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Topic: embroidery machine digitizer??  (Read 4457 times)
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« on: June 06, 2006 11:56:58 AM »

I'm looking for an embroidery machine design digitizer. I want to do logos for local buissnesses and i dont know how to digitize the designs. If anyone could send me in the direction of one that would be great.



« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006 03:54:59 PM »

I saw a google ad for this place once on craftster and called to find out details.  The salesman was very helpful and even had his co-worker call me to discuss what kind of machine I might want to buy.  Their prices were good, I plan on sending them a couple of images as soon as I buy a machine.  And by the way, is there a machine you can recommend for under 1k?
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006 05:51:06 PM »

You can probably pick up a Janome 300 for about 1000.  Their retail is around 1500 but many have purchased them for 1000.  Brother has a new machine that sells for somewhere around 900.  Both of these machines have a 5X7 stitch field which is about the best you can do for a thousand.  The problem is that the software is where the digitizing comes from.  There is some sort of digitizer that can be purchased in the Embird software.  It is popular and probably the cheapest you can get.  Some people do digitize professionally with this software.  I use Artista Designer Plus.  Right now it is a bargain at about 1499.  A new version is due out at any time.  This software cost me $2000 when I purchased it new.  I expect the new version will run about that. 

Both the Janome and the Brother machines are HOME machines.  You would need to carefully review the contract to make sure that you won't void the warranty if you use them commercially.  That happens because these are not heavy duty machines.  They do not stitch as quickly and they are not geared to handle the abuse of commercial embroidery.  It may take you much longer to do 25 t-shirts on these than on a commercial machine.  There is a cross over commercial machine out there that runs around $6000 made by Brother or Babylock (two different versions of the same machine).  It is meant to do the commerical work and take the abuse.  Sometimes you can get the software with the machines.  Some of the hoops and extras are optional and cost more, just depends on what you need/want.  i did a simple logo on my home machine.  I did 35 shirts, no picture, all lettering.  It took me an entire Saturday and part of a Sunday afternoon.  My machine stitfches at 650-700 spm.  A simple full name can easily run 11000-14000 stiches.  the spm speed is running one color, no changes.  That should give you an idea how long it could take to do a very simple design.  If there is a picture, it can start at about 15,000 stitches for just one design.  You also have to figure in the cost of threads (a simple design would have at least 7-10 colors although it is not uncommon for one of my designs to have as many as 25 colors.)  My home machine was $7000 and is a combo machine.  However, now that I have had it a while I often regret that I did not go for a Babylock or Brother low end commercial machine.  I could have had it and what I needed for about the same investment.

Once you have the machine and the software (depending upon your software, you may also have fonts), you will need many spools of thread and a LOT of stabilizer for your designs.  These are all hidden expenses in this software.  You must be very careful that you do not use any copywriten fonts in your designs without permission.

You also have to be VERY carefui about what you digitize.  Without written permission from the design holder, you cannot digitize any logos that are copywrited (including college logos and pro team logos, often even high school and business logos) or trademarked. 
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006 06:29:22 PM »

Wow, that's the most info. I've gotten on the subject, thank you so much.  My plan is to digitize my own designs, and hopefully find a machine that I can just hook up to my Mac or put a floppy disc direclty into.  I don't want to invest thousands before knowing if my product will make the money back.  Too scary!  Most of my designs have about three colors and are fairly simple.  I've been doing them by hand so far, but of course this is not very cost-effective and I can no longer keep up with the demand from my retail customers.  I'm feeling overwhelmed now by your information and I suppose I have a lot more research to do.  Thanks again.
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2006 06:59:52 PM »

Not many of the digitizing software pkgs run on Macs...you'll need to do some hunting.  I heard the other day that perhaps Pfaff or Husky did, I'm not sure.  The world of embroidery is years behind in technology...although they are trying to move that direction.  You can, in some cases run one brand of software and a different brand of machine, depending upon format and compatability. 

