Maslow expectations/limitations?

Hey folks,

I’m in the middle of my first maslow setup. I’ve got the frame finished and the electronics attached to the frame. I’m getting excited for my first build. Just worried that my expectations might be too high. Is this thing capable of doing what any real CNC machine can do? What are the limitations?

Is it capable of cutting something like this:

Thanks everyone for your posts. Love this community!

I think it’s quite capable of that design. How well you calibrate the machine will determine how well the final product will be. Maslow loses accuracy in the bottom corners, but it looks like the design might be a bit forgiving. I wouldn’t cut dovetails in the bottom corners with a Maslow, but I think the slots, etc. would come out well.

I highly, highly recommend you not cut your teeth with the bunkbed though. Try a few simpler things and get a feel for how it goes. I wasted a lot of nice material early on learning the ins-and-outs.


define “everything a real CNC machine can do” and we can answer you :slight_smile:

this is a CNC machine, so anything it can do is by definition what a real CNC
machine can do :slight_smile:

yes, it sill be able to do something like that bunk bed, that’s something that
the vast majority of “real CNC machines” aren’t going to be able to do

but many “real CNC machines” can do things that the maslow cannot do (3d carving
where you leave none of the original surface, or to accuracies beyond what the
maslow can do)

The maslow is slow, but not the slowest CNC out there. Another CNC machine in a
similar class to the maslow is the lowrider 2. Similar price, able to cut 4x8
sheets of plywood. The lowrider 2 is probably more accurate across the entire
surface than the maslow, but it takes up a LOT more space ~5’x9’ vs 2.5’x8’
(plus overhang) for the maslow and cuts at about half the speed of the maslow.

David Lang


Thanks! I’m a total noob so I really appreciate the input of you Maslow vets!

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I just put mine together a couple of weeks ago and I am actually surprised at the accuracy and ability, it is a little slow. That bed is not an issue for Maslow. That would be a good first project IMO… My first project will be done in about a month.

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How slow is slow? I’m looking at the Sutro Tower coat rack (from the community garden) as a first project. Any guesstimate on how long something like that would take?

in theory, the maslow can cut up to 48 inches per minute, in practice, we limit
it to 24-36ipm

time for the project then depends on how far you have to cut, and how many
passes you need to make to cut through your material.

David Lang

I guess speed is relative. Having never used any CNC machine before, 24-36 IPM seems fast to me! :slight_smile:

Took 90 minutes to make this.



24-36 ipm is really slow in the Machining world. Small machines are often capable of 100ipm rapid movements, the 1980s vintage Okuma machines I worked on last had 300-400ipm rapids and there are machines in excess of 1,000ipm rapid. Cutting speeds usually depend on your cutter, material and holding method. For something that goes in your garage 2-3’ minute seems excellent to me. Excited to see what you make! It sounds like we are at the same point in our builds. Im waiting for some Z axis components to build my sled and get calibrating. Best of luck to you!

If you are cutting individual pieces that a bigger than 5x3’ then I would recommend making the top horizontal frame piece 12’, getting longer chains (2’ longer each side), and using sled weight around 20Lbs. The stock frame dimensions just does not give big enough tension on the chains to make precise cuts within 1’ from left, right and bottom, of 8x4 work area.

Take you time calibrating and try to get the best measurements you can for the calibration. I used a laser measure to get good results.

Start small before cutting a big project. Run test pieces to make sure that: squares are square, circles are perfectly circular, and holes are big enough to interlock. If your calibration is off you may get ovals and slightly rectangular squares. This is critical when building furniture that has interlocking parts where 1/16 makes a big difference. It is a lot harder to widen holes after they are cut and get good results. You are better off modifying the CAM setup to make holes 1/32 oversize then filing / sanding/ re-routering.

When laying out interlocking furniture pieces try to keep them oriented in the same way as they will be assembled. This may not be effective for using minimal wood but greatly improves the chance that parts will fit together correctly as any calibration deficiency will be applied equally in the same direction.

You will probably in the least need to apply:
Cheap fixes for z-axis slop on the Ridgid R22002
Or build a better z-axis:
Z-Axis upgrades Consolidation
The Meticulous Z-Axis

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If you build a good frame with no flexing and you are able to get a good calibration you can expect ~1/16” accuracy in the “sweet spot”. The sweet spot is mostly in the center of the work space but is not a discrete area. Outside of the sweet spot you will have distortion that causes things to be larger or smaller than expected, oval circles and rectangular squares. Expect to do LOTS of sanding and use lots of glue and Brad nails to correct inaccuracies (the machine doesn’t really cut what you draw). Calibration is a bear so try to get a friend to help you.
Good luck.