I’ve been working on the next version of Maslow for a while now and hinting at how it works, but I want to come out of the shadows a bit more in light of the Cubiio kickstarter that is very similar.
I’m confident that I’ve disclosed all the key bits publicly enough times already that they are securely in the public domain and will remain open source, but I haven’t shown them off all together.
The next iteration of Maslow is called Maslow 4 for the obvious reason that it uses four belts, but also because it’s the 4th (depending on how you count) version. The first era had the two solid anchor points, the second had the ring, the third era was when other companies took over producing kits and sold their own versions, and then this is the fourth.
I plan to launch a kickstarter soon-ish with the goal of selling a kit for roughly the original $350 price tag…although with inflation that might not be an option and they might be more like $400. We’ll see how cheaply I can do it.
Maslow 4 moves all of the motors and electronics onto the sled and replaces the chains with belts for easy storage.
Each of the four belts connects to one of four belt drive units, each of which is free to rotate around the router.
Having the belt run directly to the router provides a very very rigid connection because the force is transmitted directly.
Each belt drive unit has a gear reduced motor which drives a spool holding the belt, and a pair of pinch rollers with an encoder to measure the belt length precisely.
The controller board also incorporates current feedback allowing the controller to control and measure the length of the belt (using the encoder), and also the tension of the belt (using the current feedback).
The frame holds no electronics, only provides anchoring points for the other end of the belts.
This setup improves over the last version in that it is faster, more compact (ie because the frame is just any flat surface you can use a wall or the floor), and more precise (especially close to the edges of the sheet).
I’ve been trying to quit my job to get back to focusing on Maslow for a few months now, but when I saw the Cubiio project I let work know that for real this is my last week so I should be working on it full time again ASAP.