Maker BLOG

Maker Feature – Jeff McLeid

Today’s Maker Feature is about Jeff from Twisted Scenic. We’ve heard from Jeff before when he shared about his Bonnaroo sign build. Today, we get a look behind the scenes to hear more about his personal maker story and background. Q: Tell us a little about your background as a Maker. A few years ago I was a “flying director” for a performer flying FX company. My job was to build the fly systems, rig it to the building, and choreograph the flights. I mainly did musicals such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka, etc. While onsite in Seoul, South Korea, I suffered an injury that forever changed my life. I developed a neurological disease called CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) in my dominate shoulder, arm, and hand. My brain fires to my pain receptors 24 hours a day, telling it that I’m in a level 6-8 pain. CRPS is one of the, if not the, most painful chronic pain ailments and there’s never a true moment of relief, and no cure. With that being said, I had to find a way to still maintain being creative and finding something financially lucrative. I started a

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Maker Feature – Tim Sway

For this next Maker Feature we’re interviewing Tim Sway. If you’re not familiar with Tim, he’s the master of making instruments (guitars mostly) and other fun projects from reclaimed materials. We were SO excited to have him join our community when he purchased his Maslow earlier this year and have loved seeing his projects using his set up.     Q: How did you get into designing and building with CNC? A: 5 years ago I had no interest in learning CNC but I forced myself to so I could teach my son and keep his learning current. I am now hooked and realize my disinterest was fear of trying something new and failing.   Q: Do you use your machine for business or as a hobby? A: I run a small business and the Maslow will give me capabilities to make larger cnc projects, signs, etc., that I couldn’t do before.   Q: What was your first project? A: A honeycomb pattern, folding privacy screen made from reclaimed hollow closet door skins and rice paper. (You can see Tim’s full walkthrough of this project and Maslow review on his YouTube Channel) Q: What was the biggest struggle you had

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Maker Feature – Rachel

We’re excited to kick off a new blog series, Maker Feature, where we get to share the stories and projects of some of the makers in our community. Today, we’re kicking off the series with our very own Rachel! She’s one of our resident makers here at Maker Made. If you’ve used our new set up, assembly or calibration guides, that’s all thanks to her! Today we get to learn more about Rachel and her maker journey!   Q: How did you get started on your maker journey?  A: My story is unique in that I discovered Maslow when I was hired as a freelance graphic designer to come up with designs for Maker Made. My job description mushroomed pretty quickly! I’ve always loved to make things, and when I went back to school and learned graphic design, I always said that I was looking for ways to marry the two- to use my design skills to make things. So this is really a dream job for me!   Q: How long have you had your Maslow? What was your biggest struggle in getting it set up? A: I have had it for a couple of months. It probably took

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Jeff’s Bonnaroo Sign

We’re so excited to be sharing this project today. Jeff McLeid from Twisted Scenic had the opportunity to do an installation project for Bonnaroo. He designed, cut an installed the entrance to the “Self Love Sanctuary” hosted by Haley Williams of Paramore. Jeff says, “It’s 1 layer of hdpe, 1/8” plexi, 1/2” mdf, 1/4” polycarbonate and another top layer of MDF. Letters were made of a compressed pvc material that’s hard like acrylic (and destroys bits but totally worth it). I cut the plexi by hand. The client was very happy with this end result. And the effect worked just the way I needed it too.”   Jeff’s got some great other projects in the pipeline we’re excited to share when they’re ready so stay tuned!

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Building the Final Sled

If you have your Z-Axis set up and the calibration step went well, you shouldn’t have any problems cutting the final sled. I ended up getting a prototype of the new MakerMade sled in the mail, so I used that, and it was so nice to have it all ready to go. I just had to add a few holes for the bolts that hold the router into place. The sled doesn’t come with those holes pre-drilled because not everyone uses the same router. I had kind of improvised with my temporary sled, I’d used a tabletop round, and gone with a smaller size than recommended because I liked the idea of a more compact sled. I’d also put my weights in a different position. Once I got this sled set up, though, I realized that some of the problems I’d been having up to that point were because of my sled. Everything moved so much more smoothly once I had a perfectly balanced sled, and I think the larger size helped stabilize movement, too. In the Maslow forum, you’ll see that people use all kinds of things for weights. You might think that anything goes, and that’s true, to

