Affordable Computer Controlled Quilter (ACC QUILTER)

ACCQuilter KICKSTARTER IS LIVE !  I have until 12/31/2017 to raise $52K and make this a viable product. 

To donate or purchase a unit for $1000, please go to :

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1234271360/affordable-computer-controlled-quilting-system-add

Thanks for your support.

Dan

 

This is being provided, to the quilting hobbiest, as an add-on to quilting frames to allow the user to create patterns and run them using a PC or laptop.  The pattern designer, which is a simple to use pattern editor that creates CCQuilter files, is free and is available for download now. The the add-on kit is expected to be production priced under $1200.  This would make it the cheapest in the industry. This add-on should be available (Jan/18).  The kit can be adapted to other quilting frames and we will work with you to support you current machine.  We also plan to create entire quilting frames with the computer control in various sizes from desktop to king size.  The full frame kits will be available in late 2018.  If you have an interest in purchasing an add-on for your machine, please send an email request for details to stirkits@gmail.com

 

See a video demonstation of the machine in action at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9wGkc8E0RA

 

See a video demonstration of the easy to use software at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YQnuxs_3xU

 

See a video of how to assemble the individual assemblies at

(note: This will no longer be necessary, since the mounts have been changed to metal)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEDs020cZ4U

 

See a video of how to install the CC Quilter assemblies (about 30 minutes) at

(note: The general procedure is the same, even with the metal mounts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVrwGrOPLJI

 

Download a copy of the CCQuilter software (which can be run without hardware in simulation mode) from....

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_JGMz7LTzpwSUpVSkZsRGgwQWM/view?usp=sharing

 

Download a copy of the CCQDesigner software from ....

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_JGMz7LTzpwRUZ1ZXN4TnU0aEE

 

HISTORY

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The CC Quilter system was designed to be a user friendly, simple, cost effective solution for the home hobbiest to add computerization to their quilting frame.

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.  So, 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 rediculous.  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 is not the most computer savy person around.   What I came up with was an easy to install, belt driven stepper motor drive train that can be adapted for ANY quilting frame easily, a simple professional electronics box and a tape recorder like software progam.  In a nutshell, mount the horizontal Stepper assembly (X), then 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 constsing 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, manualy 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 CCQuilter 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 pases 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 CCQuilter software will alco 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 CCQuilter 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 $600 cost), but I'm in the process of testing something that will remove that requirement.  Since I'm moving the machine with stepper motors and I'm controlling the step speed, the machine movement speed is constant, so if I create a mechanism where you can adjust your foot pedal manually, and then I control ON/OFF from the foot pedal, then The stitch length can be regulated by the two.  I found that the speed that I move the machine for all of my patterns is a constant value that I don't change based on the pattern.  That being said, I could set the foot pedal press position using a knob that holds the foot pedal in a fixed position and then splice into the control wire with a relay and then I have full ON/OFF control of the machine.  Once a machine movement speed and a foot pedal position has been set, it would only take adjustments to either the machine speed (not reccomended) or the foot pedal position to change the stitch length.  And at the end of a pass, I can completely turn off the machine,  With the gracie stitch regulator and my Janome 1600P, when the machine is not moving, the machine is still slowly moving the needle up and down.  With my proposed system, the machine would completely stop, thus eliminating the need for someone to be there to stop the stitch regulator.

My price plans for the CC Quilter automation add-on is to sell it below $1200, with a target of $1195.  If I have the foot pedal control included, you could save the $600 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 $399 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 quiilt, 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.

I'll be posting more documentation as I compete it, such as the Hardware Installation Guide, Software Users Guide, Installation Video and Software User Video soon.  Stay Tuned.