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Maslow for batch semi-pro production

I have been handing making camper conversions for the past 7 years. I’ve recently had two little kids, and time is very short on my hands. I’m thinking about getting a Maslow to help speed up my production and increase my production quality.

I work with 15mm poplar ply wood for the units and 5mm for the doorcards.

I understand some people use the Maslow to create templates and then cut with a jigsaw then a copy router. Is this really faster?

I’ve read that we can expect 24-32 inches per minute… I know this isn’t super fast, but will I find this useful, or will I get frustrated and try and beat the machine each time?

How good are repetitive cuts? I understand there can be imperfections in the corners etc… but after a few trials, I could just design this into the drawings. But can I expect the same result each time?

How clean are the cuts? (assuming good bits, regularly changed). The Poplar ply I work with is pretty soft and does rip out quite easily. When i’m in a rush (often these days!) I often rip out a chunk of the last sheet of ply and have to glue it back on, or fill it… not great for quality control! I’m hoping I can get the tricky cuts done by Maslow, to solve this problem. (like the round holes for the draws, a little slip with the hole saw and its ugly as heck!)

What should I expect and not expect from Maslow?

Here are a few examples of my work so you get an idea.

Thank you all for your advise and help, I see there really is a great community here with in-depth threads. Thats a real bonus to be part of this.

3 Likes

Beautiful work.

The Maslow is great, but it’s challenges may make it frustrating in a work environment where you need to depend on it full time.

Depending on your budget, if you really need accuracy and to save time, a more rigid and faster machine would probably be a better fit than the Maslow. This Kickstarter just launched but the company has solve over 1000 CNC kits (or so they claim) and they provide a lot of detail and have an active community. Their repeatability and accuracy figures sound like they would more than meet your needs: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/millrightcnc/millright-cnc-mega-v-router-and-plasma-system

Another option with a rigid frame would be the Sienci Labs Longmill (I have ordered one, I didn’t know about the Millright at the time and I don’t want to wait until next February to get started). Their kickstarter is over but they are close to being able to start shipping and meeting their existing orders. Their site is here: http://www.sienci.com

-Jeff

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Thanks for your feedback and kind words Jeff. I would love to be able to throw in a full size sheet of ply. I could reduce the designs down to work with 4ft square, but I’d loose some clean lines and structure which I count on.

I looked at the shaper origin. But it would only improve my quality and not save me time… so have come back to Maslow…

The x carve and projects you sent all have beds smaller than I could work with.

Is there anything else in the budget (under $3000) which takes full sheets of ply?

Thabks

really depends on if you are doing 1 conversion a month or much more. I would assume each job is pretty custom, so you are not needing to crack out 100 of the same shapes.

There is a DIY cnc 4x8 on youtube, looks to be around $1500 even though intial video said $900, he kept on improving on it and it also looks like it takes 40 to 60 hrs to build yourself.


there are several plywood cnc gantry machines around, basically they can be faster ,but they can also be so frustrating to build it never gets done.


https://www.zenbotcnc.com/4896-4x8-CNC-Router_p_34.html
never used either one, always pay with credit card, never wire money. some cnc compaies like gryphon have gone out of business.

It’s $6K but it looks very promising, you’ll want to look at the Yeti Tool Smart Bench: https://www.yetitool.com/

And they have a US distributor, Eric, who is very nice: https://yetismartbench.com/

He is cutting at speeds 2x-3x and more the Maslow. But it’s a huge step up in price too… However it is portable.

-Jeff

Another option is from https://www.v1engineering.com/
the MPCNC or the LowRider CNC for large cuts.
It will cost you around $500.

I’ll say that the Maslow is incredibly precise but can struggle with accuracy. See this post:

Either you have to calibrate to the accuracy you need or make adjustments to your design to compensate for the inaccuracy.

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MPCNC has some rigidity problems, lowrider is attractive, but lists it’s speed
at about half of the maslow.

I am also put off by the attitude of the developer of these about the design (he
views anything that can bolt up to his parts as being derivitive and that he can
control their use and/or the sharing of the design.

David Lang

2 Likes

repeatability is very good.

For do it yourself rigid gantry table CNC builds, check out Joe’s CNC or the Kronos.

Joes CNC Hybrid design has been around along time. He no longer sells plans directly, you gain access to the plans, the original and newer offerings by paying a subscription fee for access to their forum.
http://www.joescnc.com

Kronos Robotics lets you download their original older plan for the KRMx01 for free. Worth a quick read if you are contemplating trying to roll your own Gantry style table and can invest the time and talent and money.

Hey, thanks for your suggestion. As time is short, I’m not so keen to jump into a world or building which is far from my knowledge. The wooden frame of the Maslow is up my street, but perfect square angles in aluminium etc… I would need some new tools etc…

This does look good, I’m going to dig in a little further. Maybe I need to make a harder call with my budget… If I can get set-up in 10 minutes compared to building something from scratch maybe it is worth the extra budget… I just need to sell more interiors!!

thanks

Thanks for your reply. Precision is what I’m after, for the accuracy I can design this into my drawings over time to ensure I get exactly what I want each time.

Just seen I’m not replying to each message just adding to the overall thread!

I’m summarise! thank you all for your suggestions and help.

What I can expect from Maslow:

  1. reliable, repetitive cuts

  2. accuracy - reliably inaccurate in areas, so overtime I can draw this into my plans to get “perfect circles” throughout all my cuts (even if the drawing is a slight oval in places!)

  3. the next good competitor which doesn’t require knowledge of building which I don’t have is close to 6000$

My open question
a. How good is the finished cut? How much sanding will be required if I do 3 or 4 passes to cut the 15mm ply?

many thanks

Maslow just drags a router around the board. The amount of finish work I think depends upon the router bit and the material and would be similar/identical to what you would have to do if you did it by hand. I’ve done some projects where it was extraordinarily frustrating to finish because of little ‘hairs’ on the middle ply, but I assume that was because of the plywood I used, rather than how I cut it.

You can also use Maslow to create templates that you can use to hand-route pieces if you want to get pieces cut quicker.

Even our metal maslow kit takes 15 min to assemble the sled and then the wooden frame is 4 hrs and calibration is an hour the first time you do it. We are tying to eliminate the calibration step by using laser cut motor mounts and this fall hope to have a metal bolt together frame that is about 1 hr to set up.

Not trying to be negative but 10 minutes to set up maslow is not realistic.

You can see a lot of what I have gone through to get my Maslow setup here

The Maslow M that I did, didn’t appear to have any repeatability issues at all. Coming from aerospace machining I was very impressed with this home assembled machine! I am working on my second piece now and it is 42” top to bottom and three passes with an 1/8” bit looked to be repeating themselves very precisely. That said, I need to add more weight for keeping the loose chain ends under tension because I did have them wrap around the drive pulley and dig my bit through ply at roughly 10mm depth of cut. All appear to be well and the bit even returned to center so no harm no foul I suppose. I didn’t find calibration to be as much of a nightmare as I expected, although it does take paying attention to a fair number of things. I was moving along a 650mm/min (25.6ipm) with an 1/8” 2 flute bit and it was working like a charm with a .100” depth of cut. I’m sure I can cut faster though, or take a bit deeper cut. I would imagine that it would save you time on things you need done repeatedly, but for me my time is eaten up trying to get my head around FreeCAD. Good luck!

Hey, sorry that we regarding the advertising speak of the yeti-tools CNC. I realise Maslow will take a few days