Update Jan 4th: PCB Upgrades, Software, and New Digs

Hello Everyone,

We hope you had wonderful holidays. We had a great time and got a lot done too.

      We’d like to start this year off by saying thank you to all of you. We really truly couldn’t do it without you. Your support, your ideas, and your involvement in the project are what makes this possible.

      In our last update we mentioned that we wanted to find custom printed paper tape to make the box look more official but it just wasn’t in the budget at our scale. A number of you suggested in the comments that we get a stamp to stamp the boxes which we think is an absolutely brilliant idea, and is exactly what we are going to do.

PCB Upgrades

      We’re excited to announce that we are upgrading everyone to a 4-axis controller board. We considered including a separate PCB to add a 3rd axis with the z-axis add-on, but that just didn’t make any sense. The idea of maintaining two separate PCB versions seemed silly and confusing. Adding the extra axis is a little more cost up-front, but we think it’s worth it. Every kit will now come with a 4 axis controller, so if you decide to add a z-axis all you will need to do is plug it into your existing controller board.

      So then why a 4th axis? Each motor controller chip can control two motors, so once we added a 3rd axis the 4th was nearly free. What will you do with your 4th axis? So far my favorite idea is to add a second z-axis with a marker so that parts can be cut and labeled in a single operation. If you’ve got another idea, share it in the forums.

As always, the PCB schematics and layout files are available for free to download from our website.

Maslow controler PCB revision .5

Maslow controler PCB revision .5

Maslow controler PCB revision .6 (in production)

Maslow controler PCB revision .6 (in production)

CNC Software Background

      If you are new to CNC routing, jumping into the world of CNC software can be confusing. To shed some light on the ecosystem of CNC software, I will talk about some higher level concepts, define some vocab, and talk about some common file types. In a later video (probably not next week, but the week after) I will walk you through one possible way of going from an idea to a having a cut part using only free software. I apologize for the glare making the cards almost unreadable.

New Digs

     We are also excited to announce that we are (almost) moving into a new space as part of the ADX (Art Design Portland) shared shop space! At the moment we’re working out of a basement that I am fairly certain is the coldest place on earth. Soon we will be sharing a space with furniture makers, boat builders, and the proprietors of a of a DIY themed bar (it’s as cool as it sounds).

A section of that wall will soon be ours

A section of that wall will soon be ours

One of the things which I think is the most exciting about the new space is that because it is a shared space we will hopefully get to watch our neighbors use the machine so we can better understand what features are most important to add or improve.

      We were planning to move in on the 1st of the month, but the build out is a little behind so we’re now hoping to move in around the 15th of the month. Don’t worry, the delay should not affect our production schedule. Once we move in we’re looking forward to hosting a meet and greet for those of you in the area, so stay tuned!

Hope you are having a wonderful first week of the year!

-Bar, Hannah, and Tom