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G-code output format #335

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jameskolme opened this Issue Oct 13, 2018 · 116 comments

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jameskolme commented Oct 13, 2018

Would it be possible to get back .txt output type? What I did was, I built embroidery machine from old 1950 era sewing machine. Against all odds it actually works, slowly, but it gets the job done. With this completely nonstandard plumb of cast iron, issue is that it runs on G-code and older version inkstitch was excellent to output this .txt code. My coder friend made me little program to trans code this .txt to standard g-code, included separate line for sewing move.

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lexelby commented Oct 13, 2018

Wow, so cool! I've heard of people doing this but never spoken to someone who made one. I would love to see pictures and/or video if you are interested in sharing :)

We switched from using libembroidery to a new Python version, pyembroidery awhile back, and that's when we lost the .TXT format. To be honest, I didn't realize anyone was using it! Sorry about that.

There are a couple of options here. We could add in a .TXT format to pyembroidery, although it does already have a .CSV format that you can access through the Embroider extension's dropdown menu. It's likely that your friend's program could be modified pretty easily to use .CSV files instead of .TXT. Are they available to re-code the conversion program?

Another option is to add a G-code output format to pyembroidery. I really like this idea because it would help out other folks that want to make their own embroidery machine like you did. It's been a very long time since I looked at G-code, so I'd need a refresher on how it's formatted. If your friend would be willing, could you post the conversion program here? I could use that to write a G-Code output plugin for pyembroidery and release a new version of Ink/Stitch.

Also, if you're up for it, it would be super cool if you wrote up a bit about how you created your embroidery machine. We'd be happy to provide space on https://inkstitch.org/ if you wanted to go that route. I love the idea of an open source embroidery machine powered by open source software. :) Our web source files are here though I'm sure we could help you with formatting if you're not familiar with Jekyll and/or markdown.

Welcome to the Ink/Stitch community :)

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wwderw commented Oct 13, 2018

I hadn't ever used the .txt format, but wouldn't it have been formatted the same as a CSV with how it used/displayed the info?

I could be wrong, only reason why I'm thinking this is that I use simple text editors when manipulating the CSV file.

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jameskolme commented Oct 14, 2018

Pictures, yes I can do that. This is still work in progress, currently this works as it should, but I'm not happy about changing hoop or height of Y axis. I will turn these on side 90 degrees, so it will be lower and hoop will be nearly quick release. This is actually fully 3D printed, slides are 8mm stainless rods (L=400mm) with suitable linear bearings, nema 17 steppers move and actual brain is Arduino Uno with GRBL shield. Separate nema23 runs sewing machine. Runs with 12V power and connects to computer with USB. I think this is very easy to duplicate.

This is my fourth UNO/GRBL machine, so nothing new, but getting G-code to stitch well that's new thing. Biggest limitation is G-code, because it is exact, sewing machine can't be run on freely with sync, like industrial embroidery machines. I have not yet calculated what is actual stitch/min speed, never remember calculate after program. Maybe I run some dummy program just for this.

tikka tahti 2
tikka tahti 3
img_20181014_105410

Can't see why not make some sort of story about this and that time I definitely need some help with formatting. But first I need to finish this.

Did save with .csv and noted that .txt might not be the best source for movement, easy, but it might cause problems. I get back to this and make example how this G code compares to csv or txt. It would be great if G-code comes out directly and way easier to people to get tinkering.

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lexelby commented Oct 14, 2018

Wow, that's a seriously high-quality result! The build is impressive, thanks for sharing.

I'm sold on this, it's definitely worth creating a g-code output format for pyembroidery. I'm going to rename this issue to reflect that. Once you post an example g-code file and/or the conversion program your friend wrote, I'll write the output program and we can see if it works :)

@lexelby lexelby changed the title from .TXT output to G-code output format Oct 14, 2018

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kaalleen commented Oct 14, 2018

Wow, this is a really interesting project. Thank you for sharing!

I did set up a page on our website. It doesn't have to stay in that place and headlines are flexible ;)
But it's something to begin with - when you are ready to do so.

