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Old 21st December 2008, 11:00 PM
tashirosgt Offline
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Linux and Sewing Machines

I hadn't looked a sewing machines in many years. Last week I looked on the web and found that the fancier homemakers sewing machines now advertise that they can be computer controlled. I assume this means there are MS Windows programs to control them. But can any of them be controlled by Linux?
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Old 21st December 2008, 11:12 PM
pwca Offline
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Uh-oh... I sense a "let's install Linux on a dead badger" moment coming on.
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Old 22nd December 2008, 08:40 PM
PabloTwo Offline
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tashirosgt-

Why don't you type "linux software for sewing machines" into a Google search box and see for yourself?
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Old 23rd December 2008, 04:07 PM
tashirosgt Offline
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OK, I did find the link to the sewing patterns for a stuffed toy penguin and the gallery: http://www.free-penguin.org/news/arc...t_penguin.html

That wasn't what I had in mind. And I'm not looking for information on which sewing machines (if any) have a Linux OS embedded in them. I'm interested in software on a PC would communicated and control these machines. If I bought a "computer controlled" machine, would I have to set up a Window's PC to utilize it?
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Old 23rd December 2008, 04:42 PM
hephasteus Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I hadn't looked a sewing machines in many years. Last week I looked on the web and found that the fancier homemakers sewing machines now advertise that they can be computer controlled. I assume this means there are MS Windows programs to control them. But can any of them be controlled by Linux?
Looking at some of the sewing machines it looks like they got big chips on them and only use the computer to get the data they need. Like a sewing machine acting like a palm pilot.
So I'd say it can easily be handled under Wine or you just have to learn how to copy what ya want the sewing machine to have from the computer.
Some of them look like they just load the design from a flash card. So you just gotta know how to move graphics files to flash card. I wouldn't sweat this too much. You'll just have to throw out the insttructions for doing it all under windows and learn how to do it under linux.
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Old 24th December 2008, 01:34 AM
tashirosgt Offline
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I was hoping that some Linux hacker had figured out what kind of communication protocol is used to control certain brands of machines or (fat chance) that some sewing machines companies provide drivers for Linux. Running things under Wine would accomplish sewing tasks. However, I'm more interested in the details of the programming problem than actual sewing.

( I did take up the cuffs on a pair of work pants using my old noncomputerized Singer 61l05. I was having the problem known as "birdsnesting" and never did figure that out. I don't understand why the upper thread isn't pulling the lower one through. I was using carpet thread. ...but I suppose this isn't the place to ask about that.)
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Old 24th December 2008, 04:16 AM
pwca Offline
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I think a good starting point would be to see if you can find out what boards (controller cards) are being used in these sewing machines. From that you can sort of back into what communications devices are being used and thus the protocol(s).

There must be some sort of parts store where you can get replacement parts for the sewing machines where you can find out the above rather than taking apart a machine. In the end though you just might have to.

The information above then might lead to more "intelligent" google searches for possible hackers and code.

btw, tashirosgt when I sew I use an old treddle powered machine I inherited from my mother (and she from hers) or do it by hand. I find sewing to be very relaxing and handy. :-)

Last edited by pwca; 24th December 2008 at 04:18 AM.
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  #8  
Old 24th December 2008, 05:14 AM
David Vazquez Offline
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That would be pretty cool.

I'm assuming it's possible. With Linux, anything is possible.
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  #9  
Old 24th December 2008, 05:29 AM
hephasteus Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I was hoping that some Linux hacker had figured out what kind of communication protocol is used to control certain brands of machines or (fat chance) that some sewing machines companies provide drivers for Linux. Running things under Wine would accomplish sewing tasks. However, I'm more interested in the details of the programming problem than actual sewing.

( I did take up the cuffs on a pair of work pants using my old noncomputerized Singer 61l05. I was having the problem known as "birdsnesting" and never did figure that out. I don't understand why the upper thread isn't pulling the lower one through. I was using carpet thread. ...but I suppose this isn't the place to ask about that.)
You're making a mountain out of a mole hill. The machines have computers built in only they are called controllers when they are not being computers. You just move the data to them. They use standard plug in usb flash sticks or communications or network protocols. If you haven't bought one yet just buy one that uses a usb flash stick. Doesn't matter what computer you use. No hacking needed. It wants to talk just depends on how you go about talking to it. The procedures for loading will be different for windows, mac or linux just not THAT different.
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  #10  
Old 24th December 2008, 06:33 AM
tashirosgt Offline
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I'm not saying that a sewing machine must be a computer in order to take a graphic of an embroidery and sew it on cloth. I'm asking if any Linux software knows the details, not whether the general concept is known. For example, as I remember sewing machines, the "degrees of freedom" for a single stitch are controlled by how far forward the cloth advances per stroke and how far side to side the needle moves. So I agree that a machine could have a controller that read and followed instructions when it was sent a sequence of those parameters. The Windows or non-Windows part of the process would be the software on the PC that translates the graphic into some sequence of instructions - some kind of "sewing file" that is sent to the machine. So the question is whether any Linux person has figured out the format of these files.
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Old 24th December 2008, 06:55 AM
hephasteus Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I'm not saying that a sewing machine must be a computer in order to take a graphic of an embroidery and sew it on cloth. I'm asking if any Linux software knows the details, not whether the general concept is known. For example, as I remember sewing machines, the "degrees of freedom" for a single stitch are controlled by how far forward the cloth advances per stroke and how far side to side the needle moves. So I agree that a machine could have a controller that read and followed instructions when it was sent a sequence of those parameters. The Windows or non-Windows part of the process would be the software on the PC that translates the graphic into some sequence of instructions - some kind of "sewing file" that is sent to the machine. So the question is whether any Linux person has figured out the format of these files.
Take the board out of the sewing machine. Download the eeprom in it with an eeprom reader. Read the code in the eeprom. Look at what processor is on the board so you know how to read it.
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  #12  
Old 26th December 2008, 02:53 PM
wm brown Offline
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The Singer Futura line has the software that controls the embroidery feature on the computer itself. The sewing machine must be connected to a computer using windows. Although I am and have been a linux only user for years, I ordered a Singer Futura and hope to use it with linux/wine or widows 98 in vmplayer or as a last option I'll buy a used laptop that will run windows 98.

On others the pattern can be edited or downloaded to computer and transferred to the sewing machine through the software, the software is windows only. Still others use a card to transfer the software from the computer to the sewing machine.

The patterns themselves use different formats, PES, DST, etc. There is little information about the patterns. I did find a very alpha version of linux/unix software meant to use the cards to transfer embroidery patters, but I have not tried it at all. I do not remember where I downloaded it from but I still have the tgz I downloaded.

In the end, wine or windows is probably the only way to work with any of these. Linux is lacking currently in this area, I could not find any sewing pattern software that is native linux either. There is an effort in inkscape to bring support to linux for the DST, PES, and other embroidery formats (check inkscape bugs for the request as well as on the inkscape wiki). There is mention of a perl module for the DST format in one of the bug reports as well as urls to several sites with information on the formats.
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  #13  
Old 27th December 2008, 05:01 AM
tashirosgt Offline
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I'd like to hear if you find the embroidery feature or other computer controlled features useful. In the average sewing job, I find it hard to keep the fabric nice and flat. I've used machines that did automatic decorative button holes and it was hard for me to keep the thing "on track" even on a small area like that. I suppose embroidery is done with the famous enbroidery hoop.
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