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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

CNC sewing machine

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. Saint says:

    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

  2. gekizai says:

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

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