7th grade project

hello all—

my son (13) has decided to try to assemble a maslow for a school project.
he has 2 school days.

he is happy to start early and just finish at school if necessary although
as i get further into this i’m wondering if this project
is at all realistic for a 13 year old…

he’s planning to put together a uni-strut frame but i would
love advice and suggestions.

also, because the project dates are mid-february i am buying one from @iiatlas.
does anyone know how i figure out if it has a ring kit or not and if not if i can
get one before mid-february?

thanks in advance!


Greetings from a 54 year old.
If it his ambition, let him do it and if he has your support, even better, is my opinion.
My guess is that we will all be surprised of what feedback we will receive from him.
If you don’t receive a ring kit for the start, still go ahead. Upgrades can be applied later.
Check out a boat build with the regular brackets Building a Bolger Bobcat (Payson Tiny Cat) catboat from CAD on up

First, I’d recommend adult supervision as power tools are involved. Second, I don’t know your son’s technical capabilities, but I’d suggest for something with a deadline doing a stock wood frame would be the wisest. If he can get a temp frame built, get the maslow up and running, cut the parts for the final frame, assemble it, etc. in two days… I’d be really impressed… took me longer to do that since there was lots of learning involved. I’d recommend setting the goal to be building temporary frame, installing Maslow kit, and cutting out a shape. Maybe make the shape something school related (mascot outline, etc.)


Question… Are you saying he has 2 days at school that he can dedicate to working on the project, but otherwise he has until mid-February to finish it?

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thanks. there will definitely be teachers on site. i was leaning towards the uni-strut because i could help beforehand to get parts together and he could assemble at school. we have grid beam (wood uni-strut) that he uses often to build things and it seemed to make sense but what are the issues?

is it that there isn’t a ‘plan’ for a uni-strut frame?

how long did it take you?

i will share your suggestions with him.
he’s going to start reading the wiki and following forum.


it’s called adventure days and they can pick whatever they want to do
that pushes their learning edge and challenges them.

i think he can do as much as he wants before hand and there is
no real deadline except for they showcase their work at the end.

he’s been wanting a cnc for a long time so this seemed like a good
way to kill 2 birds with one stone. also, i want a cnc…

also, what i’m trying to avoid is him getting to school and running into
something that he didn’t know he need to do or know or have.

is the wiki pretty thorough?

I think the idea of doing a unistrut frame that you could really build ahead of time and then assemble during those two days is a good idea. I would say it’s pretty ambitious, but I think it would be a great learning experience and probably a lot of fun. I tried to scratch build a rep-rap 3D printer in 8th grade and it never worked but I learned a ton.

I would say at the end of two days you won’t have a fully debugged and ready to run machine, but you could have something which moves around and probably have some parts cut.


great. that’s what i’m hoping for.
do you have recommendations on which uni-strut frame i should base it off of?

Ok, I’d still recommend a stock frame because its well documented and proven… just my recommendation. You could build the temp frame at home, get the Maslow working, use it to cut out the pieces for the final frame and then take that to school to assemble there and demonstrate it working. The advantage is that he can figure everything out at home without the pressure of being at school. Also, there’s nothing that stops you from building a final wood frame by hand if you can print out the templates or otherwise transfer the layout to a piece of plywood (use a jig saw and circular saw as needed).

And tearing down a final frame isn’t that hard either. Just a bunch of screws to remove and put in a bag.


Sounds exciting! would go for partial pre-built unistrut framework. and pen for safety reasons

pardon my ignorance but what is a pen?

The “pen” is a (writing) pen installed in place of the router bit so you draw things rather than cut things. Safer.

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The community has been working on, thinking about, supporting a pen instead of a router. That is the joy of having open source hardware - you can do with it what you want.

So a way could be that your son starts on the frame and everything else needed for the maslow, together with you and prepares if for the days in school.

At the school you will only be using a pen, and could draw some exciting stuff to show of.

After the school showcase, you will disassemble the maslow and take it home. At home you upgrade it to the real deal maslow - having the router mounted.

Personally I believe in showing and supporting children with the responsibility of tools and hardware, because with the right talk about these things, they learn a lot more than being protected.

Fingers crossed!


while I don’t know if doing the entire thing from unistrut is the best idea, the
alternate frame design I have at

is pretty simple to build.

I would not suggest that anyone build the stock maslow frame, it’s just got too
much potential flexibility in it, any top-beam design would be better.


not for the alternate designs. but we can create such wiki pages as you do your
planning :slight_smile:

i’m new to wikis. is that something i would do by myself?

you can do it yourself, but you would have a lot of help from everyone else

great. where should i start a list of materials that my son will be compiling?

A wiki is a storage system of knowledge like Wikipedia. We can help with the Wiki.

if you would like to work on the wiki here is information -


here is the home page -


these should help

Thank you