Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: New to CNC-Any one have experience with the Longmill CNC?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    256

    New to CNC-Any one have experience with the Longmill CNC?

    Been spending my early morning and late evenings free time for the past month or so researching and watching you tube videos on Benchtop CNC machines. Looking at the Onefinity, Shapeko 4 or Shapeko Pro, and now the Longmill CNC. I want a CNC to supplement my furniture projects and to make gifts and other small items now, and maybe more CNC work after retirement in the next few years. I have a dedicated 24x32 workshop and space to put the CNC. Made some flags as gifts last year and carved the stars with a Dremel and thought there must be a better way! Have approval from the finance department to spend about $5K. I have a MacBook Pro as my personal computer, but can budget for a windows laptop to dedicate to the CNC. I am an experienced Sketchup and Adobe illustrator and photoshop user, so I believe I can. learn the CNC software. All three machines seem to have pros and cons and robust online groups. I think any of them would meet my needs as an entry-level CNC. Appreciate any first-hand feedback from others that have headed down this road. Thanks for your insights.

    A reputation for craftsmanship is a responsibility
    to never take lightly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    1,105
    It appears that the control software for the Longmill will run on a Mac. I haven't checked out the others, but perhaps they do as well. The Longmill looks like a fun little machine to work with.
    David

    https://sienci.com/gsender/


    Longmill Gsender for Mac 1.jpgLongmill Gsender for Mac.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,340
    Since you mentioned furniture, one of the things you want to strive for in a machine is one that has a bit of Z-axis (vertical) height/travel for the spindle/router that would typically be on many basic machines. Why? Furniture parts often have some thickness to them and you need to be able to reach into the wood for things like morising and even cutting out while still being able to clear the top of the material when the tooling is retracted upward to move around. I personally wish I had about double the travel I have on my big Camaster in that respect.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    I bought one as my first CNC and thought it was a great way to get into the CNC world for a reasonable price. I did upgrade a couple months ago to a much more rigid and powerful machine (C4N Ball Screw machine if it matters) and there's definitely a large difference but I also spent about $5k more on the new machine. The longmill will treat you well for low power applications (i.e. customization with text, signmaking, most 3D carves) and is a great way to learn the ropes with CNC (software, bit selection, feeds/speeds, etc.). There's also a very active facebook community which has some great info and is an excellent place to ask questions. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    256
    thank you for the insights gentlemen. Don, I will look for the FB group on the Longmill.

    A reputation for craftsmanship is a responsibility
    to never take lightly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    1,409
    I have the Mk1 version of the 30" x 30" Long Mill. The new Mk2 has a model that is 30" x 48". IMHO, for the money, it cannot beat. That said, your budget will allow you to buy something more able to handle commercial work, and bigger material.

    In addition to looking at the FB group, there is an excellent forum that will provide you with a great deal of information and an opportunity to read about the experiences of the Long Mill users. You can see the forum by going to the Sienci home page http://www. sienci.com and opening the forum drop down.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,973
    I think any one of the ones listed would work. I bought a OneFinity in part because it has it's own computer. You simply make your project on your computer, generate the G-code, put it on the USB drive (but can be done with wifi) and load it onto the CNC. I didn't really want to take my laptop into my shop. I think you're going to find that each brand is going to have it's fans. Coming from a background where I work with steppers I liked the idea of ball screws. We rarely have issues with them. Some are over 30 years old. Lead screws with both brass and plastic nuts last a few years before we have to replace them. Timing belts are the worst. We use them because they can be set up with no backlash vs gears when speed reduction is needed. But they stretch and need routine attention. But the tools I work on are used 24/7 365. A hobbyist my not have any issues at all.

  8. #8

    My experience

    So I will be quick. I have the long mill 30" x 30". I had several problems with electrical noise causing the data to flip out. I did solve that by getting quality shielded USB cables, and adding RFI / EMI Ferrite rings to my routers, cable. And I also made a faraday cage for actual controller as an extra precaution. Maybe not needed. I could have bad electrical though. I live in an old house and area of town. And even though I have my CNC in a shop out back that with new wiring who knows.

    Since then no problems. But the cut quality also not what I wanted. On wood it looked ok, but I do lots of plastic. So I upgraded the x axis with linear carriage rails. Only took a few bolts and a 3d printed parts to work for the rails. And so after doing that it's been a fine machine so far. Parts of the machine do come with 3d printed parts anyways.

    I have friend who spent 8k on his machine 4 years ago, and mine which cost around $1500 with mods does just as well, but does not have as many bells and whistles. We went with this company for his as it was local, and he did not want a kit.


    But it's worth a look.

    https://lwmcnc.com/

    But if you are handy and don't have as much $$$ then the long mill can do great things. Also don't forget the software. I only do 2d things so carbide create works great, but if you are doing fancy stuff, I used to use vectrics products yeas ago.
    Redsail x700, 50watt & Shenhui 350, 50 watt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    Posts
    1,409
    Clark: I would be very interested in any plans you have for the linear rail upgrade to your Long Mill. I've been looking to do that same thing with both the X and Y rails, but have not achieved anything so far.

    Thank you.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,829
    By the time you buy one of the smaller machines and then find out the shortcomings and it has zero resale you could have a machine that just works. Avid https://www.avidcnc.com/ (CNC Router Parts) has good machines and they can run on either Mach4 or other control systems that are companiable like Acorn https://www.centroidcnc.com/.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  11. #11

    Pics of my simple mod

    So, I don't have plans. I really did not make any. I wanted a very simple solution. I needed to be able to do it in around 1-2 hours. I purchased angle aluminum brackets that I bolted directly to the existing frame(3 on top, and 3 on the bottom), I guess you could use more.I purchased some basic linear rails that I bolted to the angle brackets. I am sure you can buy beefier linear rails, but my CNC is not used all day long. I have 2 laser cutters that I run all day, and the cnc for just a few things. But I have had no issues. Here are the main parts I purchased from amazon. And I have also included some pictures of my mods. If you want the 3d file I made for attaching the rails to z-axis I would be happy to email it to you. And yes,yes I'm lazy and have not routed my router power cable inside the chain. So until I get time, zip ties are my friend. I did have to drill holes in the z-axis plate to bolt it to the lower rail. I hope this give you some probably better ideas. But my cuts are butter smooth compared to before.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YRM9QXB...t_details&th=1

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YRM9QXB...t_details&th=1

    IMG_20220716_201952214.jpgIMG_20220716_201957836.jpgIMG_20220716_202222156.jpgIMG_20220716_201933276.jpg3dprintedpart.jpg

    If you have any other question I'm happy to answer. Of course do this at your own risk
    Redsail x700, 50watt & Shenhui 350, 50 watt

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •