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May 2024 Production Updates

Hey guys, things continue to chug along at Sienci Labs.

Testing the fit of the aluminum guitar made on the AltMill

Growing the team

We’re looking to expand the team! If you’re interested in working for us, please check out our blog post here.

There are now some specific job postings available on Indeed.

LongMill MK2

Production for LongMills continues to move along.

Spring-loaded anti-backlash nuts continue to be a hot-selling item, with now over 560 sets of the T8 and 200 of the T12 sold. We have received another 1300 nuts (325 sets) with another few thousand in production. We expect to clear the backlog in the next week or so as we do assembly and testing.

We have gotten reports that the nuts work well, however, users should ensure that the M5 screws that hold the nuts to the gantry are not overtightened to prevent the nut from deforming and causing jamming issues. Hand tightening to ensure that the locking washers are is flush enough to keep them in place.

We are continuing to work our way through the materials from Batch 8 and are waiting on Batch 9 parts to arrive. There may be a chance that we will run out of stepper motors for the LongMill a few weeks before the new ones arrive, and so the lead time for the LongMill has been adjusted to reflect a potential slowdown.

We have discovered a small issue with the fit of the injection molded feet for the Y axis rails, and so we are not swapping over from 3D printed feet just yet. Our production and QA team are looking to fixing this problem so that we can implement them into the future batch. For now we have made a system/jig to grind them down to size. I should note that this part does not offer any performance advantages, they are just for ease of manufacturing, and so users should not be concerned about which version they have received.

LaserBeam and Vortex

LaserBeams and Vortex continue to ship out as usual, most are shipping out within a few days.

Now with the SuperLongBoard out in the world, we are working on supporting full 4-axis functionality. This means that the Vortex can be used without the switch and move around simultaneously with the Y-axis. Keep an eye out for more news in the coming months. The Vortex can still be used with the switch to change between rotary and regular milling mode with the SLB.


We continue to hammer out things with the AltMill. We are now in production for the first 50 machines. Here’s what’s going on:

  • The first test boards for SLB-EXT have arrived and are going through assembly and testing. We are expecting the remainder to arrive first week of May. Once testing is complete, we will build another approximately 200 units
  • The first 50 power supplies have arrived and are undergoing testing. We are expecting another 50 to arrive in about a month.
  • The first 50 gantries and extrusions are completed and going through QA and assembly. Another 150-200 sets are finishing production this month and are expected to arrive in June.
  • Fasteners have arrived and are being used for assemble of some of the major assemblies
  • Parts for the spindle and VFD are in production now and are expected to arrive in the end of May.
  • We have been working on some closed-loop stepper testing for longer-term use.
  • We have the bristles for the dust shoes in production and are finalizing the 3D printing design.

At the current rate, we have parts being made as quickly as possible, but there may be some stragglers that we may end up waiting on close to the end of the month that will determine the exact timing of the shipment.

These parts will probably be with the:

  • Closed loop stepper motor cables
  • Spindle and spindle components
  • The production version of the SLB-EXT

This means that the first 50 AltMill customers should prepare to receive their machines in June, although we are working as hard as possible to start shipping in May.

In the meantime, we are prepping everything as we receive parts so that we can ship everything as quickly as we can once we do get everything.

Additionally, the team is hard at work in developing the resources and assembly guide for the AltMill. We don’t expect to have an assembly video this month, but are planning to make it soon as we get through the first batch of machines.


Prototype dust shoe

Fasteners with pre applied thread locker
AltMill power supply

We needed to have something to test the AltMill with, so Mike made this guitar out of aluminum.

Aluminum guitar made on the AltMill


We’re excited to announce that the first batch of SLBs have now shipped and we have just over 475 controllers in the wild. You can now find all of the setup instructions at

We are now in production for another 1500 controllers, with more to start shipping in the end of May/June 2024.

Based on Chris’ updates in our production meetings, while there are a few bugs to iron out, the launch of the new SLB has gone fairly smoothly. We expect to make some small tweaks to the fit and finish of the controllers and periphery materials soon to improve the assembly of the boards.

Sienci Router

As we discussed in the last update, one of the main things we needed to iron out was the reaction time of the driver of the speed control. Basically, when the router would go under load, it would slow down and speed up again, but the time for it to happen was slower than what we wanted.

Screenshot 2024 04 22 at 120721 PM

We figured the only way to solve this was to send a working prototype to the motor manufacturer in China to do the testing and tuning directly. We are happy to share that the tuning as far as we can tell has greatly improved. At this stage, we still need to do our own testing in house to make sure everything functions properly, but this seems to be a promising step forward.

This also does bring us to something of an impasse, as we believe that we are reaching the limit of the speed response we can get from a sensorless motor (which is what we are using here). Any further tuning improvements may not be able to be implemented without a sensored motor.

Doing this was no small feat, as we needed to create testing processes and a makeshift dyno in-house thanks to help from the students. This dyno can help measure the power output and speed of different motors.

Some of the main things on our list to figure out now is the complete mechanical design, cooling, and safety certification. We are currently starting production on a small batch of prototype parts to build some working test setups.

Johann with a 3D printed test prototype