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Calibration

MAKING ALL THE MISTAKES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO Up until the point of calibration, I had a few misadventures but mostly things went pretty smoothly. This is where it got bumpier. In the online assembly instructions on the Maslow forum, Step 6 was “attach sled to frame” and Step 7 was “calibrate”. So I started the calibration process with my sled attached to the frame. As I extended the chain across the frame to measure the distance between motors, the position of my sled became more and more precarious until it was hanging in the air. This seemed clearly wrong, but I couldn’t find anything specifically saying to remove the sled from the chains. It wasn’t until a few steps later that it became clear I’d need to not only detach the sled, but basically dis-assemble the whole chain/ pulley/ elastic cord setup that I’d just assembled, and then a few steps later redo it all. I’m not given to foul language, but I HATE re-doing something I just did. I’m all about the adventure of learning new things, but the second time around it’s not an adventure anymore, it’s just drudgery. I found it really difficult to detach

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Installing the Z-Axis

MAKING ALL THE MISTAKES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO Adding the Z Axis had its challenges, and reliable Z Axis operation continues to be an issue for many Maslow users. While I was in the thick of setting it up, it felt like I’d never get it to work, but after working through a lot of what turned out to be user errors, and a few bugs in design, I have it working pretty reliably. Maker Made is prototyping a Z Axis solution that will cut through the remaining issues and make it rock solid. I’m super excited to try that out when it’s ready! The most important thing to know about the Z Axis is that you don’t want to Maslow without it. When I first calibrated my machine and tried to cut out the final sled, I was following an online assembly guide that has you add the Z Axis AFTER calibration and cutting the final sled. So I tried to cut the final sled without a Z Axis. Meaning that every time there was a change in bit depth, I had to: pause the cut walk from my computer to my frame setup turn the router off

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Building the Temporary Sled

I’ve never used a router, so this part was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t know how to add the bit, for one thing, and there were a surprising dearth of Youtube videos showing how to do it, at least for this particular router. I watched a lot of reviews of the Ridgid router, and some of them showed a little bit of how to use it, but there were still a lot of gaps. After a couple of hours of watching videos, and in general putting it off, I decided I just needed to plunge in and do it. I figured out how to put a bit in, clamped my wood to the work bench- with blocks underneath so I didn’t accidentally route a hole in the work surface, donned some safety goggles and flipped the “on” switch. I was surprised and fascinated by how smoothly the router carved away the wood, and how relatively easy it was to control. My finished product was a bit wobbly looking, but I was disproportionately proud of it. Usually for the temporary sled you only need to carve a hole in the middle, but the wood round I bought so I

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Adding the Electronics

I was a little apprehensive about setting up the electronics for the Maslow. I’ve been an occasional reader of Make magazine, I’d heard the term Arduino, but I’d never seen one in person. I like to make things, but that’s mostly been rough woodworking, fiber related, or graphic design- nothing with electronics or chips of any sort. But the Maslow designers really made the process easy. I sat down at my kitchen table, laid out all the parts, and was done in about half an hour. I had a few hiccups, like not realizing I was supposed to open a program once I’d downloaded it, so I tried to make sure the instructions I wrote for the manual spell out details like that. Tools Needed Power Drill Screwdrivers Safety goggles Computer or tablet Internet connection Materials List Part #1 AC Power Cable Part #2 Arduino with Heat Shield Part #4 DC Power Supply Part #9 USB Cable Part #10 Flash Drive (optional) Part #11 X and Y Motor Cables Part #12 X and Y Motor Mounts Part #13 X and Y Motors Hardware Bag #5 Hardware Bag #6 STEP 1: CONNECT THE MOTORS X and Y motor cables, as well

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My Makermade CNC Adventure: Building The Frame

One of the things that makes the. Maslow CNC so affordable is that each user builds their own frame. Maslow users are tinkerers, and variations on the frame are endless. Two users, dlang and MadGrizzle, did a lot of testing and weeding through ideas and developed the default frame. It’s a great frame to start with. Bar, one of the original Maslow developers, also came up with a version of the default frame that bolts together, rather than using glue and screws. I decided to go with the bolt together frame, because I like the idea that of being able to disassemble the frame a little more easily if I want to move it, and because it worked better with the 2x4s I already had on hand. You can read the build instructions I wrote for the default frame here. The bolt together version of these instructions will come out soon. I headed to Home Depot and got the bolts I needed, along with a couple of 2x4s to round out what I already had. I felt a little self conscious at Home Depot- on a weekday morning it feels like everyone else in the lumber department is a legit construction

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