Team : Lucie, Ombeline and Karine Project repository : sewing-machin  

< p dir= »auto »>FINAL PROJECT: sewing machine group

Team : Lucie, Ombeline and Karine

Starting from an MDF wooden board, the goal is to create a low-tech and low-cost sewing machine that would work without electricity, from an open source file accessible for everyone.



Project summary :

Textile crafts is a very old tradition in India, our project is established in respect of this culture. For several years, the emancipation of women in India has allowed them to participate in family income by sewing and selling there products. These women gather regularly in groups to share this activity.

The goal is to work in prevention to be able to deploy the project when people are moved into the camps. The idea is to create support groups with mutual assistance from the community in these difficult times.

Moreover, during the floods, there is a real materiel loss. Not only they lose their machines like looms or sewing machines, but they also need new clothes because most of them are torn, spoiled or wet.

Therefore, in a context where clothing is not guaranteed, this project gives the opportunity to people affected by a disaster, to reclaim traditional textile techniques like weaving and sewing. It also offers a way for women to stay occupied during those long months and make a living with their creations.

Furthermore, our project is principally for women, and children staying in the camps, while most of men are out to help. In this situation, camps become living places where everybody lost their habits.

Storyboard :

final process

Manufacturing tutorial :

To manufacturing our sewing machine, we use laser cutter.

laser cutting

manifacturing method

Final prototype :

final prototype sewing machine

PROCESS: sewing machine group

Team: Lucie, Ombeline and Karine

Since we got the idea of a wooden sewing machine, most of the work was to understand the mechanism of the machine. We did many researches about this subject.

At the beginning, we made a first test of the complete mechanism.

Seeing that it did not work, we focused on more specific details before trying to make the whole object work. We tested flexible wooden chains and different gears.

The gears worked well. Starting from there, we redesigned the whole mechanism.

plans Autocad

Then, we made several tests of the complete mechanism, changing little details between each test on different materials: hardboard, plexiglass, plywood … prototypes evolution 1

prototypes evolution 2

But the laser cut was not precise enough and we had to change all the interlocking pieces each time. Plus, the thickness of the material varied between all different materials, we decided to stop doing tests on every material we could think of and to search for the optimal material for our machine.

Then, we tested different materials on their rigidity, their resistance to water, their price…

Example of water proof tests we made :

water test

We summarized our research in this comparative table.

comparative table of materialsAfter we received confirmation by the Indians of the accessibility of the material in Kerala, we noticed that the material that had the best quality / price report was the MDF.

From there, we were able to repeat our tests and we made our first MDF prototype. MDF prototype

A new problem arrived : we had gears at 90° with each other. Consequently, they jam and block all the mechanism. Then, we found three solutions to solve this problem. Either we sand down an angle by hand, but it is not precise and too long. Either we make gears with slanted teeth with the 3D printer, but it would break our idea of making the machine in one material and for it to be cheap and simple. Or, we mill the gears with the CNC using a beveled wick. We chose the last solution.

 milled gears

At this stage, the general mechanism of the sewing machine works, but there is still a problem with the rotating hook below.