Join us to celebrate and build maker culture together!

Maker Forums is a non-commercial, user-supported community of makers, mostly hobbyists, who are enthusiastic about many ways of making things, old and new. Laser engravers and cutters, 3D printers, CNC routers, and more! We help each other solve problems and enjoy sharing with and learning from each other. We’re a friendly place.

Share what you know, ask what you don’t

Feel free to browse anonymously, but if you create a Maker Forums account, you can post, comment, get notifications of new content, bookmark, like, react, and be part of a friendly community.

  • If you used Google+ in the past, you may use the Log In button and then click with Google, then select the Google account that you used with Google+, in order to be recognized as the author of the posts you originally made on Google+ that were imported into Maker Forums when Google+ was shut down.
  • Otherwise, just Sign Up — you can choose to create a password, or authenticate with Google or GitHub (or any other authentication method we add in the future). If you create a password, you can use strong two-factor authentication to protect your account.

You can explore the categories of content at Maker Forums, or ask for help. Our FAQ tells you what we expect of each other, including being kind to each other, keeping discussions in public, not doing illegal or unethical things, and not posting spam.

How to get help

We have several categories dedicated to helping each other. In particular:

  • If you need help with a K40 laser, please read our K40 Intro first, then ask in the K40 Laser: Help category.
  • The Smoothie category is the official forum for both Smoothieware and the Smoothieboard. When you post a request for help there, please fill in the template with details needed to help get you the help you are asking for!

Remember when asking for help that we’re hobbyists helping each other. Paul Stoffregen, of Teensy fame, wrote How to get technical help from strangers on the Internet. Please read it before asking for help, here on Maker Forums, or on any other forum. From his summary:

  1. Good first impression ⇒ Humans will want to help
  2. Explain context ⇒ Humans will understand your needs
  3. Share details ⇒ Humans will be able to help

Our origin story

Many communities formed on Google+ before Google shut down Google+ in 2019. Many members of those communities wanted to keep in touch. Some moved to Reddit, some to Twitter, some to MeWe — and some of us banded together to build our own community not subject to corporate whim.

The members of the “K40” community (for hobbyist CO2 laser cutters and engravers) on Google+ joined together on a new Discourse forum called Maker Forums, and invited other maker communities to join in. Several 3D printing communities, including the main 3D Printing community, and the HercuLien and Eustathios community, soon joined. So did communities focusing on CNC routers, ChiliPeppr, LaserWeb, and more. Many posts from Google+ were copied to the forum (by permission from community moderators) to preserve maker knowledge built up over the years.

Want to chat?

Some Maker Forums community members also hang out together on Maker Forums Slack. There, we get notifications of new posts in active forum categories and site maintenance activity, and can otherwise just enjoy chatting. Slack has mobile applications for Android and iOS. Subscribing to channels you are interested in is one of several ways to be notified about new content at Maker Forums Discourse on a phone. Be aware that Maker Forums Slack isn’t permanently archived. That’s what the Discourse forum is for. The slack messages go away after a while.

Join Maker Forums slack, then please set your slack profile Display Name to your Maker Forums Discourse forum user name so we’re not confused. The same site rules apply on Discourse and Slack! Keep it clean and friendly.

Here are some Slack channels you might be interested in joining:

  • #help Site update and outage notices, notifications of posts in the Site Help / Feedback Discourse forum category, and general Maker Forums help, but not help for machines, tools, etc.

  • #k40 conversation and notifications about hobbyist CO2 lasers

  • #herculien conversation and notifications about HercuLien, Eustathios, and Ingentis 3D printers.

  • Browse more channels