Weekly themed contest time! Thanks to the makers who entered the contest for this week, where we asked you all to share your best sign projects.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Darren Jeans, Angus Hairston, Sheldon Gerber, Brian Nash, Angus Young, and Corey Daup are the winners of the “A Project That is a Sign” contest! A prize is on the way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is a Kitchen Item
This week’s theme is “a project made for the kitchen”! Post your noodle boards, trays, cutting boards, charcuterie boards, and other kitchen-related projects that were made using the LongMill. We will select our favourite ones and send makers some awesome things.
Early in the production of the LongMill MK2, we ran into some resonance issues. The patch fix was to use nylon washers between the motor spacers and gantry to help mitigate the transfer of vibrations into the machine. However, soon after, we found a better process for tuning the motors so that they can run faster with less vibration, eliminating the need for nylon washers completely.
In fact, improperly assembled nylon washers could introduce other minor issues, such as the chance of misalignment and skewing of the motor, due to the uneven compression of the nylon. However, if you already have nylon washers on your machine and it is working fine, please keep them on as usual as they shouldn’t cause any further issues.
So many wonderful projects! Thank you to those who participated in this week’s contest, where we asked creators to post their spring-themed projects.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Eric Meertens, James Stevens, Adam M Lehman, Brandon WhitneyShadd, Kirk Sturgulewski, and Misty N Darryl Drebenstedt are the winners of the “A Project That is Spring-Themed Part 2” contest! Watch out for a prize!
P.S. We will be closed Monday, May 22nd for Victoria Day and back in the office on Tuesday, May 23rd.
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is a Sign
This week’s theme is “projects that are signs”. Post your most creative sign projects that were made using your LongMill and share them with us for a chance to be one of the winners of this week’s contest and win free prizes!
Good afternoon everyone! Thanks to the makers who entered the contest for this week, where we asked you all to share your Spring-Themed projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Jeff Small, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Clint Christy, Caleb Givens, Darian Gatling, and Frank Mailloux are the winners of the “A Project That is Spring-Themed” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Spring-Themed Part 2
Happy Spring, everyone! We are continuing our Spring theme for this week. Help us celebrate this wonderful season by posting any Spring related projects such as Spring themed signs, flowers, raindrops, Mother’s Day gifts, things made for your backyard, and any other Spring themed items that were made on your LongMill. We will select what we think are the best ones and send those creators some free stuff!
The Vortex Rotary Axis* will be available on June 1, 2023, at 1 PM Eastern Standard Time, where the first 300 units will be available for pre-order.We expect to ship in August 2023.
New videos and content coming out for the Vortex soon! Make sure to sign up for our mailing list, for new updates and other Sienci-related news. Subscribe to our Youtube channel where we’ll post more videos on the Vortex Rotary Axis in the new few weeks!
*After much debate, we have decided to call the name for this new add-on the Vortex Rotary Axis
It’s been a long journey for developing the Vortex Rotary Axis, but we’re finally excited to share a launch date for our new add-on! This new product aims to make doing rotary projects like making bats, wands, furniture legs, bowling pins, and other turn-able projects with your LongMill and the Vortex.
The Vortex is unique in that not only is it a compact, precise, high-quality rotary axis we designed from scratch, but our direct integration into gSender also plans to add functionality not found in other CNC systems. Additionally, just like all our products, the Vortex will be supported by our team with high-quality tutorials and resources to make it easy to install, learn, and use your rotary axis.
The Vortex can be integrated, plug and play, in any standard LongMill CNC**, and comes with the hardware, electronics, and instructions to help you find success with CNC rotary carving!
**With the exception of the 12×12 LongMill MK1. Integration for the Vortex Rotary Axis may require moderate modification to fit.
What is a Rotary Axis?
The Vortex Rotary Axis is an add-on created to allow users to integrate a rotary axis into their LongMill.
Most CNC routers like the LongMill use a 3-axis system, which consists of an X, Y, and Z linear motion system that is used to position bits and end mills. One of the limitations of a 3-axis system is the fact that 3-axis machines cannot make “undercuts” without flipping or material manually. Since the machine only can orient the bit vertically, there are limitations to the types of geometry it can carve.
To address these limitations, CNC machines can come with additional degrees of motion, typically including a 4th or even 5th axis. In the case of the LongMill, a rotary axis positioned along the X direction allows the machine to turn a part as the X and Z axis can move in sync as the material turns and rotates.
On a mechanical level, the 4th axis for the LongMill will come with a chuck to hold the material as well as a series of bearings and pulleys connected to a stepper motor to rotate the material as the machine carves. This allows for users to make projects like:
Production and Pricing
Each Rotary Axis will come with all of the hardware and electronics to integrate the kit into any existing LongMill CNC.
