Over the last couple of months I have been intermittently playing with code and with the embroidery machine, and there are a few things I’ve learned. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of creating an embroidered image from a photo: First I cut out the image I was interested in using GIMP, and then blurred it to reduce the amount of detail. With my blurred image, I then ran Watershed to segment it into coloured blocks or regions. This gave me something like this: This original attempt at a pattern was – with hindsight – too complex. However I didn’t know that at the time so I
We’ve got a new piece of kit in our university Makerspace! Thanks to Chris Price we’ve got a Brother Innovis NV880E embroidery machine https://www.brothermachines.com/sewing/2947/Innov-is_NV880E_Embroidery_Machine. This is a sewing machine with a robotic element – you put material in an embroidery frame, and the machine moves the embroidery frame around in order to sew in different directions with different stitches. This means that you can sew patterns! Combined with an online system called TurtleStitch you can program embroidery using a blocks-based language. The machine also has some inbuilt patterns and text but these are not as exciting as being able to program embroidery… My first test
One of the jobs I have at work is to “manage” the makerspace, a room with a 3d printer and laser cutter and a few other cool toys in it. This room is supposed to be a facility for students and staff to build small prototype objects for any projects they have, however work-related or wacky – it’s been used to print cases for kit, build replacement lab components, try out ideas for robots, and print any number of D&D figurines and small plastic dinosaurs. When the pandemic started, it was closed to humans and the printer got commandeered into a PPE printing effort (bravo).