Arduino Controlled Sewing Machine Expands Stitch Options

[Andrew] brings his old mechanical sewing machine into the 21st century by adding a Arduino control module. Originally, his Alfa sewing machine could only do a straight stitch or a zig-zag of varying widths. Since it was an old sewing machine, all the controls were buttons and levers. RC car servos have been installed in the sewing machine and are now solely responsible for controlling, in real time, the horizontal movement of the needle and the travel of the feed dogs (the metal components responsible for advancing fabric in the sewing machine) . There is also a switch on the needle bar that returns to the Arduino when the needle is in the fully up position.

With full stitch width control and the fabric feed, it is possible to create impressive stitch patterns that were not possible on this machine before. Each of the dot patterns are pre-programmed into the Arduino. Currently, it is possible to control the sewing machine via the Arduino’s serial USB connection, but the workflow for such an operation is in its infancy. [Andrew] plans to make this sewing machine fully automatic so he can embroider letters and numbers.

Although the project is still ongoing, [Andrew] did her foreplay Arduino code available for people who want to pursue his achievements. To continue reading about hacked sewing machines, check out this one converted into an embroidery machine.

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