March Production Updates

Hi everyone, this is our March production update. If you are looking to order a machine or if you’re waiting on your machine to come in, please read this to find out what’s happening in the shop.

For previous production updates, please check our blog (https://sienci.com/blog/).

If you are looking for an update on where your order is on the waiting list, please check our list (https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215)

Lead times for new orders

The current lead time for LongMills is 4-6 weeks.

Production has continued to move smoothly. Our February update mentioned that we were running low on aluminum rails and steel gantries. I am happy to announce that these parts have arrived and we won’t need to stop shipping due to these parts. We are still waiting on the ACME locking nuts but the manufacturer has confirmed that they are completed and should be on the way soon, so we should be ok with those parts as well.

Our manufacturer for the rails has noted that the finish and quality of the new rails looks to be better than the last batch, which we are happy about.

We have also restocked on a few other parts, including packaging material, shoulder brackets, drag chain mounts, and acrylic parts, and we expect to have another large batch of parts arrive mid to late April.

I believe we are also now back in stock for all of our end mills and cutting tools.

Commonly asked questions

If you are interested in ordering a LongMill please read this section.

If I place an order today, how long will it take to ship?

4-6 weeks.

Is there any way to skip the line/get my machine faster?

  • No. To keep things fair for all of our customers, we ship all orders based on when they were ordered. There are no exceptions. The only way to get a machine faster is to order one sooner. If we have updates to the lead time, they will be posted here and on the forum: https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215If you want to see where you are in the queue for your order, please check the forum.

Does it make a difference in when I get my machine if I pick it up?

  • The only difference it will make will be that you will not have to wait for the shipping/transit time for the machine to ship. Typically, machines take around 1-3 days to ship within Ontario. Otherwise, there is no difference.

When do you charge my card/take payment for my order?

  • Your card will be charged at the time you place your order. This is to ensure your place in line, purchase parts ahead of time, and have the most accurate estimates on production and delivery.

How can I cancel my order?

  • You can cancel your order with no penalty any time before your order ships. Please contact us through our website or email us with your order number and a request to make a cancellation. A refund will be processed through your original method of payment.

Can I add other items to my order before it ships?

If you’ve ordered a LongMill and wish to add other items to your order afterwards before it ships, please choose “Local pickup” (for free shipping) and add your LongMill order number. Some items (such as the T-track sets) cannot be combined for shipping.

Production updates

No major updates for production, we are packing and shipping machines on a regular basis. That being said, there’s lots of other interesting things going on at Sienci Labs that you can read about on our blog: https://sienci.com/blog/

Bringing back the Mill One

Hi everyone. I just wanted to share an update about where we are about the Mill One. Over the last couple of weekends, I have been playing around with some new designs that I hope will pave the road to the successor to the original Mill One. For this new machine, I will refer to it as the Mill One Plus.

Here are some general specifications about the Mill One Plus:

  • Will be priced around $500-700CAD
  • NEMA 17 motors on all axis
  • Lead screws and Delrin Anti-backlash nuts on all axis
  • Working area of approximately 247mm x 290mm and 60mm of Z-axis travel
  • 1/4″ steel gantries

The Mill One Plus is designed to be:

  • An entry-level, first CNC machine on a budget
  • Small
  • Compete against smaller, hobby CNCs such as the Sainsmart 3018 CNCs, Millright M3, OpenBuilds Minimill, etc.
  • Replace the original Mill One

What was the Mill One?

The Mill One was a machine that we developed and launched in the autumn of 2016. To fund the production and manufacturing of the machine, we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised just over $61,000. This was a major milestone for Chris and me, taking what was originally a school project into solidifying Sienci Labs into a company.

The Mill One aimed to meet several objectives:

  • Be affordable. We wanted to create a product where people could use CNC technology for the first time at a price point low enough that the average hobbyist could purchase.
  • Be open. We wanted people to tinker, modify, and change what the Mill One was and could do. Since the launch of the Mill One, all of its design files, BOM, and other details are available for free.
  • Be simple. We wanted to create a machine and ecosystem that provided a machine that was easy to put together and use at a level approachable to the average hobbyist.

