Push Button Sewing Machine Control

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Sewing machine with servo motor

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The challenge

He employed his full time assistants to operate the foot pedal of the sewing machine.   He wished to control the sewing machine himself.

Additional benefits would include:

Timed interval between pushing the button and stitch (so he can prepare the work and his hands)

Rate of stitch control

Auto stop after a sensible number of stitches.

The solution

I fitted a push button controller and AC controller in order to drive the existing motor.  This partly worked but it would stall in the thick fabric when set to a preferred slow speed.   The concept was however proven.

A 3D printed pulley was clamped to the hand wheel and a brushless servo motor with closed loop speed control now drives the machine.  The controller has been programmed to perform a single stitch (one button) or a timed continuous stitch via another button.  The number of stitches is controlled by a dial he can adjust.   

The motor was mounted on a tensioner arrangement made from board.  The client plans to make up a full work table and the machine will be built into that over time.

A Copley Controls commercial servo controller was programmed to do this - please contact me for details as I have others and they might be useful for another project.

The benefit

Out client has complete control over his sewing activity without any assistance.    His machine can single stitch, and slow stitch, with plenty of power, improving the quality of work produced.

6 thoughts on "Push Button Sewing Machine Control"

  1. Avatar Stefen says:

    I’m looking for something like this for my wife. She loves to sew, but has nueropathy in her feet and can’t feel them.

    Are there plans that I could make one myself?

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    1. Sophie Morrison says:

      Hi Stefen,

      I’m sure AndrewCodd will be along shortly with more details. In the meantime, the best thing to do would be to get in touch with your local Remap volunteer. Please give us a ring on 01732 760209 or email data@remap.org.uk and we’ll put you in touch.

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    2. Avatar AndrewCodd says:

      Hello, you should see a mail from me?
      As it happens we have to move the motor unit to a new machine for the same client soon so this is a good time to better document everything. I have spare motors and drives for another unit to be made. As Sophie has commented, this should be logged as a job with an appropriate Remap panel so that you receive our collective support and cover. I myself am in Norfolk but would be happy to travel to properly share our collective knowledge with another panel.
      It helps to have practical clients. However I suggest that I or another panel member make up the motor unit and controls. If the sewing machine is already driven by an external motor unit that would help but either way at least 1 pulley (and sourcing of belt) will have to done by someone with access to engineering resources.

      Kind Regards,
      Andrew

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  2. Avatar Stefen Pearson says:

    Oh, traveling might be a bit of an issue. I’m in the US. so there’s that…
    do you have plans or schematics? so I could build it myself. I’m a Network engineer, and a Ham radio operator, so I’m pretty good with electronics building

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    1. Avatar AndrewCodd says:

      Hi. This would be beyond the traditional scope of Remap. While personally I might yet be able to help on reflection this is worth more thought. Another client, who was a sewing operator for her job, had mobility issues with a foot pedal and her company modified the machine so she could lever the same actuator with her knee and hip. It would be worth reviewing what you might be able do with that idea and the existing foot controller – perhaps with appropriate externally fitted levers etc. However clearly please don’t compromise it’s electrical safety and also avoid a “maintained action”, which means that when the operator moves the limb, knee or elbow or whatever away there is sufficient spring in the mechanism to stop the device.
      Kind Regards
      Andrew

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    2. Sophie Morrison says:

      Greetings from across the pond! You might also like to get in touch with our friends at the Tetra Society to see if they can help. They’re a bit closer to home for you!

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