This enterprising maker bought an el cheapo sewing machine and added a heavier-duty DC motor and a Parallax Propeller microcontroller. With the new motor, the MCU, a motor controller, and some sensors, this cheap machine acquires all sorts of high-end control and sewing features.


DIY Sewing Machine Retrofit

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CNC sewing machine

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • Saint

    I wonder if adding some gear reduction gears would be beneficial, as to it would increase the torque at lower speeds. I guess it would depend on what it is you’re trying to accomplish, what you’re sewing through, and if you care about overall speed

  • gekizai

    Is there any chance you will add an X-Y table and go for full CNC embroidery?