I’ve been talking about this CAD//CAM software I am working on for a while now and I keep thinking that I am almost ready to release it, but then there are always just a few more things on the todo list before it’s ready. Today I took stock and decided that there are at least a few more weeks of work before I think it’s ready which feels like too long (it turns out making your own CAD/CAM program is hard)…so I’m just going to release it right now now instead as a very buggy alpha and keep everyone up to date as it improves.
This way I can get feedback about what features everyone wants to see and prioritize, and share the development process.
What is Maslow Create and why am I making it?
The goal of Maslow is to make CNC accessible to more people, hopefully so they can make useful things like furniture and houses. Right now I see three things which I want to see improve with Maslow. We need better CAD/CAM software, we need to be able to cut faster, and we need the calibration process to be easier.
Why do we need a new CAD/CAM software? A lot of the software that is out there is expensive or difficult to use. There isn’t much software out there designed to encourage people to collaborate. The Maslow Community Garden was our first attempt at creating a space to collaborate (and it was a success with some amazing projects shared and built all over the world), but I want to take it a step further. The community garden has a bottle neck which is what type of file do you upload? A cad file from autodesk or solidworks? What if someone wants to make it who doesn’t have that program? A .svg file? Then everyone has to do the work of generating the tool paths again, and what if I want to change a parameter like the wood thickness? Should I upload my gcode? What if you want to use a different size bit?
My solution is that we need to create a new type of CAD program which borrows from open source programming instead of from the world of drawing. By borrowing from the world of logical languages instead of drawing we can create a CAD model which is like a program. It can be edited by multiple people at the same time, version controlled, and run by an end user to produce gcode that is ready to run based on their customized inputs. The goal is to make a program which is simple enough to let someone customize a chair for their body size in a few key strokes, but powerfully enough to let a group of people work together to design a house.
Rather than demand that everyone learn to program Maslow Create uses a graphical language. Maslow create is built on top of JSxCAD (which is itself build on jscad which is build on openSCAD…thanks everyone ). Maslow Create is integrated with GitHub so projects are version controlled and support pull requests with 3D diffs automatically…but if that sounds scary you never have to go to GitHub. Because the back end is GitHub you get the benefits of a cloud based CAD program, but you maintain control over your own files always.
Check out the alpha version of Maslow Create now at www.maslowcreate.org . I think it’s pretty self explanatory, it’s designed so that if you want to know what something does just click on it and it will tell you.You can find a User Guide in progress here: https://github.com/MaslowCNC/Maslow-Create/blob/master/README.md
Let me know what you think, and bear with me while I make it work fully.