Website
Source

If you have questions about the formatting, I'll be willing to help. Or... if you feel more comfortable to post text and images here, I could place it on the website afterwards.

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jameskolme commented Oct 14, 2018

CLIP FROM RANDOM CSV EXPORT

"#","[VAR_NAME]","[VAR_VALUE]"
">","STITCH_COUNT:","7709"
">","THREAD_COUNT:","1"
">","EXTENTS_LEFT:","-25.399251"
">","EXTENTS_TOP:","-20.447967"
">","EXTENTS_RIGHT:","27.972327"
">","EXTENTS_BOTTOM:","18.694219"
">","EXTENTS_WIDTH:","53.371578"
">","EXTENTS_HEIGHT:","39.142185"

"#","[THREAD_NUMBER]","[RED]","[GREEN]","[BLUE]","[DESCRIPTION]","[CATALOG_NUMBER]"
"$","1","0","0","0","(null)",""

"#","[STITCH_TYPE]","[X]","[Y]"
"*","JUMP","0.000000","-0.000000"
"*","JUMP","-15.231619","18.482599"
"*","STITCH","-15.231619","18.482599"
"*","STITCH","-15.310994","18.482599"
"*","STITCH","-15.390369","18.482599"
"*","STITCH","-15.310994","18.482599"

ETC,ETC,ETC....

TO G-CODE VERSION "THIS WORKS, BUT..."

G0 X0.0 Y0.0 
G0 X-15.231 Y18.482
G0 X-15.231 Y18.482
G0 Z5.0
G0 X-15.310 Y18.482
G0 Z10.0
G0 X-15.390 Y18.482
G0 Z15.0
G0 X-15.310 Y18.482
G0 Z20.0

ETC,ETC,ETC....

M30

This works, everything is uppercase and decimals as shown exactly. Now, let's confuse things, with arduino/GRBL G0 is not needed, it starts on rapid feed and Z5.0 can be simply Z5

Doing this as shown on code with decimal point zero (Z5.0) and every line starts with G0 will ensure this G-code will work on any controller, older controllers are really picky about format. Accuracy can be cut down to closer real world and made easier to this tiny processor, so three decimals will do.

Z axis runs sewing machine, 1 stitch is equal to 5mm movement (real world one rotation), this can be adjusted from controller. Seems like good value is more than 1, so I picked 5. Actually with 1mm movement controller is not able to do proper speed ramping (more speed), so 5 it is. Every stitch adds 5 to Z value, again simplest solution.

MAX speed is configured on controller, can't see any reason why move less than rapid speed. If something goes wrong, it just goes wrong quickly and this is not that fast anyway. Every program ends with M30

TO G-CODE VERSION "NICE TO HAVE"

(STITCH_COUNT:7709)
(EXTENTS_WIDTH:53.3)
(EXTENTS_HEIGHT:39.1)

G0 X0.0 Y0.0 
G0 X-15.231 Y18.482
G0 Z5.0
G0 X-15.310 Y18.482
G0 Z10.0
G0 X-15.390 Y18.482
G0 Z15.0
G0 X-15.310 Y18.482
G0 Z20.0

ETC,ETC,ETC....

M30

Few comment lines at the start ( ), mainly size might be interesting to know. Every G-code program starts
with G0 X0.0 Y0.0 and any jumps can be ignored, because this sews only when asked to do so. Starting from X0.0 Y0.0 makes most sense. If it runs away something is wrong. There is possibility to use limit switches and home location with multiple locations, but this gets complicated really fast.

TO G-CODE VERSION "FINAL"

(STITCH_COUNT:7709)
(EXTENTS_WIDTH:53.3)
(EXTENTS_HEIGHT:39.1)

G0 X0.0 Y0.0 
G0 X15.231 Y-18.482
G0 Z5.0
G0 X15.310 Y-18.482
G0 Z10.0
G0 X15.390 Y-18.482
G0 Z15.0
G0 X15.310 Y-18.482
G0 Z20.0

ETC,ETC,ETC....

