Craft & Design
Make Spaceships from Aspirin Bottles and Toilet Items

Household Parts1Over in the new MAKE forums John writes “Here’s a how-to I wrote on making spaceships and sci-fi weapons from household items such as aspirin bottles, pvc pipe, toilet bolt covers, some hobby store styrene, and some parts from old models. Make Spaceships from Aspirin Bottles and Toilet Items Part 1 & Make Spaceships from Aspirin Bottles and Toilet Items Part 2.”

15 thoughts on “Make Spaceships from Aspirin Bottles and Toilet Items

  1. This technology has been around for quite a while. Brother has put out many embroidery machines. So has Baby Lock, Janome, Bernina and many others. This machine’s quality is not that good. I repair these machines. If you want a machine that is much better than this one for much cheaper look for a used Baby Lock Ellure on ebay. You’ll be much happier. You can find all designs you want if you look around a bit. With some software you can even make your own.

  2. This technology has been around for quite a while. Brother has put out many embroidery machines. So has Baby Lock, Janome, Bernina and many others. This machine’s quality is not that good. I repair these machines. If you want a machine that is much better than this one for much cheaper look for a used Baby Lock Ellure on ebay. You’ll be much happier. You can find all designs you want if you look around a bit. With some software you can even make your own.

  3. The machinery has been around for at least 15 years! My first machine was a Toyota-Aisin POEM from the late 1980’s. My current machine is a Bernina Deco 330 (vintage last year). The machines keep getting better and better, but the software to create your own designs is seriously behind the times. Even the newest stuff reminds me of Adobe Illustrator from 10 years ago! And the software costs an arm and a leg (plus your firstborn).
    But it is a great hobby. The hardware is mature, the software stinks, but gets the job done, and all this has been around for over a decade.
    Leave it to Brother to try convince you that this is new technology!

  4. I agree. The embroidery digitizing software, such as Generations, is very expensive. It does a fantastic job though. You can control every stitch. It does take time to learn to use and alot of people give up. You can do almost limitless things with the software and your embroidery projects though. Janome embroidery machines, such as the Janome 9000 are becoming “older” machines and you can get them pretty cheap used. (I sell them from time to time) They have much better stitch quality than the Brother mentioned in the post.

  5. I looked at this a while back when I was upgrading my normal sewing machine.

    The whole crap about a totally seperate set of software and hardware to make “embroidery cards” just stinks.

    Now, oh brilliant Makers, what are the challanges to making an embroidery machine an output device, like a printer?I don’t need the thing to have it’s own brain. I just want to design in illustrator, plug my laptop via USB into the embroidery machine, and make it go. I could live with a bitty translator from Illustrator to whatever the machine could handle.

    Oh, and I want it affordable.

    It’s beyond my engineering capacity. But I know it’s not beyond somebody’s here.

  6. I should clarify: the way it works now is, you get an expensive machine with a brain of it’s own. If it has a USB, it can only take designs in a totally obscure file format, which you have to pay big bucks to get the software for.

    If it doesn’t have a usb, it can only take weird-sized diskettes that are either preprinted sets (expensive, often ugly or too many) or, if you want to write your own, you still have to get that software, only now you also have to get a stupid card writer piece of hardware. None of it is particularly user friendly, and all of it is use-specific, when, frankly, I don’t see why it has to be.

  7. Thanks for all the comments. I have heard some great things about Bernina and I will check out the Baby Lock. I forgot to mention that this isn’t new technology — only the embroidery patterns of Peanuts and Hello Kitty. Most US machines only come with Disney patterns built in. On the software front, I agree most of it is very kloogy or corel draw like. Illustrator would be my first choice. We need a plug-in or something for it.

    Our team has noodled over the notion of hacking sewing machines…. I”m game for researching this with PT. Will keep you posted. If any Maker has done this or anything close, please share!

  8. Not much of a Make project here…. A friend of mine claims that there are two classes of embroidery machines: freestanding and thread plotters. Freestanding is obvious (such as the Brother or my Bernina that use cards), Thread plotters have no brains and receive XY coordinates from an attached computer. My Toyota-Aisin POEM is this way, and I believe so is the new Singer XL500. The hard part is writing the software…. A Bosnian company called makes a software called Embird that is as close to a home-made design program as you will find. Works well, but is not as easy to use as the big boys.

    I am fascinated by who buys these machines. From my observations, 75% of the owners never stitch anything that they didn’t buy from the manufacturer. And another 20% buy from third party sources (there are dozens). Only about 5% of the owners actually design their own work. Proprietary formats are the norm, and brand loyalty is fierce.

    And hey all you techie guys, as a (formerly) single male who loves his embroidery machine, this is a great hobby for meeting women! It is geeky enough for to keep your interest, and almost exclusively dominated by women. I didn’t meet my wife through the hobby, but our first date included an embroidery class….

  9. I can’t vouch for this particular machine but some of the comments are pretty skewed. You just have to look at what you are purchasing. I have an older Brother ULT2001 still sewing and embroidering like a charm! Love it! Never misses a beat! I have more designs then I know what to do with, there are so many freebies all of the time and you can download in what ever format your machine uses, some you don’t even need to unzip. All I do is put them on a “standard” 3.5 floppy and put the floppy in the machine. The machine loads my pattern and I am set. Now how much easier and cheaper is that. Yes, a lot of the machines have priority slots and you have to purchase their cards and it can be VERY pricey. Just depends on what you buy. If I do upgrade my machine I would make sure I purchased one that you can use a standard USB thumb drive with. I do have embroidery software for editing that I love, EMBIRD, less than $100 and you can resize, delete, change/rotate a pattern, etc. It’s great! Check out http://www.emblibrary.com/ for free designs, .17 cents designs, wonderful sales and on your birthday they even give you more free! Well, enough said, you can pay lots or little depending on the machine. I am pleased with mine….
    Also, on most of the TOL Brother and Babylock embroidery machines, I’ve always been told they are made the in the same factory and almost the same specifications?

  10. Hello.Its great article.This sewing machine is very helpful for making designs,downloading,convert digital photos in embroidery.Its very nice design and very helpful for creating new designs.Keep sharing with us.

  11. Hello.Its great article.This sewing machine is very helpful for making designs,downloading,convert digital photos in embroidery.Its very nice design and very helpful for creating new designs.Keep sharing with us.

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