Project image
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$1,053
pledged of $52,000pledged of $52,000 goal
3
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 31 2017 2:43 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated December 31, 2017

Affordable Computer Controlled Quilting System Add-On

An an inexpensive computerized quilting frame add-on for the quilting hobbiest.

Affordable Computer Controlled Quilting System Add-On

An an inexpensive computerized quilting frame add-on for the quilting hobbiest.

$1,053
pledged of $52,000pledged of $52,000 goal
3
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, December 31 2017 2:43 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated December 31, 2017

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

31e5ed69ec09335beef31095e6a89f76 original.jpg?ixlib=rb 2.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

My wife had gotten into quilting in a big way and when she started paying someone $100 - $150 per queen size quilt to be quilted, I though it would be a good idea to buy her a quilting machine of her very own. So, I ordered a Little Grace II Frame with a Gracie Stitch Regulator and 1600P machine.

After setting it up, she used it a couple of times, but when she found out that it took a lot of time by hand to do it, and her hands were not up to the constant machine moving, she stopped finishing her quilts.

Not wanting it to sit and collect dust, I went looking for a computerized solution. WOW ! It was $4500 for the hardware... minimum... and then another $1000 for software to create the patterns. So, $5500 to computerize a $1600 system seemed ridiculous.

Being a computer design engineer, I decided to tackle creating an automation system myself. I needed something that was flexible, safe and easy to use, since it was my goal to have my wife create her own patterns and run them on the machine. The software had to be easy to use, since my wife and her friends are not the most computer savvy people around.

What I came up with was an easy to install, belt driven stepper motor drive train that can be easily adapted to ANY quilting frame, a simple electronics box and a tape recorder like software program.

In a nutshell, mount the horizontal Stepper assembly (X), the vertical Stepper assembly (Y), the belt holders, tighten the belts, connect the electronics box to the steppers (simple plugs) and then the USB cable to your computer, load the software (one step installation, complete with samples) and you're off and running.

The software works much like a tape player. You can setup a workspace consisting of all of the passes you want to run. Select a pass, play the pass. Rewind and continue. If you need to stop and re-thread because the thread broke, you can pause the play, manually move the machine (Using a mouse, keyboard or wireless XBox360 controller), fix the issue, then hit restore to return to where you paused the play, make adjustments to where you want to continue from and then continue the play. When the play is complete, move the machine off the fabric, change the bobbin and then rewind back to the original starting point. It's that simple. And the pattern just played is marked as completed, so you always know what passes you've already played.

In addition, I've created a simple to use quilt design program that allows a user to trace a bitmap/jpg pattern, etc. and save as a simple pattern. These patterns can then be strung together into a full pass that can consist of many different patterns into a single pass. These passes are what the player will execute with the ACCQuilter software. The pattern creation program will also allow you to create an entire quilt, displaying the individual passes that you can fine tune. So once you have created all of the individual passes for the quilt, you can print a marking guide that will tell you for each pass where to place the machine needle from the left and either the top of the quilt or from the last pass point, so you know where to mark each pass for pattern play execution.

The pattern creation program is complete, though enhancements will always be under way. The ACCQuilter software will also accept any file in the PC Quilter format. There are a number of creation programs out there. Some are expensive and some are less so. There is a restriction on the ACCQuilter though. The pattern MUST ALWAYS start at the top left corner and can contain a single jump from that point or not.

Currently a stitch regulator is required (which in itself is a $500 cost), but I'm in the process of testing something that will remove that requirement.

My price plans for the CC Quilter automation add-on is to sell it below $1200, with a target of $1195. If I'm successful in eliminating the stitch regulator, customers could save the $500 cost of the stitch regulator and put it towards the computerization, which means you can have the same quilting frame that I bought for only $499 more and it's fully automated.

The patterns that I have run as passes for my wife have taken anywhere from 5 - 15 minutes to run. At 15 - 19 passes per quilt, that's 45 - 285 minutes per quilt that I can be doing something else. I don't know about you, but quilting for 4 hours by hand doesn't sound like fun to me.

It was worth it for me... how about you ?

I have made the CC Quilter software available as a free download and it include some sample passes and utilities (line square, circle, etc) . If there is no machine connected, it will run in simulation mode. This way you can see how easy it is to setup and run a quilt pattern. You can even connect an XBox360 wireless controller to it and run it to see how it works.

See a video demonstration of the the ACCQuilter software at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YQnuxs_3xU

See an early installation video of how to install the system at

Download a copy of the ACCQuilter software which will run without the hardware in simulation mode from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_JGMz7LTzpwSUpVSkZsRGgwQWM/view?usp=sharing

Download an early copy of the ACCQuilter Design program from https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_JGMz7LTzpwRUZ1ZXN4TnU0aEE

Risks and challenges

I have been using this system, quilting my wife's quilts for over three years now. The hardware has been redesigned once to overcome soe limitations I had. The electronics are housed in a professionally fabric metal box. The initlal stepper motor mounts were made from plywood. I am now waiting for samples of the metal versions, which will make installatkion easier. The only risk for this project, that I can think of, is customer support. Initial support for users that are not familiar with installing software or understanging how to install the hardware will require personal support, which I will be providing, but since this product is not a high volume manufacturing operation, the kind of support provided by large companies will not be possible. My plan to address this support issue is to be available on a daily basis and provide phone support when necessary.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Level1 - Website mention

    You name will be listed on our list of contributers on the accquilter.com website

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    1 backer
    $

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Level2 - Carry Bag

    A hand carry bag with the ACCQuilter logo on it and mention our accquilter.com website

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    0 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Level3 - Discounted ACCQuilter

    A full ACCQuilter kit to add to your quilting frame. Includes hardware, ACCQuilter software and the ACCQuiltDesigner software.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Level3 - Discounted ACCQuilter

    A full ACCQuilter kit to add to your quilting frame. Includes hardware, ACCQuilter software and the ACCQuiltDesigner software.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Level4 - Discounted ACCQuilter

    A full ACCQuilter kit to add to your quilting frame. Includes hardware, ACCQuilter software and the ACCQuiltDesigner software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (30 days)