M30

Final tweak, X and Y must be mirrored. I can tweak this on controller, switch axis directions, but it will cause issue when somebody else is running this or when moving hoop from computer directly.

Somehow this ended looking really complicated hmm :)

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lexelby commented Oct 14, 2018

Awesome. Easy peasy!

Do I just write the above in a text file or is there a binary format?

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jameskolme commented Oct 14, 2018

Plain old fashioned text.

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X3msnake commented Oct 15, 2018

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X3msnake commented Oct 15, 2018

@jameskolme will you share your blueprints as a open source peoject?

if and when you do please drop us a notice on the link to your gitproject page with the source blueprints so we can add to the link to the inkstitch webpage ;)

also like i said before I am interested in replicating your project with a similar machine i have at home ;)

let us know

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jameskolme commented Oct 15, 2018

Yes, I can share those models, not sure what platform, but yes. Currently doing some redesign, to make things more user friendly and practical to use.

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X3msnake commented Oct 15, 2018

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jameskolme commented Oct 16, 2018

Some designs are made with inventor, really like inventor, but currently no valid license so fusion 360 it is. Might consider Thingiverse, if it still exist, I have something on there already or should be, maybe :)

@jameskolme jameskolme closed this Oct 16, 2018

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jameskolme commented Oct 16, 2018

Erm what I did just now, my bad, clicking everything that is clickable

@jameskolme jameskolme reopened this Oct 16, 2018

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X3msnake commented Oct 16, 2018

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rlee05 commented Oct 24, 2018

My group and I also working on a project where gcode output would be really useful. We're retrofitting a Singer 4432 to be an automatic embroidery machine with a custom hoop controller and speed controller. What's the status on the gcode output? If no one is working on this, mind if I pick it up?

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lexelby commented Oct 24, 2018

Hi @rlee05, welcome to the project! So exciting, another custom made embroidery machine!!

There's a working development build of the g-code output here: https://github.com/inkstitch/inkstitch/releases/tag/dev-build-lexeby-gcode-output. It may already do what you need. Of course, code contributions are enthusiastically welcome, so if it doesn't do what you need, feel free to have at it. :)

At this point that code is on the master branch and it's just waiting for me to build an official release. I was planning to do a big new release in the next week or two with g-code, auto-satin, and a few bug fixes.

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rlee05 commented Oct 24, 2018

Awesome! I'll take a look! Thanks for working on this issue so quickly :)

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jameskolme commented Oct 25, 2018

My machine is back working again after modifications.
img-20181024-wa0010

Made nearly all mistakes that can be made, but it is what was called for. Actually too small satin stitch is quite good around letters, it is just wrong place. Mainly have learned Inkscape basics and desing/print new hoops. Domestic sewing machine lost a lot of hoop space because of huge pressing foot, so little bit larger size hoops are good thing. Just my 3D printer has different opinion on this.

Before this thing I didn't realize how important pressing foot is, I have 4 different embroidery feet and none of them are really that good. One showing on image, is best for results, but it wont rise high enough for hoop. I need to modify some. I wonder why nobody makes embroidery foot for diy embroidery machines and can't find book called DIY embroidery machines for dummies, it might help :)

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X3msnake commented Oct 29, 2018

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jameskolme commented Nov 1, 2018

Now this happened:
p3550141
My style user interface
p3550140
Windy day, so securing wires would be good idea
p3550136
Yep, secured oilcan.
p3550138

And now back to learning inkscape some more. Near future I will write BOM, write some more and clean/rename all models. Some video might be coming, sooner or later with some assembly instructions (hopefully). Not sure what to do with chain, it just looks dangerous. Sprocket will change if I stumble on bigger stepper, but looks like we will stitch currently slow with lots of torque. I will update this topic when something happens.

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X3msnake commented Nov 2, 2018

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lexelby commented Nov 4, 2018

That is so cool :D

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jameskolme commented Nov 6, 2018

Some teaser or something:
https://youtu.be/0lERsPc5gEk

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lexelby commented Nov 6, 2018

Wow, that totally just made my week! @kaalleen Perhaps we should link to this on the website? Ink/Stitch: the official digitizing software for DIY embroidery machines.

