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Embroidery Software
What exactly do you need?
Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
Advanced Beginner
MD USA
Member since 1/8/10
Posts: 1457
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Date: 10/23/10 6:41 PM

I've been looking around at embroidery machines, and I'm a bit.. confused? It seems like you're mostly expected to download or buy designs, and making any of your own requires outrageously expensive software? And that all brands have their own design format, which isn't compatible with anything else and which I guess takes specific software, so nothing is interchangeable? I've seen some programs for switching between embroidery formats, but not much for actually creating designs that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Are there plug-ins for conventional graphics programs that'll do the conversion? I would have expected it to be possible to at least convert vector graphics into embroidery format, but I'm having trouble turning up much that's practical.. although I'm sure that the fact that there are so many different formats and each machine only takes one certainly contributes to that problem.
I'm pretty comfortable with most 2D computer graphics and fairly quickly getting caught up on the 3D.. I don't have much experience with vector graphics yet but it's something I was planning on learning anyway.
This seems to be an area that the open source movement hasn't gotten to yet, and THAT'S foreign to me! I'm used to being able to find a script that'll do anything. Or am I just looking in the wrong places?
Are some machines more flexible in what they'll deal with? Are there some that are designed more for user-created designs than pre-made designs? I just don't like the idea of getting an embroidery machine and then being stuck using it only for images created by somebody else.
Is this a specific feature I need to be looking for in shopping for a machine, or is it something I'd be looking for after getting one, with the specific formatting information of the machine I decide on?

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

Sewinglady1947
Sewinglady1947
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Date: 10/23/10 7:29 PM

I think Embird is probably the one most people prefer. My sister has it and it is great. She does about anything she wishes to.

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sewing grammy

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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MD USA
Member since 1/8/10
Posts: 1457
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Date: 10/23/10 9:37 PM

OOwies... the "basic" of Embird that just does minor editing is $150... another $150 each for the plugins that deal with raster and vector graphics..

Maybe I should think about getting serious about free-motion embroidery.

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

aslinnd

aslinnd
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/28/07
Posts: 809
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Date: 10/24/10 4:05 PM

You can use vector graphics and you can use drawings or illustrations saved in from programs like Adode illustrator or corel but once you save the file in a format the embroidery machine can read - I forget at the moment I know 4d reads png and a one or two others - you still have to manually digitise or punch the design. if you have a fairly simple very clean graphic you can use the auto feature and tweak from there.

But no, none of them are cheap, the professional one adobe has - i think its called i2 or something like that is hugely costly even on subscription but looks awesom, corel drawing also looking good but is expensive. at the other end are products like embird, and sew what which alot of uses like offer free trials aw well.



Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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TN USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7730
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In reply to Maggiedoll


Date: 10/24/10 5:15 PM

Quote: Maggiedoll
OOwies... the "basic" of Embird that just does minor editing is $150... another $150 each for the plugins that deal with raster and vector graphics..

And that's the cheap part. There are all the different types of stabilizers for different fabrics & projects, the threads, it goes on and on. ME is not a cheap hobby, at all.
Reverie

Reverie
Intermediate
AB CANADA
Member since 8/7/08
Posts: 806
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In reply to Maggiedoll


Date: 10/24/10 8:00 PM

Get Stitch Era Universal. Its a free program, you pay for shipping and it automatically reads and transfers vector images from corel draw or illistrator into embroidery shapes. I could not live with out it for embroidery. The down side is that it does need to be connected to the internet to use it and only does smaller embroidery designs up to 40,000 stitches.

For starting with your own graphics its better to use someone elses for getting used to how the stitches flow.

I do use embird for basic basic things, like resizing and very basic editing of others designs.

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2005- 38.10m
2006- 278.80m
2007- 478.35m
2008 - 665.09m
2009 - 751.91m
2010- 1500m+ sewn 51m
2011-?? sewn 53m
2012- 35.1m
I own three kilometres. Well on the way to a fourth.
http://reveriesmusings.blogspot.com/

Maggiedoll
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Maggiedoll
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MD USA
Member since 1/8/10
Posts: 1457
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Date: 10/24/10 9:18 PM

Looks like you need a local dealer for Stitch Era Universal, and they only have them in a few states.. not mine.. not any that border mine.. :-/

Dorris, what do you mean "goes on and on"? Stabilizers, threads, I know embroidery machines don't take standard needles.. but what else?

It looks like there's an inkscape plugin, although the long "to do" list isn't all that encouraging. Not dated, so I don't know if it's a fairly new project or an abandoned project. There's one called embroidermodder which appears to be a dead project. And one called SVG2embroidery which appears to be for the Pfaff pcs files, but I think I've seen programs that convert between brand formats.

*sigh* I really should try to learn Python. (But probably won't..)
Maybe I'll start trolling the Inkscape forums for help.

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My (overly complicated) blog: http://maggiedoll.com/

sew2006
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sew2006
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ON CANADA
Member since 6/24/06
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Date: 10/24/10 9:39 PM

Buzz explore

Buzz explore is a catalogue program for embroidery designs. This is a great program because it allows you to un zip hundreds of designs in one easy step quickly, it shows you a picture of the design even inside a zipped file format and supports all embroidery formats except (Bernina art). This program supports a large number of hoop sizes, formats and does a batch convertion (all embroidery designs from varies formats to the one you want) in one easy step. I've used this program for almost 8 years and haven't had any issues of it not supporting formats or creating unusable files with errors in machines.

Never embroidery machines that use a USB stick allow the use embroidery designs without the purchase of proprietary and expensive software. There are thousands of free designs on the web, designs that can be purchased for a few dollars each and companies that create custom logos.

When choosing an embroidery machine choose one that you feel comfortable operating, that has the hoop size that you need (4x4, 5x7, 6x10 or larger) and learn the fabric, stabilizer, proper hooping technigues.

Embroidery machines are just like a tv, you're purchasing the equipment and than you add the content.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

Reverie

Reverie
Intermediate
AB CANADA
Member since 8/7/08
Posts: 806
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In reply to Maggiedoll


Date: 10/24/10 9:43 PM

I bought mine from lori lee, because there are no dealers in canada, you can order from her website.

------
2005- 38.10m
2006- 278.80m
2007- 478.35m
2008 - 665.09m
2009 - 751.91m
2010- 1500m+ sewn 51m
2011-?? sewn 53m
2012- 35.1m
I own three kilometres. Well on the way to a fourth.
http://reveriesmusings.blogspot.com/

dodger

dodger
Advanced Beginner
WI USA
Member since 9/7/04
Posts: 607
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Date: 10/24/10 11:37 PM

Rev, I'm so glad you hopped on here to help Maggie, it is all beyond me!

You have done some very lovely designs with the StitchEra so it does work nicely.

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