Alright folks, I’m about to lose my mind. I set up Maslow some time back and was able to go step by step through the assembly guide to get a running CNC router.
Unfortunately Maslow has sat quietly in my garage through the cold winter and I need to get it fired back up, which means I need to recalibrate it. But I cannot find the calibration instructions anywhere. They don’t seem to be part of the assembly guide anymore: http://www.maslowcnc.com/assemblyguide/
Beyond that, I bought a triangulation kit and have it ready to go, but again, I cannot find instructions on how to calibrate the machine.
After searching for about an hour (and knowing, more or less, what I’m looking for) I am afraid I must suggest we get to work on better organizing the information out there… the community feels like its getting a bit messy between the forum, Github (which, by the was, is a terrifying place for non-programmers), the website, and various wikis (also on Github, I believe).
Is there anyway we can work together to centralize and clean up the information a new user will need? This type of project should be an inviting system for beginners, but it’s getting more and more “inside baseball”.
P.S. I would love any help in finding those calibration instructions.
Yes! I am actually re-writing that part of the instructions right now…which is why it’s hard to find. The short answer is that what you want to do is ignore the wiki and github and the website and click the “Calibrate Machine Dimensions” button under Actions in Ground Control
As an aside, I used to have a small web dev business that specialized in Squarespace websites… I sold off the business some time back and am rather rusty, but if there is any way I can help get Maslow’s web presence a bit more gussied up I’d be happy to.
Since posting the original message I’ve been trying to think through a logical information flow for Maslow. It seems to me the public facing website (the Squarespace site) should be the canonical site for information on Maslow as well as the primary marketing vehicle/information.
The forums, although I love them, need to be very much a secondary thing for the public. These forums should be for people who have already bought into Maslow and want to interact with fellow users.
And the Github stuff (even the wikis) need to be in the far, far background. It’s for the developers and smart people doing work beyond cutting plywood. In my mind it seems like Github should be the whiteboard in an engineering conference room that developers use to work out what they want to do. Once they have the technical details worked out, and the instruction manual built, then that manual gets handed off to the public (aka, the Maslow website).
I think the goal is to have visitors and new Maslow users use the .com to learn all they need about Maslow (whether that’s learning about what Maslow does, and what the community is building, or how to buy, build and run Maslow). Then the forums help them expand on that data. Then, if they want to build out some part of Maslow they can work with github.
Just my two cents. Please know I’m willing to help in any capacity you’d like.
I agree with what you have said in principle on the website “flow model” however we are an exception to how you would think things would flow. Many people start here to see if they think they want to buy a Maslow. Often participating for weeks before branching out.
I would agree that some may spend time in the forums before pulling the trigger, and I’ll readily admit I will sometimes check a project’s forum/community to see its activity level before jumping on board. But I would also suggest that if too many people feel the need to visit the forums before buying it may be bacause the website is failing to answer their questions and make them feel comfortable about the purchase. It may be fully possible the visitors are simply demonstrating the pain poor in the process.
I hope you can forgive a single persons opinion.
It is meant as exchange of thoughts, rather then critic.
All of what you mentioned makes sense for a finished product with a defined workflow.
Maslow for me, is an alive idea and movement, rapidly improving with the help of contributions.
I see the .com as the door where you can buy the kit, but with a link to the People, the Forum.
Friendliness, Response time, Collaboration, Ethics are only 4 or what beats every statistic.
GitHub is an essential backbone of the project. I would focus on how to get more into Git.
Less then 2 hands of programmers are not working behind closed doors. They Welcome.
While they set their own goals, a big part is also Users that point at an issue and suggest enhancements. I would not use a Machete on an organic thriving living thing.
I agree and if I could, may I reach out for your input on my project as well? I can say I had the good fortune of meeting Hanna and Bar first. Then I went to the website. I watched the video, wen t to the Wiki - “Assembly instructions” , then the Store and bought everything I could. Followed the updates but I only came to the forums after my kit was shipping out.
I have found a great diversity in this community of cultures and views. I think it truly strengthens the project. As I see it, I didn’t invest in the Maslow, I invested in Hanna and Bar, that lead to a great product.
I appreciate your perspective and input. You are right about how Maslow is growing and changing. I’m involved with Maslow because I love that its open source and changing organically. I think Github and the forums is essential and wonderful!
That said, I think the “primary market” for Maslow is not its developers. They will be (and should be) a small sub-set of the community. Look at the original Kickstarter page and you’ll see stuff like, “Maslow is designed to be affordable to buy, cheap to ship, easy to use, and powerful.”
The focus is on those who want to create and build neat things. Maslow is an entry level CNC router that’s like nothing we’ve seen. It was marketed as a router for the tinkerer and average person who wants to explore and learn - it wasn’t marketed to the engineers and coders who are making Maslow better.
I think, from a marketing perspective, Maslow needs to keep the same focus they had when they went to Kickstarter. It needs to create a “sales funnel” (sorry I’m using marketing terms - it’s the language I’m most familiar with) that encourages curious makers to jump on board with Maslow, get up and running quickly (without frustration), and start making amazing things.
Because of that I think the website should be the canonical warehouse of “why you should buy into Maslow” and “here’s how you set up and use your Maslow”. It should be the go-to for your average maker.
Of course, if they want to dig deeper they certainly can! The more the merrier! But to expect a curious high schooler, or woodworker who’s interested in CNC, or a washed up web designer who over thinks marketing (like me), to wade through Github pages, and wikis, and Youtube videos and forum posts to assemble Maslow and run it… well, I fear that will turn many adventurous would-be Maslow users away. We need to take what the open source community is refining and make it easy to navigate for the average (and ideal) user.
Of course, I must say again - I absolutely love the forums! I really do! Seeing what people are building is the highlight of my week and I am so glad to be part of the group. I’m also excited to see all of the Github activity (I’ve even submitted a few things myself). These two things are the energy behind Maslow and it’s exhilarating. Because of these things I want to see Maslow in more garages, shops and school rooms - and for those people we need to refocus the documentation so that they’re “on-boarded” as simply and easily as possible.
I feel there needs to be a compromise between making the information easier to find initially, yet keep the product and process of development collaborative and open and still fun. And NOT behind some curtain so we don’t scare the kids.
WARNING - slippery slope flounder opinion ahead.
I’m not sure I want Maslow to be the next Makerbot. Success story commercially, but at what cost to the open source community, the actual founders and the core of community developers?
Maslow? I checked it out because it was very big and very affordable. The active community of smartypants people gave me the confidence to buy one. In my own little way, I’m contributing by sharing what I know and feel about this and that. I don’t have the big answers, but I hope what I add sparks ideas and/or triggers memories in those smartypants folks who are the foundation of development.
The community is the product.
Maslow is already successful in this respect and many others. If @bar and Hannah can also make a good living on Maslow and whatever else they’re developing, soooo much the better.
We would love any advice on how to make the website more straight forwards! Even some basic advice like what would be the top three changes you would make are would be amazing!
This is HUGE to me. I think we need to try really really hard to not play “inside baseball”. Something which could be clear to all of us who have seen things evolve, might not be clear at all from a fresh perspective.