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X3msnake commented Nov 6, 2018

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kaalleen commented Nov 7, 2018

This is a really great project! I like how you add all these details with the controller and all.

@lexelby definitely yes ;) I'll do as soon as I find the time to do so.

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ArtOfElectronic commented Nov 26, 2018

Hello @jameskolme and everyone !
I was working on a similar project and I was very happy to see you.
I watched and understood the installation of the parts we removed from the printers in your videos.
I would be very happy if you can help me with my question!

  1. Are you making changes to the Arduino for 1 continuous rotation of the z axis?
  2. Are you loading only 'grbl' code as an Arduino program? or are you modifying.
  3. Thank you to everyone who works in inkstitch! I'm trying to watch a super working video. (I'm sorry I'm translating from google in a bit bad english))
  4. Are you installing any programs from Arduino or institch? (what I mean is loading a program on institch site instead of grbl?
    Thank you very much in advance, I follow with great interest and gratitude ..
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jameskolme commented Nov 27, 2018

@ArtOfElectronic

  1. No changes, only G-code is changed
  2. GRBL is standard 1.1 really like to keep it that way if possible, it is starting to look like it will.
  3. Thanks to you too. It is nice to see there are many people with interest on this.
  4. No, but there must be sender program to Arduino, I use GRBL panel, but there are many others that will work, nothing else.

@lexelby example code:

G0 X0.0 Y0.0
G0 X13.5 Y6.712 Z5.0 <--- Z moving
G0 Z10.0 <---Z sewing
G0 X13.449 Y5.964 Z15.0
G0 Z20.0
G0 X13.399 Y5.216 Z25.0
G0 Z30.0

Let's not make it like this, there is this extra settings box and I'm thinking something like this:

  1. slightly bigger text space, everything written here, goes front of the program
  2. text space for Z moving increment
  3. text space for Z sewing increment
  4. slightly bigger text space, everything written here, goes end of the program, just before M30

This would make it flexible and without clever presser this still works, just using only sewing for full rotation.

I did try to use M commands to simulate possible coded movement of presser foot, of course it will not work, should have known before done any testing. Well it works, but same time movement stops on every command, so it must be something mechanical contraption or get trigger somewhere else or something. Thinking something about mounting springy presser upside down and adding second spring to press lever. Yes, I have no idea yet :)

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jameskolme commented Nov 27, 2018

I was thinking this long time ago, now stumbled across Schmetz site, so it means those actually work.
https://www.schmetzneedles.com/category/SCHMETZ-Spring-Needles-13

I would assume needle is regular embroidery needle and plastic parts some sort of teflon. It possible works with brass slider, just to get suitable spring, hmmmm

Seems like those things are pretty rare, around 5€/pcs and 30€ shipping, pretty reasonable, NOT. With this spring needle, some sort of solid presser would be still nice, acting as safety guard.

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X3msnake commented Nov 27, 2018

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jameskolme commented Nov 27, 2018

I think we are past the wear protective glasses part already. It should read duck and cover or wear heavy armor :)

It would cost nearly same to ship to other side of world, but luckily found locally reasonable priced needles. So I accidentally ordered two, mainly for reverse engineering purposes. Spring from pen or million and one spring assortment box that fits nowhere might help. Luckily there are sharp images to get dimensions, but is there thread guide on lower plastic part?

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X3msnake commented Nov 27, 2018

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jameskolme commented Nov 27, 2018

Need to shorten spring, but it looks similar.
img_20181127_194136

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X3msnake commented Nov 27, 2018

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DieKatzchen commented Nov 28, 2018

If you end up using pen springs, no need to harvest them from actual pens. They're pretty standard, I got a bag of them from China for two dollars to use in rubber band guns. But if we're manufacturing our own parts, might be easier to design a foot mechanism that can be operated by the firmware.

