Batch 1 Parts Ordering, Autodesk's Fusion 360, more improvements from Beta Testers, & Corn Hole!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Hope you’ve all had a great week since the last time we were in touch. The weather here in Portland has finally turned moderately dry and we’ve been enjoying some warmer, partially sunnier days which has been wonderful.

For this week’s update, we’ve got a few different things to cover. We’ve got information on parts ordering for batch one, using Autodesk Fusion 360 to convert .dxf files to gcode, what has changed in the software, as well as some photos of the (finally) completed cornhole boards!

While Bar has been working with our beta testers to improve the design and get Maslow ready for the world, I have been working to get the shipping side of Maslow ready. This week has been full of figuring out what we already have, what’s missing, and what needs to be changed so that we can get those Regular Machine Kits to the rest of our backers! As of today, almost all of the remaining parts have already been ordered (some have even already arrived). We are still modifying numbers and types of certain parts of the kit, but for the most part the kit will essentially stay the same. We’ll give more specific details on what changes have been made in the coming weeks after we’ve solidified and sourced new parts.The majority of the changes in design have come in the Arduino Shield, and we are mid-conversation with our producer to make sure we get those all squared away. Once we have all of the changes solidified, we’ll be sure to give everyone a recap!

Last week, I made a basic tutorial video of how to generate gcode from a .dxf file. After that post, one of our Regular Machine Kit backers emailed me to suggest using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 to do the same task. I know many of you have highly recommended Fusion 360 in the forums and other places, but I have yet to have the chance to try working with it much. Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists, and although it is initially more complicated and intimidating than something like Sketchup, it is built from the ground up for CNC work. If you have the time (and patience) I would highly recommend downloading it and tinkering around with it, and then letting us know what works! We plan to meet with some employees of Autodesk next week and are hoping they will include a “Maslow” option for generating gcode for Ground Control in the near future. For now, Bar has worked to make the grbl-generic option compatible with Ground Control. We plan to have more in-depth, step-by-step instructions on how to use Fusion 360 to convert a dxf file to a nc file that can be used with Ground Control and Maslow, hopefully for next week’s update.

Now onto the project! I am so excited to finally have finished these cornhole boards! They have been far too long in the making, but I think the warming of our Portland weather, as well as finally having a bit of extra time, are what finally pushed me to complete them. They still have yet to be used, as I plan to go home and start sewing the bags for them today, but I hope to use them this weekend! I think the state of Oregon design is something really unique that could not be created with nearly as much ease without Maslow, and I hope some other people steal my idea and make their own state cornhole boards! I definitely plan to create some more, hopefully for our friends at DIY Bar, but for now I’m so excited to have these done. Check out the pic below!

If you want to build your own version of the cornhole boards, or any of the projects you've seen in the updates we've got great news for you! We've posted all of our designs in our newest repository on GitHub, the Community Garden. We realize that the community needs a way to share designs for alternative versions of the machine frame and cool projects. Ultimately, we'd like to create an easy to use website similar to thingaverse, but that focuses on CNC routing. Until then, feel free to share designs for modified parts of the machine, project ideas or anything else that the community can see. Contributing to the Community Garden works exactly the same way as contributing to any of the other repositories, you can find instructions for how to contribute here.

Bar’s mini update:

This week I’ve been continuing to incorporate our beta-testers’ feedback into the software and design. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have other eyes looking at how to make the machine better. This week we merged 10 pull requests into Ground Control and resolved 12 issues. Five new issues were created to push the project forward. This week’s changes were mostly related to the way files are loaded and the usability of the program. One suggestion from our beta testers that I am very excited about is the idea of making the firmware interface the same as the interface used by the grbl CNC controller firmware used by machines like the Shapeoko, X-Carve, Carvey and many others. This change would allow Maslow to be controlled by the same software you would use to control any of those machines. More on this in my update next week!

Thanks for checking in with us once again this week! We continue to feel really positive about the progress that has been made and we’re excited to be getting closer to the time when even more people can have Maslow to build amazing things!

Until next Wednesday,

Hannah & Bar