The Janone machine will take a flash drive which is very nice, you just need an adapter for your computer to run the design to the flash drive.  Since many cameras also use the same, often you don't have much in an extra investment.

Many of the upper level MACHINES will take flash drives or direct computer download.  My machine has its own CD drive, takes a special card, uses flash drive and will use USB conectivity to attach to the computer but it cost me $7000, the software was another $2000.  Some machines require that you transfer to a card through a "box" type adapter.  I think that in time these will be extinct and although there are many out there now if I were to choose for the future I'd try to stay as clear of those as I could (if possible). 

The type of computer connectivity is often as much in the software as it is in the machine.  For instance, an older version of my software only uses a serial port adapter which, of course is also the way of the dinosaurs now. 

There are software packages that will auto digitize although in some cases, the degree of "automation" is a little limited.  There is just a whole lot to consider when looking at the different software/machines.  There is a site called Patternreview that is a free forum (well, you can subscribe) but you can also do some posting and observation for free....Machines and software are often reviewed on that site.  You might want to do some research there. 

I just think that going in you need to be well informed about the limitations and expense of this undertaking.  It can become very expensive in the long-run, although I think that you'll have most of your money tied up in the software, not the machine.  You may even be able to buy an older machine from a reputable dealer and go for newer software.  When purchasing your machine, try to go to a dealer.  They will offer classes and support for your purchase.  Most will even offer classes on the software.  Many times the dealer will clean your machine for a set amount of time for free, service your machine (hopefully in-house) for a period of time and many have a trade in/trade up policy for a set period, 6 mos-a year is common.  If you choose to buy from a big box store like Wal Mart you should know that Brother will give the same warranty on their machines sold there as at a dealer.  The local dealers have the option of servicing that product.  If you think you might want to purchase there, check a local dealer and see if they will back the warranty (it is no cost to them to do so) and it is good PR so some will.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2006 07:08:39 AM »

I am hoping to skip the software if possible and just have my designs digitized for me, so that I can then insert them directly into the machine.  This would save me a lot of time and money, but I'm having trouble finding such a machine.  Thanks again for your help.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2006 08:00:09 AM »

Check out the Janome 300 then I'm pretty sure it uses the flash card like a camera  which a lot of people already have along with the adapter.  I don't think the cards care if the design was done on a MAC or IBM based machine which will make it a lot easier for getting designs to your machine.  You're right about one thing.  You could pay a lot of money for digitizing before you could make up  the cost of the software.
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2006 09:39:22 PM »


I have the janome 300e. very good embroidery for the price. yes the flash card is easy to use, just like a camera set up so u just need acard reader for the downloadinig, the flash card goes into an adapter and than in to the machine.( they are cheap you just need one adaptor and as many cards as u want 32mb ones only needed, bigger wont get u more designs, only has capacity to read 100 designs on the machine itself). So transferring 100 designs at a time is great saves u going back and forth. I have an older bernina deco and you only get 6-12 designs on it. Also the janome softwear is cheap compared to other brands.
Floppys wont exist for much longer i dont think. i think they are being phased out. i might be wrong.
Hard to even buy any.
I believe brothers take the floppys so maybe check them out. They also have good simple digitizing program, with some auto digitizing. so maybe go check that out too.

good luck cyndiq

« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2006 01:36:30 AM »

Rumolr has it that there will be a new Bernina 330 (made by Janome).  My suspicion is that the major change will be that it too will accept flash cards.  However, information on the new machine will be released in just a couple of weeks when Bernina has its Bernina University (BU) where they make the announcements for changes to the Bernina line.  Since it is so close it might be worth waiting to see what is coming out.  There are times when the new machines are changed in an unexpected way.....
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2006 03:50:54 PM »

Hi, I'm getting my Janome next weekend and I was wondering whether anyone knows whether you definately need their own digitizer/customiser software to upload designs to the machine (I know you need the CompactFlash card + type II adapter and a compact flash reader/writer.

I have downloaded thredworks and EMBroidery software from the internet. Should these work for uploading the designs?

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