The Rotary Axis will start at:
$600CAD/$449USD – For 12×30 and 30×30 LongMills
$640CAD/$469USD – For 48×30 LongMills
The main difference between the two options is the rail track extension that allows users to mill larger items corresponding with the X-travel range on each version of the LongMill.
All options will come with a standard jaw that can hold material in several configurations:
Additionally, customers should budget purchasing rotary axis ready CAM software, such as:
DeskProto Multi-Axis Edition (€249.00 for the hobbyist edition, €995.00 for commercial)
*Based on our testing, we strongly suggest Vectric software for its simplicity and user friendliness.
The Rotary Axis is already in production, with parts expected to complete and arrive between June and July. We are expecting a late July to mid-August shipping date. Please note that because this is a pre-order, timelines may change due to delays and unexpected circumstances. We will continue to share production updates for the Rotary Axis on a regular basis on the blog here, so that customers can sign up for our mailing list, for new updates and other Sienci-related news.
Mechanical and electrical design and development of the Vortex Rotary Axis is now complete, and we are currently waiting on production parts to complete and arrive. Our engineering team is currently working on stress testing and resource development, as well as preparing for assembly, QA, and packaging for the final product.
The software development team continues to finalize the development of the software support in gSender, such as implementing new features and getting testing feedback from users of gSender Edge. We expect basic functionality to be available at time of shipping, and we will continue to add more features in future releases of gSender.
When will the Rotary Axis ship?
Production on the Rotary Axis is currently ongoing, with the first units expected to ship in Late July to August 2023. For general development and production updates, please check our Blog. Orders will ship in the order in which they are placed.
What is the between the 48in and the 30in versions?
These lengths describe the track width for the rotary axis. Customers should purchase the size that matches with the working width of their LongMill.
When do you take payment?
We take the full payment immediately. Customers may cancel their order for a full refund anytime before their order ships.
Will I get a notification or email before my order is ready?
Yes, we’ll send you an update email to let you know that your Rotary Axis is ready to ship.
Which machines is the Rotary Axis compatible with?
The Rotary Axis is designed to be compatible with all versions of the LongMill, with the exception of the LongMill MK1 12×12, due to the track width (however it can be modified to work).
We will be providing full assembly resources for the Rotary Axis.
Although users may be able to integrate the Rotary into other hobby CNC machines, we will only be providing compatibility and support for LongMill users at this time.
How is the Rotary Axis driven?
In the current configuration, the Rotary Axis uses the X-axis and Z-axis to move along the rotational axis of the material, with the Y-axis drivers disconnected and reconnected to the Rotary Axis motor to provide rotational movement. This means that in this configuration, the system is not a full 4-axis machine, but more of a 2-axis + rotary system. Each kit will come with a switch to toggle 3-axis and rotary axis modes.
In the future, we are planning to provide full simultaneous 4th axis motion through the SuperLongBoard, expected to launch at the end of the year (at an added cost).
Does the Rotary Axis come with software?
We’ve implemented gSender to integrate the ability to control, set up, and home the Rotary Axis. Users will need to use or purchase CAM software that supports rotary carving. We recommend VCarve Desktop or VCarve Pro, as this is the software that we primarily use and do testing on.
Can I order other items alongside my Rotary Axis?
For logistical reasons, we strongly recommend users to place separate orders for the Rotary and other items. However, if you place an order for other items with the Rotary, we will ship them separately based on the stock availability of the items.
When your Rotary Axis is ready to ship, if you wish to order additional items to ship together with combined shipping, please Contact Us for assistance.
Happy Friday! Thank you to those who participated in this week’s contest, where we asked creators to post their LaserBeam projects.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Mike Rickard, John Fischer, Nelson Joseph, Jackie Christiansen, Mike Born, and Shane Fairchild are the winners of the “LaserBeam Projects” contest! Watch out for a prize!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Spring-Themed
Happy Spring, everyone! Help us celebrate this wonderful season by posting any Spring related projects such as Spring themed signs, flowers, raindrops, Mother’s Day gifts, and any other Spring themed items that were made on your LongMill. We will select what we think are the best ones and send those creators some free stuff!
I’m excited to share that we’ve recently hired two new technical writers and resource developers and a second videographer to help continue to bring awesome instructions, troubleshooting, projects, and content to the community and our users! Some of the things our new team members will be working on include:
Additional involvement in the online community, through our social media and forums
Helping create documentation for new products
Sharing more news about our company and the amazing things we’re working on
We hope that by continuing to share our information, knowledge, and wisdom of hobby CNCing, we’ll continue to make CNCing more accessible for everyone. For more info about why resource development is important to us, please check out this article.
