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February 2023 Production Updates

Hey everyone, here are the production updates for this month.

For all news and updates, please see our Blog.

Just as a reminder, if you’d like to get these updates as a weekly email newsletter, please subscribe here:

Customs Hold-ups for some US customers

We’ve recently experienced some of our customers having their machine orders held up at US customs. For some orders above the value of $2500USD, UPS is requesting customer tax information for clearance. We are working on eliminating this process, but either UPS or Sienci Labs may reach out to you for the extra info. Some changes to our customs documentation implemented in the last few days should mostly eliminate this issue, and we are working on automating a system to let customers that fall under this specific set of rules (US customers with high-value shipments) about the situation proactively. Currently, this has affected about 10-12 customers in the past few weeks, which is a small percentage of the overall number of issues, but we just want to let everyone know just in case this happens to you.

Please note that this DOES NOT mean you will need to pay duties and taxes, but it does mean that we may be charged warehousing fees if the item sits in storage for too long.

LongMill and Extension Kit Orders

We have raised lead times for LongMill orders as we currently have a large queue. We are consistently shipping out machines on a daily basis, but due to a big increase in sales this month, we are currently at full capacity. By next week, we will have another three new hires to assist with packing and assembly, which should bring down our lead times. Additionally, we are currently working on acquiring additional production space to relocate our rail processing and create additional inventory storage space.

We are also actively working on Batch 8 supply chain. Based on current sales numbers, we expect to start Batch 8 in around May or June. This is quite a lot sooner that expected. Although many of the key components for the LongMill have been ordered, due to the long lead times we face for some of the parts, we expect that there will be longer lead times closer to the transition point in Batch 8.


Due to a shortage of some components, we have raised lead times for the LaserBeam. However, most customers may have gotten theirs a lot earlier. As our typical fashion, we want to provide conservative lead times. We have partially restocked all of the parts, which means that we are currently working through the assembly for the remaining orders in the queue, and expect to wrap up pending orders by end of next week. For new orders placed now, we’re telling customers that they may need to wait up to 6 weeks potentially, but it’s likely most will ship sooner.

We’ve made some design changes on the heatsink and wiring that we’ve started implementing, which will reduce assembly times so that we can produce these items faster.

Additional parts for the LaserBeam are expected to arrive around the start of March, at which point, we can pre-assemble and keep inventory on hand for Lasers.

Rotary Axis

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the rotary axis. For more info about it, please see this post here:

The engineering team has continued to work on the rotary axis kit. Here are a couple of updates.

We received a sample rotary axis a couple of weeks ago which we have been using for testing. Due to some imperfections, we have been reconsidering our strategy for the production of the rotary axis. Initially, we were planning on using off-the-shelf components for the whole kit, doing QA testing, and shipping to customers, but as we have continued to do testing and research, we have started to reconsider and look at custom designing and making some or all of the rotary axis from scratch.

There are a few areas that must be improved to reach large-scale production, especially in the quality and tolerances of the components that off-the-shelf rotary kits have shown to be inconsistent. First is the edges of the bottom of the rotary axis, which need to be accurate to allow it to mount and align with the track accurately. Second is the motor mounting plate, which needs to line up with the rotary pulley. And lastly, the overall fit and finish need to be consistent and of good quality. We found that from the sample, these were notable areas that needed improvement.

When we started manufacturing LongMills, we used many off-the-shelf components as they were the most affordable at a small scale. However, as time has gone on, basically all LongMill components are toleranced and custom-made to our specific requirements, even if they are otherwise exactly the same as an off-the-shelf alternative. At scale, quality issues compound, and making custom, higher-quality parts helps mitigate issues and ensure fewer issues with assembly and use.

I share the same sentiment with the development and production of the rotary axis. For it to be a viable product, we need to produce hundreds (and eventually thousands) of kits. To accomplish this, we need to take control of the whole production process.

At this stage, we are currently deciding how we want to progress with the production of the rotary axis. We are doing a cost-benefit analysis and working on design ideas. As far as where we are with things now, for us to bring up quality, we also need to bring up the price. Based on our survey results, it seems like interested customers are able to accommodate some increase in price, given that we can provide more value for their rotary axis. It seems like increasing the price and budget of the project will overall provide more value, as we can dedicate more to the software, hardware, and resources for the rotary axis.

The software team is also currently working on the implementation of 4th-axis support in gSender. Some things in consideration include:

  • Visualization of rotary axis code
  • Switching between both modes
  • Homing and zeroing of the rotary axis
  • Firmware and control board changes

The engineering team has currently made tons of progress overall with regard to documentation and processes that will eventually be used with whichever rotary axis we will provide.

At this stage, we do not have exact dates on when the rotary axis will be launched, but we expect the earliest time for it to ship to be in late summer. If you’re interested in the project, I encourage you to stay in the loop on our blog and social media.