So simply put
where the heck do we start?
I’ve spent over a week trolling this forum and there is nothing for the new to the hobby. Its odd to find such an obviously great tool and such a large forum user base with not one single page for the new user.
I have not yet purchased, Id like to have a grasp of things before spending the coin.
Is there no were that lists a start point for new to the hobby users?
Maybe one of the many advanced users in the forum would be willing to guide on this.
Our Wiki is the best point to get started, even though it’s a work in progress.
Remember that this information is put together by volunteers from the community in their free time.
Yes, it’s far from perfect and will likely be always a little behind the actual developments.
Perhaps it’s also an option to ask in the ‘No Judgement’ category about specific questions you have.
@Frankbonatelli Welcome to our group. @Gero has made some good points.
I think there is a perception problem here. This may come off hostile, it is not.
“Id like to have a grasp of things before spending the coin.”
First time is Money. So you have already spent coin. Second it sounds like you are describing Screwdriver or a Toaster. A product. This is a “Kit” at best. It is not a Product.
I would like a sample of the toast please before I buy your Toaster. This is a cooking contest.
My point is this. This is a gathering of experiences. It is a group of people supporting other people. There is a thing called the Maslow. It is an experimental enabling tool to aid in making things. It is an evolving idea. The idea is shared and improved. It is made up of parts that the members of the community have come together and make available in several cases creating companies.
Now that you are part of the community if you feel there is information missing I invite you to add and create what you feel is missing.
When I joined in I wrote Noob101
Much of the information should be updated. The project has changed. There is much to see in the forum of what others have accomplished. CNC is a hobby at the low end is $200 micro desktop ebay tools all the way up to $500,000.00 Professional rigs. The Maslow is an attempt to make it affordable to see if it works for you. Because this is a kit your experience will depend on your skills. One cool thing in CNC is the concepts are the same for operating the cheapest to the most expensive.
I hope this information helps you to decide how to move forward. I hope we can get to see you grow in the community.
As someone who was also new to cnc and maslow here are some thoughts. This is a great tool at a great price. It may not be for everyone though. I certainly spent a bunch of time figuring things out on my own while building the frame and assembling the sled and base. I can say that the instructions don’t necessarily match up to exactly what might be in the box. All the main parts will be there, but I had to do some deciphering based on the different versions of the instructions. I did have one part of my kit wrong and the folks at MakerMade were very quick to respond and help.
If you like to tinker, change, and modify than this system is one that you will enjoy. I have had mine built about 2 weeks and am already thinking about ways I want to alter my set up. I can say I have only cut two things for my kids but was very impressed with the repeatability of those two. And I have spent zero time on maximizing my system to cut down on errors. My biggest learning curve has been CAD/CAM as I have no real experience. I have some background in manual machining and building and that had helped me immensely with the curve.
Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’ll try to answer them from a noob perspective…
Thanks for your reply.
Appreciate that you took the time to read my plea for guidance.
I’m a new user here as well. I bought the kit about one year ago, but have saved it until now to begin assembly, simply because I’m up here in Canada and I’ve made it a winter project while it’s -25C outside. I’m a fly fisherman. My goal in purchasing the kit was to build 8 foot fly fishing prams, so I needed a working surface of 4’ by 8’ to accommodate standard plywood sheets. To purchase a turnkey commercial machine with that capability, would cost $20k, and right now I’m into this for about $600, with me supplying the router and laptop. So here is where I’m at;
- I bought and received the kit.
- I built the stand to the new top bar default design. The design outlined on the site is rather rough, but I appreciate it’s simplicity. Using the default design, I built it right with lap joints, glued and screwed, and lots of bracing.
- I put together the electronic and electrical parts on the bench and connected it to my laptop. This was simple as the parts are well engineered, the instructions clear, and the connections are obvious.
- I download the 3 different free software programs that are required to run the machine. Again, these are to run the machine and have nothing to do with the design and cutting of your project pieces. I had a few problems here. First I couldn’t get the software to connect to the hardware, but I searched the forums and eventually found the answer. Then I had a problem with the GC software disappearing as soon as I started it. Again I read the forums and eventually found that the problem was my antivirus software, so I repaired that. I reconnected all the parts and can test the machine, a big personal victory.
- I have just completed installing the equipment on the frame, and it tests out perfect.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Now I’m starting the calibration process which measures your personal machine and sets it up to run accurately according to your designs. I’m looking forward to completing the machine, running it with existing cut files to prove it, and then completing my own designs.
Here’s what I’ve learned that you will be interested in. This is a kit, not a turn key operation, so the instructions are not perfect, nor do they make total sense to the beginner. But the community is filled with great people, and there are many that will jump in and help you whenever you need. First do your reading, because every problem that you have, has been experienced by one before you, and all of the answers are here; you just don’t want to waste anyone’s time. In the event that you discover a problem that has not been previously seen, the experts will help, guaranteed. If you read the forums ( and you will have to) you’ll see that most of the good people here are seeking to further the machine, hence the discussions regarding improving everything. I find that aspect to be the most rewarding.
To get a quick insight into the whole thing, go to the assembly instructions, where the process is laid out clearly and concisely.
Go through the few pages of assembly and it will give you a good idea of the project. Just remember that the assembly guide is not all encompassing and you will have to work out some issues by reading through the forum.
I agree that there is no clear concise beginners guide, and I stumbled around quite a bit until I learned where to look for help. Perhaps when I’m done, I’ll contribute to the community by creating one.
You may want to check out this facebook group:
Maslow CNC Users Group
This is what closed the deal for me:
My past experience is over 30 Years in automotive/boilermaker/metal fabrication.
This career was my bread and butter but when all the markets declined i upgraded to IT.
With the purchase of the Maslow, Ive been able to merge all of my professions into MY GARAGE.
I hope the clip helps you find your way!!
P.S. Welcome to the Club !!!
Hi Jame. Thank you so much for the information your provided for setting up this tool. Quick question can you please share the names of the 3 software programs that you downloaded. This is the part where I am stuck.
Thank you in advance,
google should help you find the following:
- webcontrol = github.com/webcontrolcnc/webcontrol (download latest release from webcontrol repository)
- drawing program for CAD or SVG files - (inkscape or fusion360 or freecad)
- cam program for converting CAD or SVG to gcode or nc files - (makercam, estlecam, kiri:moto, vcarve, dxf2gcode, or the module in inkscape, module in fusion 360 or module in freecad, or any one of several others that has a maslow profile or grbl profile for exporting gcode)
I’ve found it a little daunting, too. There’s so much information!
One thing I’ve found helpful while assembling my Maslow was a guide by MakerMade for a kit they offer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mngXn5lC2dRrM4X4Z_exRsPEBtGzHOUi/view . It works as a nice complement to the existing information.
Another thing I found really useful is this post called “Maslow State of the Tech 2019” MaslowCNC State of the Tech 2019 . It gives a summary of where things and moving and what experiments people are doing and what has proven valuable.