I thought I would start a thread specifically about the community of Maslow users. A lot of us are enthusiastic about this community and the way we work together, share, and generally treat each other well. This is your opportunity to comment on your community experience, think about what’s ahead for the community, or what you would like to see from it.
Thank you for your kind words, Gero! The story behind my involvement in the community goes back to just before the Maslow CNC Kickstarter campaign. My son heard about the Maslow and sent me a link. I thought such a machine would be ideal for our robotics team. However, I realized that our school district would be unwilling to support a Kickstarter because they are very risk-averse with their finances, which I understand since they are dealing with taxpayers money. I noticed that the project was going to be open-source, so I wrote a message to Maslow thanking them for sharing and letting them know about our school’s situation. I got a reply from Hannah, saying “You do know that we are giving kits to schools, don’t you?” I had missed that detail, so I was shocked at our good fortune. After that, I was “all in”. So thank Bar and Hannah and all the kind users (yourself included) that make me want to keep giving back.
When I started with Maslow, I had very selfish ambitions. I wanted to use the machine to build all the numerous projects I had in my mind. When I got the machine, I was surprised at how technically immature it was. Very foundational problems were still open and unaddressed. There were several issues that made the Maslow too inaccurate for the projects I had in mind. I waited for others to solve some of the problems, but ultimately decided to dig in myself. Even though I haven’t met any one on this forum, I have begun to understand the personalities of those who post often. After working on Maslow content for a little while, I have begun to realize that everything I do here, for and with Maslow, is significantly better than the projects I work on for myself.
Every development can be leveraged by thousands of other people using a Maslow, and I can leverage the developments of the thousands of other people who are doing their own development. The diversity of knowledge on this forum is extraordinary. I am excited to see what can happen when this community grows and more people contribute.
I am impressed with the amount of improvements that have come from the community, but I still think it needs to become easier to build because right now it is still requires a bit of tinkering.
So I’m going to throw out a potentially controversial thought, here. Most ideas have a life cycle. This is true of websites and communities as well. One common life cycle I’m sure most of you are familiar with:
Other ideas suffer a worse fate, failing to survive the trough of disillusionment. While I hope that the Maslow is likely to suffer that kind of death, I could see a scenario where the community manages to solve most of the problems, the concept reaches the limits of its capability, and everyone wanders off, leaving the forums/Garden/GitHub to fade into obscurity. I don’t think this is inevitable, but I do think it’s possible. Another scenario is that the community reaches a plateau and remains stable, losing folks who move on, but getting a steady infusion of new faces as people decide they want to build their own Maslow. In yet another scenario, the community continues as people stick around to show off their projects and perhaps collaborate on new ones.
So what’s your vision for the community?
A few of those scenarios are painful. In my opinion, the “Trough of Disillusionment” is the transition from designing the machine, to using the machine. There are a number of people who have developed some depth of knowledge in the problems of designing the machine. Once the machine is designed, built, functioning, and robust, these problems go away, and this knowledge is less important. It can be easy to lose interest when this happens. It can be difficult to change focus from the problems that have already been solved, to problems that still need to be solved.
I would like to see more people developing and showing their use of the Maslow, their projects. This is very much inline with the Community Garden content, and POTW. I would like to see these use-cases become open-source content; developed, refined, and supported by the community. I would like to go onto the Maslow website, and have a library of mature and robust projects to choose from. I would like to be able to read the project wiki and know how much wood, how long, and how difficult. Where are the 'bloggers on this? I would like to see youtubers like Matthias Wandel and Marius Hornberger developing projects that utilize Maslow, and post their digital copies on the community garden.
I could go on.
Products need continual hardware/software development or they will just wither away or be supplanted by something newer and more capable… As far as I know, there are only a few things being worked on (holey calibration, optical calibration, and web-based ground control) and there are maybe 3 or 4 people total that have done anything with the software lately. In my opinion, we have just about hit the limit on what the current design can do. I was excited about @bar’s post regarding new designs, but unfortunately if faded relatively quickly.
The comments is a hit in the ‘bulls eye’ for my feelings about MaslowCNC…
Would like to put my 2 fils in tonight but not in the condition to write 42 pages.
This 2 pics from github are not meant a demotivation, it’s the opposite and I will take a short notice holiday tomorrow to try to break down 42 pages to 1 post.
you will have some people that just like working on the actual maslow machine and do not do much actual cutting.
Others want to cut all the time and not work on the technicalities of the machine design.
We really need all types of people in the community because there are very few people that are well rounded enough to solve all the issues of how to keep on improving the machine.
that is well said!
I’m one of those that does not cut a lot but are here everyday looking for ways to improve Maslow.
I’m in the process of upgrading the Z axes, extend the top bean to 12 feet and add another 6 inches from top of cutting area to motor…
I wish i could help more with technical issue but i don’t know a think about coding or Phyton!!! and to be fair… I really don’t understand G-code…but I’m getting better…
I’m all about improving Maslow…@bar has an idea that can change the way we cut things, the way the Maslow works… I’m all for it.
I’m one of the people that gets it set up and then doesn’t do much cutting… I’ve cut less than 3/4 of a 4x8 ply since building it, but it’s a nice tool to have when I need it.
Right now i’m having “fun” trying to figure out exactly how I’m going to mount my router to a 250 cm c-beam I picked up to make the Z axis not suck.
I’m quickly learning that much like 3d printers and houses, cnc devices are money pits that will never be fully upgraded, there’s always something new to add or repair…
If you look at Google Trends: “Maslow CNC”, you get a more positive view
It took me some time to view the development first and then respond more to the reality, rather then to a prediction. (1 person view/opinion only)
While Hannah and Bar could supply Maslow-CNC kits all over the world (there are rumours that they dropped a kit out of a helicopter over an African jungle, but that could never be confirmed), spare-parts passed on, exclude countries like mine from receiving them.
If you want to kill a tree, start from the roots.
Forum and GitHub contributions, plus Forum moderations are fading out. One reason I see is that new users used to step in for the ones that opted out, but now are diverted to a platform that not everyone can agree on.
The worldwide ‘project of the week’ in the Forum has faded. Maybe because of a USA only one that was created?
I’m not sure if a title like ‘How to shoot yourself in the foot’ would be appropriate or not. Still evaluating, but there are some signs.
The hardware is supplied (not for everyone,USA is secured), but the spirit is not carried on.
I do not see a future in using free enthusiasts bringing a project forward that has it’s prime time still to come, by utilizing free resources commercially ‘one way’ without return and working against them.
My ‘End of life’ in this Forum has become visible, just because i’ll not be able to continue if i’m cut off the parts to keep my Maslow running and further development is sabotaged by draining the contributors out.
Kind regards, Gero