17. Wildcard Week


  • Design and produce something with a digital fabrication process (incorporating computer-aided design and manufacturing) not covered in another assignment, documenting the requirements that your assignment meets, and including everything necessary to reproduce it.

One of the unique fabrication processes in our lab is embroidery. I decided that would try to embroider the gitlab logo.


A free open-source way to generate embroidery files is called InkStitch, a plugin for InkScape. I followed the tutorial that they posted on their website, however, the all the menus were greyed out and unclickable. I found out that Window’s Defender quarantined the InkStitch executable, so I created an exception in the firewall.

Next, I imported the InkScape SVG of the GitLab logo that I had created before. I clicked Extensions>Ink/Stitch>Params to generate a preview of the stitching. However, the preview prompted an error message.

I ungrouped the logo to investigate the error. Sure enough, the logo has overlap between the orange and yellow segments. I realized that this must be a byproduct of the vectorization alogorithim that I had not noticed before.

However, I decided to look on the internet for an alternative SVG file for the Gitlab logo. I found that I could refine the google search by searching only for SVG file formats and I came across an SVG of the GitLab logo on Wikipedia.

Once again, I attempted to preview the stitches and the preview prompted another error.

I had no idea what the error even hinted towards. So, I tried converting all the nodes into paths. Suprisingly, it aleviated the error and I could finally preview the stiches.

I exported the stiches as a PES file using the Embroider tool.


Now, I had to prep the embroidering machine. Alexendra provided very helpful assistance since operating the machine proved to be a daunting task. In addition, I used this workflow. First, I had to assemble the hoop with the cloth and trace paper tightly wrapped around the hoop. An alumni advised that I used firm and non-stretchy cloth to prevent jams.

Second, I had to replace the spools of thread with the colors that I needed. The process was incredibly complex as there were several holes and paths that the thread needed to be threaded through.

Finally, I had to reassign each needle to the new colors on the machine. With the setup down, I attached the hoop to the arms and I pressed the stitch button.

After the embroiderer was done stitching, I had to tear off the trace paper from the back and I was left with the final embroidery.