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Convert a plain sewing machine into an embroidery machine to personalize everything made from fabric.

The goal of this article is to document my approach or my realization of markol’s project Embroiderino. The heavy lifting was done by him. His documentation is amazing and sufficient to realize an embroidery machine. Still I think that the documentation of my take on his project might be useful for

people using the same or a similar sewing machine like mine
peope using the popular GRBL shield for Arduino since this way the PCB work gets simpler and more approachable.
Additionally I will mention details which I had to find workarounds for or which made my life harder such that you may have a little bit less debugging to do. :)

So whom is this article for? For people following markol’s tutorial and looking for some additional inspiration. If you you are using a BERNINA 730/731/732 you will also be able to profit of all the 3D files.

What is this article NOT? A step-by-step tutorial on how to build this machine. This article is an addition to the tutorial by markol.

Word of caution
The original project uses circuits that work with mains voltage which can be lethal. If you lack proper certification and/or experience to handle such voltages do not attempt this project in the way it is presented. Attempt this project only atyour own responsibility and use this article for entertainment purposes only rather than for education.

An embroidery machine has been on my bucket list for quite some time because it would complement my sewing projects quite nicely. When I then could get hold of a beautiful old BERNINA 732 for free I had to start this project.There are quite some open source projects for DIY embroidery machines to choose from. My personal requirements were

- Embroider at speeds above 400 stitches/minute
- Use the motor of the sewing machine
- Have as much of the sensors and wiring hidden inside the machine for a clean look

After some searching I found the website of markol with his take on building an embroidery machine. His implementation allows for fast stitching and uses the machine’s built in motor. Perfect!

The project can be roughly divided into four areas:

- The XY gantry for the hoop movement and driving of the associated stepper motors
- The high voltage driving circuit for the motor of the sewing machine
- The sensing of the sewing machine’s speed and position
- The microcontroller coordinating everything including the UART interface to the computer

In the following I will adopt the sections as they were in markol’s blog.

- Mechanics
- Electronics
- Software”

Link to article