Wiki House an open source house

Just saw a post on hacker news about this project called Wiki House. Looks like they are standardizing housing around CNC router cut playwood. Their approach is modular more like legos. Seems really exciting!


They are super cool!

I hadn’t checked in on them recently so it’s good to see what they are up to. They are a major source of our inspiration :slight_smile:

Do you think this is something the Maslow 4 can handle?
I searched and saw a previous post from 2020 that mentioned the plypad and how you wanted to make improvements.
Seems like there has been lots of improvements since then!
I’m interested in making small structures not full size houses. Any thoughts?

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I was wondering that too. From their page and their documents it looks like the smallest tolerance is +/- 0.5 mm. I don’t think there are any official targets but it seems pretty close to the max for Maslow 4.

accuracy vs precision, the maslow has alwasy been very precise, it’s accuracy
has not been that good.

i.e. it will cut repeat parts (in the same place on the woorksheet) and have the
results be extremely close to the same (that’s the precision), but the parts
accuracy compared to the model has been bad.

This means that if it really matters, you can distort the cad to get exactly
what you want (sort of like bed leveling for 3d printers, just not automated)

David Lang


Maslow4 is basically built specifically to make all the improvements that we found we needed from the PlyPad project. The big issues were accuracy, speed, and software (we’re still working on the software side). It took a couple years longer to make than I expected, but Maslow4 is coming out now because it feels like we’ve made the improvements needed to make the plypad project work now.


Despite those limiting factors, and the fact that we would not currently recommended a CNC cut plywood structure as the cheapest or easiest way to build a house

I think you wrote that in 2018, after the plypad build. Do you still share the same thoughts/opinions?

I’m interested in getting into small format units, like studios or a bothy…


At this moment I think that is probably still true but we are way way closer. The big things that are holding us back at this point are:

  1. The Maslow4 software still has bugs. We’re working to get them all fixed ASAP, but what might be a minor annoyance in a hobby use case could be a big setback in a professional setting. IE if you find an issue and it takes us a week to fix it that’s probably not a huge deal for a hobbyist, but if it messes with your building timeline it’s not OK

  2. There isn’t good 3D modeling software for doing tiny house stuff that I’ve found. We’re working on that, but it’s a ways away from being ready to release

The good news is that on both of these fronts the issues are software and they are both things that we are working on so while right now I would say I wouldn’t recommend it, we are much closer than we were then and we’re actively working to get there.


Thanks for the open and honest response.
I’m thinking small scale, not full time more like a hobbyist anyway…
Looking forward to the email for ordering a machine once the Kickstarter batches are done.

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one of the original maslows that I purchased was from an architecture company
who got it as their first use of CAD, they were replacing it with a machine
costing tens of thousands of dollars because they had found it was just that
useful to make models of the houses/lots of their clients.

David Lang

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Do you think that with the new Maslow CNC and the new software a shed like

Skylark 150 (around 10 sqm)


the WikiHouse Dashilar Pavilion - WikiHouse Dashilar Pavilion,Beijing by dot Architects - 谷德设计网 - with approx. 9 sqm

could be build if one would use 3 Maslows in parallel?

This would speed up the time it takes to CNC the parts by factor 3 and would cost significantly less that having parts CNCed in a professional shop

Yes, you could absolutely build something like that. We built something somewhat similar using the original Maslow which was about 1/3 the speed so you should be able to do it using just one Maslow. We found that templating was super powerful as a tool for reproducing similar parts quickly with unskilled labor so I’d recommend considering that as an option for speeding the process up.

We’re working on our own CAD/CAM software which will handle things like nesting the parts on the sheet automatically and things like that which will really speed the process up. Expect that to be done in the next six months. You can do it using any software, but the work flow is a little bit of a hassle to do big projects. There’s just a lot of steps so if you want to change something like the thickness of the wood you end up having to redo a ton of work. It’s not a big deal for something like a chair that has four parts, but for a big complex project with 100 parts having to re-export them all is a drag. We’re going to fix that.

onshape has a featurescript ‘auto layout’ that does some nesting, it assumes
rectangular parts, but it addresses a lot of issues.

David Lang

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