Maker Faire, Tested, and Software Updates: The May 24th Update

Hi Everyone!   

We hope you had just as fantastic of a week as we did.  

In the 7 days since our last update we drove 1,200 miles to attend Maker Faire in San Mateo, California where we had a great time meeting some of you. We also had the opportunity to film a video about Maslow with the guys from the YouTube channel “Tested”, and thanks to the community continuing to work on the software we even have some new features to show off. 

Maker Faire

We had a great time at Maker Faire. We had the chance to meet quite a few of you which was amazing. It’s a cool experience to shake hands with people from the internet, especially those who have made everything we’re doing possible. We also had the chance to meet teachers from several of the schools that will be receiving Maslow machines.

Our demonstration item was to cut swords for kids, which was a huge hit. Possibly too big of a hit. Sometimes it felt like we were in the children's sword business.

Our space was in the larger Kickstarter booth which we shared with some amazing Kickstarter projects. We had a chance to meet the creators of Circuit Scribe (a conductive ink pen), Teensy (a small and powerful dev board), and NeoLucida (drawing assistant). Getting to meet Paul, the creator of Teensy, was particularly cool because I’ve worked with his boards in the past and Maslow relies on his open source encoder library.

We also had the chance to meet many other significant people in the world of CNC. Our booth shared a wall with CNC Router Parts, ShopBot was across the aisle, GlowForge was just a few more booths down, and next to them was Shapeoko. 

Thanks to Zach from Kickstarter and Hannah’s cousin, we got a few good photos of us in action at our booth. Check them out below.

Tested

While we were in San Francisco we had the opportunity to film a quick video about Maslow with Norm from the YouTube channel Tested. It was so cool to get to see the behind the scenes of the Tested studio. The video already has a staggering 340,000 views which is a little overwhelming. I think it’s safe to say we got our 15 minutes of fame out of the way (well technically 19 minutes and 54 seconds of fame). You can watch the whole thing here.

Maslow on the set of Tested

Maslow on the set of Tested

How we want to welcome new people

All of this attention we’ve been getting can be a lot to handle. It’s exciting to have people care about what we’re building, and at the same time it can be a little scary. The community we have right now feels very comfortable, but making CNC accessible to everyone means making a community where everyone is welcome. Let’s keep in mind as we welcome new people into the forums, that we’re all the establishment now and welcome everyone. We’re going to get a lot of the same questions that we all asked early on, let’s do our best to answer them patiently. 

Software Improvements 

Quite a few new features and refinements were added to both the firmware and software this week, mostly thanks to our amazing community who were able to get some fantastic work done while I was away manning the booth. This week marks the first time that the majority of the changes to both the software and the firmware came from the community, which I think is an exciting milestone. 

Ground Control Updates

This week's Ground Control has a couple great new features including: 

  •  Macro buttons which can be set to send any command or series of commands to the machine. Enter the desired commands into the settings and when “Macro 1” or “Macro 2” 
  •  Goto button which allows us to jump to any line number in the gcode file automatically 
  •  The new <Z and Z> buttons can be used to fast forward or jump back to the last time the z-axis moved up or down which makes it easier to jump to the beginning or end of a cut 
  •  Bug fixes for line colors and machine not responding without a gcode file being opened fix those issues 
  •  The “Return to Center” button now lifts the bit from the wood and moves to the center. It no longer lowers the bit, a more desirable behavior 

Firmware Updates

This week's firmware also has some exciting new features:

  • This firmware update adds support for a very cool command, the G38.2 automatic tool length detection command. By attaching a probe to auxiliary port #4 and connecting the router bit to the board ground the bit is automatically lowered until it contacts the conductive surface. Details can be found in the original pull request here: https://github.com/MaslowCNC/Firmware/pull/223 
  • The machine can compute its position twice as fast thanks to math improvements. This allows for more accuracy at increased speeds. 
  • The maximum speed of the machine has been raised from 25 ipm to 35 ipm thanks to the improved math this week. 
  • Constant speed is now maintained through straight lines and arcs. You may have noticed that until now Maslow slowed down while cutting arcs, now a constant speed is maintained when executing all gcode lines.

Have a great week everyone!

-Bar and Hannah