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jameskolme commented Nov 28, 2018

Not sure what is the easiest way to make it work, so have to do testing and testing I have done. Doing foot movement with simple G-code way using modal commands slows movement too much. I think there is still 3 ways to accomplish this.

  1. mechanical, this might get tricky and needs to be something that can stand heavy beating.

  2. electrical, get trigger pulse from somewhere inside sewing machine, not so difficult, but this would be outside of idea.

  3. firmware, using special GRBL version with one extra axis more. Swapping X direction stepper under one controller and using A axis for foot control might work, not sure how, but definitely not going to slow down anything. This still requires some mechanics to work, so numbers 1 and 2 might suit better.

(4. just use old method and if really into embroidery, just buy one, inkstitch still works)

Everybody securely sitting down?

img-20181128-wa0000

Back feed stepper is now bolted on, can anybody tell how to determine maximum characteristics on these? Because I just run my test program again and result are little bit on scary side:

472 stitches
Old method 2:48 --> 168 stitch/min normal stepper
New method 1:59 --> 237 stitch/min normal stepper
(Here I did some manual running to test Z speed and doublet acceleration and top speed)
Old method 1:51 --> 255 stitch/min servo stepper
New method 1:21 --> 349 stitch/min servo stepper

Now if assuming there is this 30% difference when doing actual stitching, speed would be 450 stitch/min.

This motor is really funny compared to normal stepper, just changing speed numbers bigger and bigger and this insane motor just makes it real.

Not actual sewing happened during this test, well I need fully functional bobbing case, it was already fractured and it is getting worse. Maybe tomorrow I get spare part, old, but less broken one.

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lexelby commented Nov 29, 2018

slightly bigger text space, everything written here, goes front of the program

Unfortunately, a bigger text box is not possible in that kind of settings dialog. That dialog is presented by Inkscape, and the customization options are rather limited.

It's possible that I could pop up a separate dialog from the output extension, but it'll probably be awhile before I can get around to implementing that.

Perhaps we can make do with simple checkboxes and number entry boxes?

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lexelby commented Nov 29, 2018

speed would be 450 stitch/min.

Wow! That's just a bit faster than my Brother SE400 can do! Amazing!

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jameskolme commented Nov 29, 2018

Ok, so we keep on smaller things, otherwise it just get's confusing. Just cancel big boxes for now and add one check box more, set Z to zero when selected it adds start of the program: G92 Z0.0 and separate Z increments. No hurry at all, I'm just happy there is someone that can help.

Still long way to actual do embroidery with high speed, but at least moving speeds allow this to happen.

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jameskolme commented Nov 30, 2018

Long test program with fabric and thread 296 stitch/min So 30% rule is not that accurate at higher speed, well still 5 times faster than beginning. Having some trouble with bobbin case, it is new, but I feel like it might be Chinese copy. Spring contacts bobbin case edge only on one point, very difficult to adjust. Unfortunately Husqvarna style bobbing and bobbin case is different than any other.

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thoralt commented Nov 30, 2018

That sounds like a fantastic achievement. Congratulations! Could you maybe upload a new video showing the improvements? That would be great. :)

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markol commented Nov 30, 2018

Hmm I have nailed on this discussion because of "Gcode" keyword while browsing Inkstitch's issues list a few days ago. Seems like a huge off topic has grow here, I haven't read it all, but for several months I'm also developing sewing into embroidery machine conversion project and is much more advanced from what I saw and open sourced under liberal licenses. It uses a standard AC motor working in servo loop instead of stepper so maximal speeds around 700-1000 stitches per minute is not a big deal. I have quickly released current documentation and is available here. I will be upgrading this occasionally, but for now there is everything needed to clone and start building it from now.

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X3msnake commented Nov 30, 2018

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jameskolme commented Dec 1, 2018

That sure looks interesting and looks like we have similar issues. It is good practice to tighten needle, I have seen it go once. Another what just happened moment.

Found culprit on bobbin case, tensions spring was all wrong. Instead of tightening anything, screw only adjust how much to shave off from thread, it might work now, maybe.

