Cutting thin materials

I’ve considered making a desktop CNC previously to cut model boat parts with, the problem is the size and rigidness. A hull piece can easily be 40" long.

This looks like an interesting solution to the problem, not least it can handle the size, but also you could cut multiple pieces from a single sheet.

What I’m not sure about is whether it is suitable for cutting the materials I’m interested in, either 1/16" PVC or marine ply?

Has anyone used it for cutting these materials, or material of this thickness?

Also, what is the accuracy like at this point in time? I saw a YouTube video with the inventors where it was apparently 1/64" in the middle, but 1/16" further out.



Tom - welcome to the Maslow world!

If you search for “boat” here you will find many folks using Maslow for boat building. This is an amazing, supportive, active community.

That said, like many open source projects, the Maslow is a project unto itself, and a fair amount of work will be required to get your machine calibrated to your satisfaction. If you want to get straight to the building of beautiful boats, then you may want to look into a Axiom or Avid. If those are not in the budget, then the Maslow is a fun and fulfilling journey.

Good luck!

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Thanks for your reply.

I’d had a quick look this morning before work for boat stuff, everything I’ve found is full scale boats using thicker wood from what I can see.


I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for thinner material. After all, the way we cut thick material on this machine is by doing multiple passes; you could just do 1 or 2 passes on your thin material.

Regarding accuracy; in general it’s pretty good towards the center but then worsens towards the edges. This is due to the chain angles becoming less favourable and can be mitigated by just building a taller & wider frame. The general consensus seems to be that accuracy is “better than cutting by hand” in general, and the few cuts I’ve made confirm this (altough I’m a terrible woodworker so that’s not saying much).

From what I’ve seen on the forum, you’ve got a good 3’ x 5’ area in the center where you get very accurate cuts. That’s probably enough for miniature boats?

I have tinkered around with 1/8" Birch hobby ply and 1/16th balsa. The birch ply cut great, the balsa was a little rough, I intend to try balsa again with a 1/8" bit and expect better results. I scratch build model airplanes so I will probably do a lot of this type material soon, but so far just the quick test cuts. I bet the PVC would cut beautifully based on my limited experience with the machine. Be ready to do a little sanding, but in my opinion this machine would save you time overall and can handle what you are after.

I will post some pics when I cut something meaningful out of thin material.


the Maslow is very precise (it will cut the same place every time), even though
it can be less accurate (it may be off when you measure with a tape measure),
the errors vary across the work area…

this means that you can correct for the errors if they are larger than is
acceptable to you.

David Lang

cuts 1/16" abs fine, which is similar to PVC in regards to speeds and feeds. you will want to use a single flute upcut bit for best results.