Questions about motors for creating a variant of Maslow which does Kirigami with a drag knife

Hi all

I’m considering building a version of Maslow that can cut and score paper and card, probably up to double wall corrugated cardboard so that it can can do some self replication. To do this it would use a drag knife (and a scoring tool) rather than a CNC mill. My main motivation for doing this is this video

I have quite a lot of experience building 3D printers and I’ve done quite a lot of work thinking about the construction of the machine (including a vacuum table) but I have little knowledge of electronics.

I think that it would be possible to use Ground Control for the software and I’m aware that I have quite a long wait if I buy a Maslow kit. Clearly to cut card and paper it doesn’t need so much strength so I was thinking about using smaller NEMA motors (maybe 17s) and G2 timing belt rather than chains. My main questions are:

  1. Is it possible/easy to use smaller motors with the Maslow board?
  2. If not are the Maslow motors custom NEMA motors or can I just buy some online?



are stepper motors. Not compatible with the current motor shield.

  • generally you could modify the Maslow to a purely drag knife machine. You would need to redesign the sled with ‘Rollers’ (plenty of them), you would skip the router and would need a holder with adjustable Z-Axis for something like this
  • are you planing to build a vacuum table or using double sided tape to keep you ‘material’ in place?

Very helpful

Yes, plan to make a vacuum table



@mrjohnc You might be able to scavenge a few motors + encoders out of discarded inkjet printers.

I’m also taking that route. (Usung Canon printers from the Pixma series)

It’s just that the optical encoders are a little bit hard to figure out.

Hi mrjohnnc, I am interested in using a maslow with a drag knife for vinyl fabric and possibly leather. Could you tell me about your results if they have fully developed. Thank you in advance.