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I am getting so demoralized!

I know this is a DIY and a work in progress.

But here are a couple of things that really frustrate me.

  1. The calibration changes.

I can get a project zeroed in run three or four similar projects no problem. Then change to a new project and all my calibration mysteriously is wrong and my machine no longer cuts square or to scale.

  1. Screws constantly come loose.

Yes I know I need lock tite. This morning a whole another set came loose.

  1. the wheel bearings on the standard lock ring pop off sometimes- destroying a cut and expensive wood. A piece of saw dust or a dent in surface material is enough to cause chains to slacken just enough the wheels pop off to the side.

  2. The z axis.

The z axis screws up every single day. I have applied many fixes from bushings, screw tightening, bungee cords etc. But the zaxis I need to replace.

  1. The work area.

On a 4x8 area I might get a 2x6 accurate cut. I have only been able to accurately cut or engrave 12x72" signs or smaller.

  1. Ground Control- just messes up.

On ground control I get freezes, glitches, time outs, and some times will not allow me to redefine zero or home.

Honestly when I see what others are creating and I keep failing at this, and I bought it to help me improve my woodshop I am becoming very demoralized.

I just ordered the metalmaslow sled and zaxis kit. Hopefully that will fix some of my issues with zaxis.

  1. Screws constantly come loose.

Yes I know I need lock tite. This morning a whole another set came loose.

if they are tight, they shouldn’t come loose much even without locktite

  1. the wheel bearings on the standard lock ring pop off sometimes- destroying a cut and expensive wood. A piece of saw dust or a dent in surface material is enough to cause chains to slacken just enough the wheels pop off to the side.

I think this indicates a significant problem, you should not be getting slack in
the chains to the point where the bearings can get loose, try rounding over the
edges of the sled, sanding the bottom slick, and waxing it.

  1. The work area.

On a 4x8 area I might get a 2x6 accurate cut. I have only been able to accurately cut or engrave 12x72" signs or smaller.

the sled not moving smoothly will affect this a lot

  1. Ground Control- just messes up.

On ground control I get freezes, glitches, time outs, and some times will not allow me to redefine zero or home.

while we could troubleshoot groundcontrol, your time may be better spent trying
to run WebControl

David Lang

what is webcontrol?

Webcontrol is a setup using a raspberry pi to control the Maslow through a web browser. This alleviates a lot of the connection issues between a host computer and the motor control board (from what I’ve read. I have plans to implement it someday, but haven’t had time yet).
Start here:


and then type “webcontrol” into the forum search and you will find a lot of links to threads about it

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it’s no longer limited to running on a Pi, you can run it on your
windows.Mac/Linux system as well.

David Lang

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The nice thing about using an rpi is that it’s cheap, light, small, and you can put it right next to the controller and use a very short USB cable (e.g. 6-inches)

If you try webcontrol, use one of these releases.

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I absolutely sympathize with what you are saying. One of the big reasons that I decided to take a break from making kits is that I feel like I really need to come up with a design which is less finicky. The original design is a proof of concept of what is possible with a whole new type of machine and a way to build a community around exploring what is possible and what directions we can push the machine in. If I make a next version it will be when I have a machine which is both affordable and also a “plug and play” wood shop tool. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet. I think the big criteria are 1) One button calibration, 2) A better z-axis, 3) No chains.

I know that isn’t helpful in a physical way, but I want to acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with you. The things you are experiencing are something I am absolutely aware of, and making a design which is closer to what you looking for is what I am working on now, although it is a big undertaking so it will take me a while.

Hang in there, take it slow, and make something small which will make you feel accomplished!

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I know what you mean. I own a custom wood furniture shop. Being able to ship furniture to customers who dont know which end of a hammer drives nails is a challenge,

I am thankful for this group and for this machine. Even though I am having problems setting up- it does work and I would not have been able to afford one other wise.

CNC world is just that its own world. And to be a citizen of this world means I have to learn it. I am old enough that with computers I am pre-windows so I understand that it takes years to make something user easy.

But l think most of my problems is me not the machine. I will be trying out a different laptop, WebControl, and I ordered the Zaxis from MetalMaslow.

Lastly I was going to buy the Greenbull CNC which is also a vertical DIY cnc, but the simplicity of the Maslow is what I chose and I do not regret it. It is teaching me this new world.

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Frustration lead me to getting the ZAxis upgrade from MetalMaslow as well. This is a HUGE improvement over the stock ZAxis arrangement. So far, I have run 2 projects that took about 6 hours each with the MetalMaslow sled and my issues with the ZAxis stock kit are gone. However, it is not a 100% fix. Still working on calibration and other issues associated with aspects of my projects/design workflow that the MetalMaslow seems to not tolerate well. Slow, steady improvement in each successive project are keeping me challenged and rewarded.

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I am hoping so too. Eventually I will build a gantry system, but I have tried that in the past and like making using a knife to make Sushi, cutting sushi looks easy but is very hard. Getting a homemade gantry accurate is more difficult than it looks.

Bar,

What a kind and classy thing to take the time to post. Your humility and honesty are as much appreciated here as your engineering skills!

-Jeff

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I have the Maslow and I also put an order in for the Sienci Longmill https://sienci.com/ . I went with the 30" x 30" one as even that will take up a large footprint in the shop. However, for higher accuracy and smaller parts I think it will be a great tool to have.

As an alternative to the Longmill but at a similar price point you could also consider the MillRight Mega V project that is wrapping up on KickStarter. It has beefier motors and feeds/speeds but isn’t quite as far along towards shipping as the Longmill. That being said, this isn’t the first CNC project for either company and the MillRight guys appear fairly confident in Jan/Feb shipments. They also support Laser and Plasma options if you want to go nuts.

I’ve not used either machine yet, just sharing research. The Mega V is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/millrightcnc/millright-cnc-mega-v-router-and-plasma-system

-Jeff