I’ve made 3D printed 3-step and 2-step zig-zag discs for vintage Singer sewing machines that take the top hat style fashion discs. The only multi-step zig-zag stitch these machines come with is a 4-step zig-zag, which in my opinion is useless.
A 4-step zig-zag? What were they thinking? Those stitches are tiny. That’s way too many small stitches to put in elastic or knit fabric. I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to use a 4-step zig-zag stitch. I use a 3-step zig-zag all the time, and occasionally I thought a 2-step zig-zag stitch would be nice, but not a 4-step zig-zag.
I love my Singer 411G, but it really needed a 3-step zig-zag stitch. I made a 3-step zig-zag disc a few months ago, but it wasn’t quite right, so I fixed the design for this version. I decided I might as well make a 2-step zig-zag disc while I was at it.
I’ve made the 3-step zig-zag disc and 2-step zig-zag disc available for purchase in my Shapeways shop. If you are not sure if your vintage Singer sewing machine takes this style of discs, take a look at this Singer disc comparison chart. My discs are type “B” in that chart.
I chose “White Strong & Flexible” nylon for the material, since it seemed like the best option in terms of print resolution and price. I’ve had my first version of the disc for about six months, and it’s held up fine, but I don’t know yet how these 3D printed parts will hold up long term. 3D printing technology is still evolving rapidly, so I’m hoping that by the time my discs wear out, there will be a better material available.
The print resolution is not high enough to get perfectly consistent results, so the two holes in the disc may be a little too small on some discs. The holes can easily be sanded larger, though. You can use a small round file or rolled up pieces of sandpaper to slightly enlarge the holes. The disc should sit snugly on the sewing machine, but it shouldn’t be so tight it is difficult to remove.