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jameskolme commented Dec 2, 2018

This might sound like feature request on wrong place, maybe it is or I might be missing something now. But here goes, offset satin.

Taking baby steps on digitizing and it all goes horrible wrong many times, this is normal, but my struggling point is satin edge.

First trace bitmap, it works really good on Inkscape and then make fill. Yes it looks nice, but of course the edges, why not do sating stitching. Placing satin directly over traced image line, will cause unwanted end results usually, gaps get too small and everything gets distorted. I have done satin using another layer, offsetting line using stroke width and path/stroke to path to make actual offset satin line. Now it is offset and can be made wider, except if it is still on wrong place, I have to start all over again. Any clever ways to do this? My mouse is burning battery's like newer before :)

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lexelby commented Dec 2, 2018

Hmm,I don't quite understand. Could you draw a picture of what you're talking about? Even sketching it by hand on paper and taking a photo would be fine :)

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jameskolme commented Dec 2, 2018

offset
Stroke is used as width like before, but there might be extra option to set satin placement to offset from line. With offset, satin can be pushed over fill area and outside shape is correct to image.
Not sure will this work on corners, doh!

Path drop down shows 4 different offset tools, but there is not yet any easy way to give exact number for offset distance, actually this would do it.

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X3msnake commented Dec 2, 2018

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jameskolme commented Dec 2, 2018

Single line, if shape is very simple, but normally it is manual rugs method and those corners are still killing me.

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jameskolme commented Dec 3, 2018

Top tip of the day or night or something. Too much speed can break top thread, yes, I have some cheap embroidery thread to try.... Actually it is market as classic embridery thread, might suit only for classic embridery machine :) most likely made in India.

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markol commented Dec 3, 2018

@jameskolme doesn't simply scaling contour up or path offset feature do the job for you?

About thread brakes, have you read everything I wrote? it should not brake at any speed ranges declared by the machine manufacturer, well at least too often. Even if it is just a cheap sewing thread (but not decades old heh) it may happen once per 7000 stitches. I have seen on your videos massive fabrics being pulled up along with presser foot, aren't you using some insane tension values? Try using bottom threads dedicated for embroidery instead of the ordinary ones, these are thinner.

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jameskolme commented Dec 4, 2018

I have to use scaling, but poking it more or less randomly and testing result is long way to do. It is more guess work and hard to replicate accurately.

Path inset/outset just makes no cense at all, example:
outset

This is not offset, not sure what it is and where should I put number for distance? Yes, I know Inkscape is more about art and less engineering but still. Offset makes what it says, but instead of using offset feature it is way faster to do it with scaling, after all accuracy is the same.

I can guarantee there is not any insane tension values in my videos, fabric might be on heavy side sometimes. Some videos might have regular sewing needle and it looks like there is some heavy pulling going on. Presser foot rises on every movement, at least is should do that.

Top thread is the one with problem and this is known issue with this thread and known solution. It was new information to me, so I shared it, might help someone. This solution works only if everything else is on fully working order.

You are probably referring to timing, Husqvarna is timed perfectly as far as I can understand, nothing unexpected happens if needlebar is set to either side. This shifts timing and is very easy way to test timing on zigzag machine. Other side will be timed way to early and other side it is perfect, normal middle place it is only average timed. Husqvarna is equipped with rotating tangle free hook, it spins twice for one sewing cycle, little bit different internals.

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jameskolme commented Dec 7, 2018

Spring needle happened, surprisingly short spring action. Not tested this yet, need some sort of static thread/fabric guide to prevent needle pending. (Maybe to keep fingers out of needle too)
embroidery spring needle

Swappen sewing machine back to Tikka, after some maintenance using era correct high precision tools, it seems to run very constant.
mjolnir lite

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Elieheloua commented Dec 14, 2018

It is possible use Arduino motor shield with grbl ?

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jameskolme commented Dec 14, 2018

Not sure what motor shield model you are thinking, only if it looks similar to this image:
s-l1600

There are other shield with Arduino nano that will work, barely, but can't recommend because it is not possible split stepper drivers to both X axis motors.

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