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Help with different kits?

I am about to pull the trigger on a maslow. I was hoping someone could help me decide of which kit to purchase?

Is the new M2 kit worth the extra money? Should I consider metalmaslow over the M2? I was also debating on building the frame from unitstrut.

I am open to all suggestions. If there is something you wish you would have done different please let me know.

My $0.02 opinion.

  1. Buy the best z axis you can afford, An Easbay kit with a metal sled and z axis (minus the ring) is an inexpensive option you might consider.

  2. Go 12’ beam with 15’ chains if you want to cut full sheets. Space the beam 30" above the work area. Maslow relies on gravity and so the lower corners don’t cut very well unless you build the larger beam.

  3. Cost vs value and what really matters in the kits: Most kits are about chains, motors, controller, sled ring, and z axis. Just be aware these are kits for Maslow, not a turn-key product. Some new users have really struggled with the build, others with the software and others have had hardware issues. It is the risk with a pile of parts.

my personal disclaimer: this is my opinion biased primarily by my personal experience and some of what I have read about on this forum. I own kits from 2 of the three suppliers and have interacted with each of the kit suppliers on various levels and find them each to be well intended and seeking to provide a good value for the customer. They each stand behind their kits and for me have been good to work with. The biggest issue people have is that the suppliers will support hardware failures, but technical support and software issues are supported mostly by the community on this forum.

  • East Bay sells the basic kit for the standard rigid router. It is intended for the hobbyist with the basics and has a very attractive entry level price.

  • Makermade sells a similar kit as well as one with a pre-cut sled (jumpstart kit - which I initially purchased) and I still believe it is a good buy. To get going quickly, the pre cut sled helps a lot. I had an M2 due controller for a few months and while I learned a lot from it, I did not think it had features to justify the extra expense for the controller. I cannot comment on the M2 sled, because I have not used it. I expect it would be great much like my custom meticulous-like sled is. I question the value. If you are going to drop over $1000 on a machine that only cuts part of a full sheet of plywood (and that is what it will cost after you buy the router and build the frame and any electrical switching upgrades, controller box, etc… and I started with a jumpstart kit) you can go with a flat bed system that will cut faster because it has full x-y powered movement instead of the gravity assist of the maslow.

  • Metalmaslow sells a very complete kit, but it is more for advanced assemblers who do ok with less instructions. Sometimes it is fun to try to make something work with a pile of parts. There are instructions, but they are not included in the box. It is all online. I didn’t use them and made a video when I put mine together and it was pretty fun for me to try and see if I could figure it out, but I guess that was cheating because I had built one already. For a kit of parts, it is amazing because there is so much in there that you won’t get with other kits. A power strip to connect to your controller to toggle the router power via gcode, a smoke detector, a fan enclosure for the controller, pulleys and rope for the chain management…

Summary: I think you will be fine with any of the kits. There are many who are cutting successfully with them and if you have issues, they will help you out. I would be confident buying from any of them. I wish I would have bought the metal one from the start, because for like $600 you get everything and the router except the frame. Though if I had bought one of those first, I wouldn’t have learned as much building my own z axis the second time. Metal was running a special if you posted a video, he would rebate you $100 back. Not sure if that is still an option, but it would have been a good deal. Good luck!

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I apologize for not responding earlier. I did see your post and appreciate the time you took to help me out.

I do have a little relatable experience seeing as i have built a couple diffrent types of 3d printers.

I am very impatient so i purchased the M2 off amazon since it will be here tomorrow. If you have any suggestions on the frame i’m all ears.

Definitely do item #2 above - 12ft beams, 15ft chains if you want to better utilize a 4x8 sheet. I just got my m2 going only to realize I can’t utilize as much of the 4x8 sheet as I would like (I will end up modifying after tuning and learning more )

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Also be sure to upgrade your arduino Due to the newest firmware from GitHub and makerverse 1.1.2 . It made a huge difference on calibration and subsequent performance.

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