Unpopular?: Time for me to move on from Maslow?

I ordered my Maslow kit long ago. I think 2+ years. I’ve been working intermittently over the past year to get my Maslow into a state where it will make decent cuts so I can build furniture. I have enjoyed the tinkering aspect thoroughly, and the Maslow community is nothing short of amazing!

That said, I still don’t seem to be able to cut anything I am happy with. Is this the dark before the dawn? I finally have calibration down, chains don’t slip anymore, and I am comfortable with WebControl, the PI. I think the only thing on “the list” left is to perfect my sled balance.

But perhaps I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so, as some of you have posted some beautiful work. I want to build these, to start. Then maybe some of the OpenDesk work, and then on to my own designs. Are these realistic expectations?

Talk me off the ledge. I am now at the point where I want to make things - not work on my Maslow.

Should I just go buy a X-Carve? Or dare I say it (as it may cause a divorce) a Avid CNC?

I ordered my Maslow in September 2018 and I agree that there is a lot of tinkering before you get reasonable cuts. During the past year I cut several OpenDesk projects and the results were in a range from good to mediocre (Slim Chair from Opendesk - #13 by MdO). Let’s say my sanding-skills have improved :sweat_smile:.

For me the tinkering was a great way to learn my way in CNC / electronics. Before Maslow I knew nothing about CNC, Arduino, RaspberryPi, Fusion360, etc. But I have to admit that I am currently looking into a new improved diy CNC (PrintNC from ThreeDesign). Without the knowledge I have gained in the past two years this would be a to big hurdle for me to take.

In summary I can recommend Maslow to anyone who wants to start with CNC. It’s a great way to learn, thanks to the community. For a reasonable price you can find out if it’s something you want to pursue. However, I can’t blame you for having the questions/doubts you have. In my opinion there is no harm in moving on, if you can spend the money.

Kind regards,


For me there was no choice but the Maslow to get into large format CNC. It wasn’t just the price, it was the fact that it arrived in a small box.

I’m still figuring out how to get better cuts with my machine.
I still have to understand the interrelationships between the particular material I’m using at the time, the type of cut that I’m doing, and the type of bit (or bits) I should use to get the best result.
And of course understanding the limitations of the Maslow.

But really none of the above is truly specific to the Maslow, it does have it’s own peculiar limitations of course, but really these are all things related to getting a device of some kind to interact with the real world properly.

Ultimately I’d like to build a ‘proper’ large format CNC with rigid X,Y,Z movement, using the Maslow to do this. But that is a way off yet.

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Try it and see. I have found that (our) Maslow cuts within a couple of mm of the requested size. The amount of ‘drift’ depends on whereabouts on the whole area you are cutting, with the most accuracy being in the centre.
The thing you have to remember is that Maslow is not an appliance. It’s not a TV or a washing machine that you can just plug in and expect to work. First you have to build it, then you have to make it work. And it all depends on you.
I know a few people have had problems getting it going, but in general, if you follow the instructions you will end up with something that works. I was impressed with ours when we built it, and I continue to be impressed with it every time we use it. Despite tempering my expectations with “it costs a fraction of a horizontal CNC”, and “we built the frame with scrap lumber, and the laptop that’s driving it was rescued from the trash” I was really surprised with how well it turned out.
Once you have done a few jobs on it you will get used to how well it handles different cuts. It’s great for artistic work and single pieces. If you want to cut pieces that fit together you have to pay attention to where and how you are cutting them. Or you can just introduce them to Mr. Sander.
By all means buy a different machine, however, be sure you are buying it for the right reasons.

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:+1: true


I don’t know if maybe some of y’all are talking about another level of precision but here goes, and this is worth what you paid for it. My thought from the beginning was the more accurate I can be with the measuring part of the input and calibration the better the accuracy will be in use. Now I must admit unless I am cutting something really large I limit my work area to the 2’x4’ area in the center of the maslow. Probably the best change I have made is switching to the Meticulous Z-axis. The second best was learning to use Fusion 360 and its cam function. Those fancy machines are cool but I can’t help thinking that if I switched I would miss the opportunity cost of doing other things with the resources and regret it. So far, if I can think of it, model it, and program it, the maslow has exceeded my expectations. Besides that, a 4x8 horizontal machine would take up way too much space.


I tend to think if the only thing on your list is the sled tilt, you are 99% of the way there. Just know that the center of gravity changes with z axis position, but based upon your video, you definitely have something going on based upon your recent post. I think its a matter of how far out your top beam extends and how high your ring is. You’ll have to find a median point to work with all the potential z-heights and just go with it. I suspect you will always see some level of tilt, but not nearly as extreme as your video.