Depending on the time you purchased it, the Mill One could be bought for roughly $519-539CAD. If you want to read more about the Mill One, please check out our product page for it.

To this day, we focus all of our products with these three objectives, and the Mill One Plus will also focus on these objectives as well.

What’s new with the Mill One Plus?

The Mill One, although a pioneer in hobby CNCing back in 2016 in terms of what it offered, wasn’t perfect by any means. Some sacrifices in its mechanical design were made to keep costs reasonable and compared to machines of today, wasn’t able to take advantage of improvements in off-the-shelf CNC parts, decreasing part cost from increasing demand, and the economies of scale we enjoy with LongMill production. There were also many mechanical design choices we made that in hindsight may be different from our new experiences with machine design and manufacturing.

So here are some improvements between the Mill One Plus versus the original Mill One. Please note that I am still in the very early stages of prototyping and although there are many changes that I would call improvements, are not yet tested in the real world.

Fully constrained lead screws

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Mill One Plus Y axis design

One of the limitations of the Mill One came from the fact that it relied on the bearings inside the NEMA 17 motor to constrain any axial or rotational movement. Although the motors we used were chosen to have stronger bearings and parts inside, larger forces would be able to move the shaft of the motor back and forth. The Mill One Plus uses a combination of 608ZZ flange bearings, solid couplers, and ACME locking nuts found on the LongMill to constrain the movement of the lead screw, decreasing the axial movement in the system.

H-Design/Moving Gantry/Fixed Bed Design

The Mill One Plus shares the same basic layout of the LongMill, with two Y-axis rails carrying the X-axis rail, rather than the Mill One’s fixed X-axis and fixed Y-axis rails. Although this design is generally stiffer, because of the way the Y-axis bed was designed on the Mill One, any cutting on the left or right edge of the bed would deflect significantly more than cuts that happened on the middle area of the bed.

The Mill One Plus has a fixed bed, and the cutting tool moves around a stationary workpiece. This has the advantage of having more flexibility with workholding and the ability to “pass through” materials larger than the bed itself. Although having a moving X-axis rail means two degrees of freedom of movement on the rail, I believe that the machine will be more rigid with the use of thick steel gantries over MDF walls.

This design, when using the same length rails, offers slightly more working area (around 247mm x 290mm versus 258mm x 185mm).

Using LongMill parts

The Mill One Plus uses several parts straight from the LongMill such as linear guides, Delrin ACME anti-backlash nuts, solid aluminum router mount, bearings, and ACME locking nuts, all of which are better, more precise, and durable parts than what was originally used on the Mill One.

Although the overall BOM cost of the Mill One Plus will likely be higher than the Mill One, when taking into account that if many of these parts are shared, we can reduce costs by taking advantage of the economies of scale that we already have for the LongMill.


Overall I feel that the new design is a significant leap forward compared to the original Mill One design.

Next steps for development

I have been testing the fit and assembly of the design over the past week or so and although there were a couple of adjustments that needed to be made, the Mill One Plus has come together surprisingly well.

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Once all of the parts fit together well, my next step would be to make steel versions of the gantries, as right now I am using acrylic because we have it on hand at the shop and it allows me to see the inner workings of the machine behind each gantry. All of the other parts we already have in storage that are old Mill One parts or stuff from LongMill production.

Electronics will be the next big thing to tackle, as I believe that the original CNC shield from the Mill One won’t be up to snuff. Either we will design our own controller or use something off the shelf.

If you want to see the Mill One Plus CAD, please check it out on our Onshape document.

Making a business case

One of the reasons why the Mill One project has been put on the backburner has simply been because 1) we’ve been so busy will producing the LongMill and scaling production and 2) because the LongMill is simply more profitable than the Mill One was.

Just to put things into perspective, when we first started selling the Mill One, it was just me and Chris mostly putting together and shipping the machines from our garage after class. Today we have a team of close to 20 people to build and support the LongMill. It has been a massive undertaking for us to scale the company but now that the LongMill has started to mature as a product, we’ve started to take on new projects to improve the CNC ecosystem.

