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Re: DAK charm

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  • mikezcnc
    Margaret, Thank you for explaining me the time involved. It appears like it is almost an instant gratification for what you did: 15 hours? That is a great
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 29, 2004
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      Thank you for explaining me the time involved. It appears like it is
      almost an instant gratification for what you did: 15 hours? That is a
      great timing. If it takes 50 times longer to do it by hand then it
      will be 50 days working 15 hours a day!

      Yes, I noticed that DAK can do a lot and the price they want sounds
      sweeter and sweeter, maybe someone will run a Christmas sale?

      My goal is not to have a competing product with DAK, I want to be
      able to control a knitting machine by a computer, that would mean
      only one thing: PC and a communication interface. It would be a
      universal (open) architecture so everybody and his brother could
      write any program to work with it. What is missing right now is that
      we don't know the electrical architecture, interfaces, voltage
      levels, pinout. Such situation allows a cable manufacturer charge
      $100 while as John mentioned, $20 would allow for a hefty profit
      because I can buy a serial cable for $5 and there might be an
      electrical interface built into that cable, hopefully there is one
      because if it is a bare and repinned cable then it would be a joke
      that would get into TV headlines. If someone has that cable maybe the
      lead can be unscred to tell us what's inside? Just don't damage it!

      Once open architecture is established and I believe John is already
      capable of doing some communication, then comes the application part,
      ie what is that program supposed to do. Many people would get
      involved into writing such programs.

      Your observation that DAK has a pre w95 appearance coincides with my
      experience- I could not install it on my w2000 computer because I get
      error messages. While those error messages might signify a missing
      link, I have no problems installing other 2000 programs. Obviously it
      is a small company with limited resources that keeps a strong hold on
      the captive market (what do they care how the interface looks like?
      But if people can make a fabulous sweater they will buy it anyway).
      Such a strategy will work fine until someone comes along with skill
      and interest. Or a major company determines that the market is huge.
      I have no idea if it is a huge market but I know that it is a huge
      country that makes those numbers more appealing. The bad part is that
      Brother machines are orphans and no more new machines are being made.
      That tells me that the marked for DAK-like programs is limited and
      therefore not attractive to anybody.

      My interest in knitting machines is based on my interest in CNC
      machines (computer numeric control, three motors control x, y and z
      and each of them moves according to the program, that's a basic
      idea). CNC hobby market was in dark ages in 1992 but now is very well
      developed, with large amount of programs available. For example
      www.turbocnc.com is a shareware program with sourcecode available for
      $60, which would allow writing own applications. The same program
      from, say, www.mastercam.com costs $20,000. While the two programs
      have diffrent features, many people run their businesses using

      With turbocnc it is so that when a cnc machine is connected to the
      turbocnc program, you have to set up parameters of your cnc machine
      (some machines are larger than others). The next step is to see if
      the machine responds to a turbocnc program, ie one can try jogging,
      using cursor keys. Better programs allow using a mouse fo that
      (turbocnc is a DOS program). Once we know that cnc machine moves are
      correspomding with entered values (1" in a program =1" in a machine)
      we can start using that machine for milling under computer control
      (see the resemblance to 'knitting under computer control?'). At that
      point is time to enter a machining code that will do something that
      we want. For example we want a circle milled on a flat surface. A
      board is placed in a machine, a machine code (g-code because it uses
      a letter G and a number, example g91) is written using a SEPARATE
      program that is designed just for that purpose of creating a g-code
      from a drawing). Once that g-code (describing a circle in our case)
      is executed, we will have a nice circle carved in material.

      Now you see a great resemblance of knitting to cnc. It is not complex
      to write an application once we have an interface. I know someone who
      knows how to do just that, who already has several similar products
      under his belt- but it's a long way, we don't have an interface
      specified. I would imagine that Brother would be thrilled to share
      that information but it requires finding the right people.

      There are many ways this group can go forward, I see almost 30 people
      coming to this board in one day and that is good because everybody
      chips in and if nothing comes out of this group project I will have
      at least one sweater, like your lucky husband!


      --- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, mar heck <mheck@m...> wrote:
      > mikezcnc wrote:
      > >
      > > Can you tell me how long did it take you to:
      > >
      > > modify the pattern in DAK?
      > > make each arm?
      > > make front?
      > > make back?
      > > assemble all together
      > > total amount of time?
      > >
      > > I want to have a modern version of PPD and FB100 substituted by a
      > > Let's say, I can buy a design from you that way I could use my PC
      > > download it to a knitting machine, assuming no modificatins are
      > > neccessary (I can see a big business for people modifying
      patterns on
      > > DAK for others and it tells me that DAK could have a version of
      > > program just for that purpose).
      > >
      > > Mike
      > Mike,
      > First, I need to re-iterate that I purchased the pattern from Dale
      > Norway, although I have designed many sweaters myself as well using
      > DAK. I used this example to show you just one of the things you
      can do
      > with DAK. Regarding time it takes (mind you I've been knitting for
      > few years and if the knitting gods and goddesses are with you on
      the day
      > of knitting....here are my estimates.) After scanning the charts
      > putting them into DAK, about 1/2 hour to do a swatch and figure out
      > and stitches per inch. Measure recipient, decide how many rows
      > stitches needed, do the math, 10 minutes. Downloading pattern to
      > machine: 3 minutes. Each sleeve, front, back 1 hour each.
      > and running in yarn ends: 4-5 or 6 hours (same as handknitting).
      > maybe 10-15 hrs if all goes well.
      > Regarding your entrepreneurial ideas, I dunno. If a person owns
      > they can do their own sizing and modifications. There are so many
      > things DAK can do, we haven't even scratched the surface in this
      > discussion. Even can estimate for you how much yarn you'll need
      for a
      > garment, will superimpose a shape onto a design, will grade a
      > into different sizes, will give you a pattern according to your
      > instructions, just to mention a few things. like any hobby, there
      is a
      > learning curve. And to learn to do something well, it takes a bit
      > practice, a few flops and a few successes. In my opinion, DAK is
      > the big bucks, but I get frustrated that the interface is like
      > pre-windows 95, I think. Finding a teacher is a good thing,
      > you can teach yourself through books.
      > How did you get interested in machine knitting in the first place?
      > purchase?
      > M
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > -- In kminternals@yahoogroups.com, "margaretbheck" <mheck@m...>
      > > >
      > > > Hi Mike,
      > > > Thought you might like to see an example of what you can do
      with a
      > > > knitting machine and DAK. I just uploaded a file to our PHOTOS
      > > area,
      > > > called example. I bought the sweater pattern from Dale of
      > > > scanned the charts and saved them to my computer, entered them
      > > DAK,
      > > > changed the colors to the ones my husband liked, downloaded the
      > > pieces
      > > > to my Brother 970, knit each piece, sewed together by hand and
      > > > presented to husband. Don't mean to brag....well, maybe I
      > > but
      > > > this beautiful, intricate design took me about 1/50 of the time
      > > > make on the machine as it would by hand. (Yup, I've done that
      > > too.)
      > > > Each piece took me about an hour because of the color changes.
      > > > Otherwise it would have gone faster.
      > > >
      > > > I agree that it would be good to learn your machine first, but
      > > you
      > > > are motivated, you can learn fast and eventually produce
      > > > garments. There are some other gentlemen on the yahoo machine
      > > > knitting lists--great to have you!
      > > >
      > > > Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE DAK, but sounds like you
      > > be
      > > > able to create a program too. Nifty to have both programming
      > > > knitting skills. Once you do get knitting, these lists are
      great at
      > > > helping you get over bumps in the road.
      > > > M
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      > > click here
      > >
      > >
      > >
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