LongMill and Extension Kit Orders
In April, last month, we ran into some part shortages for the Y-axis rails due the extrusion die getting damaged unexpectedly. This pushed back production by about 2 weeks while the broken die was remade. We have received the rails and have been able to ship a large number of machines. We also ran out of the front and back steel feet for a few days, but we have also received a new batch last week as well. We believe that we should be able to ship most of the units with a turnaround of 4 weeks, better than the 5-6 weeks we promised, but we expect to run out of T12 lead screws in the next coming weeks, so we will continue to have a 5-6 week lead time listed on our product page in case there are delays in receiving our next batch.
Otherwise, although we have had to pause shipping at times, we have been continuing to deliver within the promised times for our customers. Additionally, we have recently brought on a few new staff to help continue to bring lead times down.
I should note that due to the high volume of orders we are processing, we are finding that on some days, due to space constraints of the truck picking up orders, some items may need to wait for the next truck to ship. Since we are trying to clear the backlog, it’s a bit slower than usual, but we expect things to ship out without delays once we get caught up.
Our engineers have been working on a few new projects to help improve the productivity of production in a couple of different areas. One notable update is with our tapping setup. We do hole tapping in several different areas, including with the ends of the rails and several of the gantries and feet that make up the LongMill. With our original setup, we used a tool to tap each hole individually. However, our engineers are trying a few new ways to tap several holes simultaneously with a special jig by essentially driving multiple tapping heads at the same time. With each batch needing tens of thousands of holes tapped, we expect these new tools to greatly speed up the tapping process.
A new batch of laser drivers recently arrived at the shop and we are currently processing our queue. We expect to have the rest of the pending orders cleared by this week. We expect to have a fairly short lead time of around 2 weeks going forward based on part availability.
We’ve had an overwhelming response to the SuperLongBoard, with over 400 survey respondents. If you didn’t read the full article, you can check it out here. Thank you, everyone, for your support!
Based on the results, it’s very clear to see that our users are very excited about this massive upgrade to the LongMill and for the future of the hobby CNC industry.
Our team and team and Expatria continue to work on the development of the board. We don’t have any major updates yet, but a few things we’re working on include:
Compute module integration
Testing and QA jigs
We are reaching the final stages of rotary axis development. We have now placed orders for just about all of the parts and are waiting for things to ship. Our gSender development team has now implemented rotary axis functionality in the Edge version (our beta, experimental public version of gSender for internal and external testing). You can learn more about the release here: https://forum.sienci.com/t/gsender-hal-rotary-support-early-alpha/8462.
Additionally, are currently fine-tuning the homing sequence for the rotary axis which will allow the machine to self-home, zero, and align the rotary axis, which is unique to any rotary axis system in the hobby market.
Our team, primarily Daniel and Johann have been vigorously testing and fine-tuning the Rotary Axis over the last few weeks with some amazing projects and results.
We expect to have launch dates, interviews, pricing, and new content to come out soon in the next 2 weeks so make sure to stay tuned!
So many gifted projects! Thanks to the makers who entered the contest for this week, where we asked to share your LongMill projects that you have gifted.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Jeremy Forsythe, Hank Vanderaa, Tim MacIntyre, Brent McLeod, Derek Scott, and Gar Whitenton are the winners of the “A Project You Gifted” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: LaserBeam Projects
We have been seeing many of you enjoy using the LaserBeam and now is your chance to win some free stuff with your LaserBeam project. Show off your best LaserBeam projects with us and we’ll send makers of the ones we like awesome prizes!
Hey everyone. Thank you to those who entered this week’s contest, where we asked makers to share their favourite furniture projects with us.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Phonic Bloom, Christopher Thompson, Reo Jibran, Jean-Pierre Houde, Kenny Silvern, and Fotios Sklomponakis are the winners of the “A Project That is Furniture” contest! Lookout for a prize!
This Week’s Theme: A Project You Gifted
This week’s theme is “a project you gifted”! Post any project you gave to someone, whether it be a custom sign, gift, or any other item made with the LongMill, and we’ll choose our favorites to send our makers cool stuff.
We’re at the point in EDGEs life where we’re mostly focused on improvements to performance and hunting down any remaining bugs. This version is largely that – going through our backlog of reported issues and making sure they’re handled.
That said, I’d like to highlight specifically some major improvements to file parsing/loading and visualization – we’re seeing 200-400% faster parsing and about 2/3rds less memory usage on some larger files. We also (finally) have a progress indicator when handling larger files.
As always, thanks to everyone who has reported issues or given feedback on EDGE – we’ll continue to work through our backlog, and are excited to release it to the general public.
New File Loading indicator that also includes progress
Significant improvements to file parsing to increase speed and reduce memory usage on large files
Fixed issue with laser offset and differing preferred units and file unit modals
Altered connection workflow to be more forgiving for non-standard startup messages
Fixed bug with feedrate unit conversion parsed from file
Fixed issue with reported bounding box not handling relative movements correctly
Fixed bug with feed override shortcuts
Firmware flashing modal now only shows Sienci profiles for flashing
Shortcut improvements to help consistency with migrations from version to version