I was initially looking at a Maslow CNC but instead settled on building a Lowrider V2 from V1engineering. So far it’s been great. I built a 5 by 10 table to mine but most of my cuts at less than 4x4. I do use my table for other stuff. If you have a 3d printer or willing to buy the printed parts it’s a good option too with lots of support and precision

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I too was frustrated with Maslow. After a year the only thing meaningful I managed to make was a cup holder. Well a folding chair that collapsed under me. It just sit there idle waiting for me. calibration is my biggest issue. I learned a lot but am still not happy with the Maslow.
For now I have an X-Carve to work with that is teaching me more things. Maybe I just need to buy one of those $20,000 CNC routers and go back to school.
I don’t think the problem is the hardware (Maslow), but the software. After all it is just the numbers telling 2 motor to turn. Yes I am a computer guy and the software is the main problem that runs the hardware.
Well I gave up on the Maslow for now.

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This is exactly my thought (if I’m understanding you correctly), is that I will end up in a similar place with whatever next machine I choose.

I am re-energized and will be reworking my top bar plane and making some chips this weekend.

I bought my maslow on black Friday and opened it at Xmas. I have had mostly bad cuts and trouble with mechanical things from the get-go. I am about to finish upgrading the Z axis to the Orge 3D printed version, a derivative of the meticulous Z. So, I feel your pain but I also want to tell you this: keep going.

I have a story to share about my experience as a beginner in the world of 3D printing, much of which overlaps with my maslow experience. In 2011 I saw Printrbot on kicksarter and was instantly intrigued. I was given the choice of birch or plastic, birch shipping out much faster. I chose birch, not really understating how a machine with a wooden frame would work after a hundred hours print time. I struggled really hard learning to get the first layer to stick and did hour after hour of troubleshooting. Int he end, the birch frame gave out and I moved on. I now own a prusa mk3 and am also resurrecting the Printrbot with an all-metal kit. I feel super comfortable with 3D printing now and no printer is too daunting for me. I’m even attempting to enter additive manufacturing at the company I work for. I’ll carry all of the printer struggles with me in my pocket as I go.

I’m dealing with a lot of similar problems with my maslow now. I bought the recommended rigid router and, recently, the plastic nut/arm piece started slipping backwards. I 3D printed a replacement piece and also spent around 50 hours of print time on the orge parts. I get frustrated at times but I just keep going. Upgrade, tweak, innovate. If you push past this frustration roadblock, you will gain a new level of confidence and keep building the wall brick-by-brick. At some point, if you do move on to another CNC machine, every minute of struggle with the maslow will come with you and make you that much more adept at the new machine.

Keep going and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Send direct messages to people, you’ll be surprised how helpful people here are. I have personally bugged a few members for multiple combined hours.


Hi Everybody,
After toying around with the idea of buying a CNC for sometime, I finally took the plunge yesterday and spent $788 on my first CNC ever.
I was very excited to receive my (Maslow M2) in some days and thinking of coughing up more money for router and whatever else I may need on this journey until I saw this forum and read this as my first thread.
Now I am scared and not so sure.
Can someone recommend a more positive thread. I need some cheering. :slight_smile:

For your ‘first’ CNC machine the maslow is a good choice. It will let you make big cuts (and small) but for a very reasonable price.

It’s not perfect of course, it does require more setting up and a bit more tweaking than other machines, but you should note that other machines will also have their own issues.

There’s a couple of things I can strongly recommend.

  1. Follow through on the ‘meticulous Z-axis’ thread, I made my own version of it, but I think you can buy a version as well. This is because trying to hack the recommended Ridgid router for Z-Axis control is one of the biggest sources of pain for many maslow users.
  2. On the subject of routers, get one with a speed control (or you can wire up an electronic light dimmer like I did), this is so you can slow the speed down from the ~30,000 rpm the router is spinning at to something more suitable.

Here you go:


I wrote the post at a low moment, but I’m still here. Persistence will pay off. This community is unmatched, IMHO. I suspect you will love your Maslow.


Thank you : )

Did you try to cut any of the frontierdesign objects?

I did. I think the designs are well done and require good precision. My Maslow is not yet in a state to effectively cut these, but I’m working on it. I think it can be done with good calibration, a good bit, quality materials. I have learned a lot about Fusion360 and post-processing on the journey.

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what specfically is wrong? is your x dimension too long? Y too short? z depth off? i think if you fix one specific issue at a time you will get a better machine.