Newbie questions re; Maslow vs other options - TIA!


I was looking at more traditional table top routing/engraving platforms for larger (48”+ X 24”+) wood, metal and foam cutting and engraving projects we have planned when this platform was suggested. I’m curious to know how precise this platform is (for small detailed work) …whether sharp corners can be routed/cut (inside and outside corners) …whether plasma, knife, or laser attachments are possible / forthcoming, and lastly what folks think of their experience in context of similar applications? Thank you so much… I love how affordable and open this platform seems but I’m a pretty OCD person who doesn’t want to give up precision if possible!

In general you get what you pay for. Most of the features you seem to be interested in are only available on machines that cost over $10,000.
Routers use round bits, so inside corners will always have a small radius
no one has done a plasma conversion and even if you could, the slow speed of the maslow would mean you would either get a lot of slag on the back or one would have to cut 1/4" or thicker steel. Steel sheets that big weight several hundred pounds, so you need an overhead crane to move them easily.
I do not think anyone has added a laser to a maslow or a knife, you would have to figure it out yourself, should be possible if you are a serious maker.

There is a youtube series about a diy cnc router which looks like it costs about $1200 after recommended upgrades and takes 50 plus hours to make plus having table saw, miter saw and other expensive tools.

there are Chinese 4x4 cnc aluminum frame machines like sells might appeal to you more, but they have their issues as well, like floppy lead screws, the open builds facebook or regular website has details.

Everything you make will not be perfect. Learn how to specify the tolerances needed to make the things you desire and buy the best machine within your budget and skill level. Making custom birdhouses might only require +/- 1/16
making custom gears might need +/- 1/64"

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the best thing to see the capabilities of the machine is too look at the project photos on this website. do the projects look good enough to you? seeing is believing in this case.

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I’m going to give you free advice -

What is your goal(s). How fast are you looking to achieve them? What is your experience? If you want to save money you will need to work harder. If you are in a hurry put in more money and move on. If you want to build a skill set and are in it for the long run it might be for you. We need to know exactly what you want to do with CNC to answer the question.

No matter what you choose in CNC I hope you find the enjoyment we have. Welcome aboard.

Thank you

P.S. Speed is a question of money how fast do you want to go?

We have:
For options, you’re welcome to any two you like!

If you are looking for something to plug in right out of the box and get cutting, this isn’t the thing for you. If you want a bit of a project that you can continually improve over time and have a lot of learning experience this is excellent for that. I have a CNC laser engraver that I’ve printed photographs on marble tile with that is powered by an Arduino with a GRBL hat, so insane accuracy/precision is possible with the brain of the machine. That is only 14”x16” work area and everything about it is too light duty for cutting wood at any reasonable rate. You could definitely make an adapter to hold a laser head in the spindle clamps and do something similar on a larger scale with the Maslow, but you won’t have the speed of a smaller, lighter machine.

There are many trade offs to hit the price point we are at with the Maslow and a seamless user experience is one of them. I hope that you find what you’re looking for, and if it is a Maslow I’m excited to see what you do and share our mutual experiences so that we can benefit from more than just our own trial and error. Best of luck!

The photographs aren’t uploading for some reason.


love the laser engravings. I’ve been able to make some really narrow lines with the maslow and a 10Deg. PCB VBit. It works, but its slow. two somewhat detailed etchings 1x2" each took 5 minutes. Every new line is two Z movements, not a problem you’d have with a laser.

Here are the photographs. Again, these were not done on a Maslow, but with a 3D printer to make a laser holder I think you could get something pretty good. These were over 20 hours each. They’re printed at something like 16 lines per mm. This was also a stepper system with no encoders, no sled to drag around…but it tells me the electronics are more capable than my imagination currently.