maria Varela, who was studying in London told me that she had attended a LilyPad Arduino workshop and that this was an Arduino implementation designed to be used with conductive threads instead of wires.

I was really excited by the idea that this would allow me to combine my work in embroidery with coding, so I bought myself a kit and started to experiment with some basic examples and tutorials I found in Instructables and started to follow the work of Hannah Perner-Wilson (Plusea, Kobakant), Lynne Bruning and Becky Stern. At the time I was still living in Madrid so me and another girl from Medialab, Francesca Mereu, formed a small group called SmartcraftLab and posted our experiments on-line.


I remember that one of my first experiments was using the conductive thread as a pressure sensor that created tones, and when I heard that primitive digital sound I instantly felt that it was something that I wished to explore further. I think that this interest in physical computing, e-textiles and sound brought all of the things that I was working on earlier together, and the Arduino allowed me to do that.

As for the production of my projects, it is always done by me, but often look to the Arduino community for solutions to problems that I may encounter and ask for other people’s help on hardware and software issues. I do not see myself as a very skilled programmer just yet, but I certainly am evolving. After all, I believe that workshops, hands-on experience and collaborations with other people are the things that allow you to grow as a Maker.
afroditi psarra

A couple of years ago Paola Antonelli, senior curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, said “The two most important introductions for art in the past 20 years have been the Arduino and Processing”, how do you see it?

I totally agree with the quote. Processing and Arduino are the two things that have allowed artists with no previous background in computing and electronics work with tools that where only available to specialists before. These two languages have created a tendency towards interactive art and we are now experiencing a revolution in DIY digital fabrication, hacking and tinkering on so many different levels. I think that the increasing spread of Medialabs, Hackerspaces and Fab labs around the world is the living proof of that.

In which ways are you experimenting with the Lilypad?
The LilyPad has allowed me to explore the relation between crafts connected with women’s labour such as knitting, sewing and embroidery, with electronics and creative coding, as well as the creation of soft interfaces of control. In my project Lilytronica I am currently using the LilyPad to create my own embroidered synthesizers that I use to perform live.

Considering that the LilyPad is not designed for creating sound, and you only have digital outputs and 8 MHz clock speed, the result is a very rough, primitive sound quality, which I personally like a lot. In my interactive performance Idoru() I am exploring the body as an interface of control of sound though the use of wearables. In this project the LilyPad acts as a controller, and the sound is produced in SuperCollider.

Idoru - data flow

I am also participating in conferences around open source technologies and organizing workshops on e-textiles and the use of the LilyPad, because I want to transmit my passion and because I want to get more people involved in this exciting new artistic field.

Are you releasing your work in open source?
Ever since I started to work with the Arduino I try to publish my work on-line so that I can have feedback on everything and until now I have been releasing the code on my personal website, but I am thinking of creating a Github account and releasing the code there so that everything is easily accessed by anyone interested. I firmly believe in releasing one’s work in open source, because this way you can evolve your work more rapidly and share your creation process with other like-minded individuals.

Where do you see wearable computing most interesting developments going towards?
I think it is a bit early to tell. Technology evolves at a very fast pace and multinationals sometimes reject certain developments because of their lack of economic interest. Seeing all the fuss around the Google glasses, one would argue that wearable computing is heading to connect the physical body with the Internet of Things. I personally feel that we can certainly expect developments around wearables and locative media and various medical applications.


For now, the most interesting applications in wearables are around fashion, art and music, and they require a certain craftsmanship to be made. As Kobakant argue in their paper ”Future Master Craftsmanship: where we want electronic textile crafts to go“  we never know what can happen when industrial automation kicks in. When our skills become devalued because machines can produce work faster, cheaper and better, we will still enjoy the craft process. But instead of sitting back to become E-Textile grandmothers, perhaps competition from the automated machines will encourage us to move on.

Pictures courtesy of Afroditi Psarra

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