Bar Smith wrote in to share the Maslow hanging CNC system with us. The basic concept is that you take the common hanging plotter system and beef it up for use as a cutting mill.

They’re calling this thing Maslow and it should be going on Kickstarter soon. However, they’ve gone the open source route and you can access the source files right now.

The specs are:

  • Work Space: 4′ X 8′ *
  • Encoder Resolution: 8148 steps/rev
  • Real World Precision: +- 1/64″ (.4 mm) or better
  • Max feed rate 48 inches/minute
  • AC Voltage: 110-250 volts
  • DC Voltage: 12 volts
  • Connection: USB
  • OS for Software: Mac, Windows, Linux

In his submission, he points out that they’re taking special effort to point out the final costs, not the initial costs. They talk about it being $500 and that is the cost after you purchase the additional parts necessary, like the bricks and router. Their kickstarter is supposed to launch at $350

Bar took some time to address some of the common concerns with this design. He walks through testing it out for feasibility and shows the results in action. It is interesting hearing about how the system evolved as he was testing things out.

To answer the question of whether or not a hanging system will work for cnc, I guess we need to just talk about the expectations. In short, you get what you pay for. This isn’t going to be a fully featured and precise CNC router, like the ones that cost thousands of dollars. In their pitch video, they say “at least as good as someone with power tools”, which I think frames this perfectly. As you can see clearly in the video, it works, and may find its niche when the kickstarter launches.