It is also important to mention that we would have to sell three to four times as many Mill One’s or Mill One Pluses to match the amount of revenue that one LongMill provides, which brings up a couple of questions:

  • If we have to dedicate or hire new staff, develop resources, and work on creating a manufacturing process for a new product, will it generate enough revenue to be a sustainable part of our business?
  • Will our new customers need the same amount of support as our LongMill users do? How will we be able to manage and scale our support team while still continuing to provide high-quality customer service?
  • Will we be able to sell enough Mill One Pluses to break even on fixed costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, and software?

Ultimately, there are risks in launching a new product. To mitigate this risk, I believe it is necessary to do some market research and basically see if there are enough people interested in this new machine to build it.

I’d like to know if you’d be interested in getting a Mill One Plus and why. To do this I’ve created a survey to let me know what you think. If you’re interested in this new machine, please make sure to share your thoughts. There is also an option to subscribe to a separate mailing list about updates about the Mill One project.

If you are interested in building one yourself, you can find all of the design files here: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/0b14f66c71ea1abec0716d92/w/3d4a9e516e78969663d5781d/e/d7eb0b2dfddbefc90a76fbae*

*Please note that this document contains files and projects that are under active development. Designs and files may change without notice. We do not assume any responsibility for your use of these designs and files and are as-is without support.

Things I think will be on our FAQ

Can you upgrade from a Mill One Plus to a LongMill

While both machines share certain parts, there is no simple upgrade path from a Mill One Plus to a LongMill. If you have a Mill One Plus and want to upgrade to a LongMill, I would recommend selling or passing along your Mill One Plus as it allows the machine to be used by someone else and you will likely recoup more of the initial cost by doing so.

I would also note that although technically the materials in the LongMill kit would be lower if certain parts can be transferred over from the Mill One Plus kit, the added time and customization of the kit for each customer will end up costing more overall due to additional labor involved in doing so, which is why we currently do not offer partial kits for the LongMill.

Can I make the Mill One Plus bigger?

For the most part, yes, if you are able to use longer rails and lead screws, the machine can theoretically be extended. There are other considerations to make that may be covered in this post for making the LongMill larger.

When it comes to offering different variations for machines, it generally is difficult to do at scale as we need to have enough sales for each size to make it viable. It is likely the Mill One Plus will only be offered in a 400mm rail per axis size and potentially a 500mm size taking rails from the LongMill 12×12/12×30 Y-axis.

When can I purchase a Mill One Plus?

Currently, we are in the middle of engineering and development of this machine. As of right now, we do not have plans to share about purchasing the Mill One Plus but the project files will be publicly available for other people to make their own.

If you want to order one, please fill out this survey as we will use this information to decide on a launch plan for the machine.

What software does it come with/work with?

The Mill One Plus will be compatible with any software that works with the LongMill. Please read our Software Resources for the LongMill for more info.

Introducing 1/8″ Compression Bits to our Store!

Compression Bit Demo

Hey everyone, I’m excited to announce the introduction of 1/8″ compression bits to our arsenal of affordable and high-quality end mills to our store! Compression bits work great for cutting products that are prone to splitting from both sides of the material, most namely with plywood and other softwoods.

This is a game-changer for folks that make signs and other plywood-based projects that require cuts that go all the way through the material. Our testing with this new compression bit results in clean edges on both sides of the material with little to no sanding needed.

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So what is a compression bit? A compression bit combines both upcut and downcut flutes into the same bit.

With some materials, cutting with a regular upcut bit causes splintering and fuzziness on the top edge of your cut as shown in the project below.

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Cutting coasters for StarterHacks

Using a downcut bit pushes the chips downwards leaving a clean edge, but cuts along the bottom edge of the part are pushed down, causing a rougher edge on the bottom of the cut.

A compression bit on the other hand offers the best of both worlds. The tip of the bit works as a upcut bit, while the top of the bit works as a downcut bit. Used properly, the upcut part of the bit cuts the bottom edge of your workpiece, while the top of the workpiece is cut with the downcut part of the end mill. This helps provide a clean edge on both the top and bottom of your part.

Want to get your hands on your own compression end mills? Make sure to check out our store here: https://sienci.com/product/1-8end-mill-compression-bit/

How to use a compression bit

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With any compression bit, you want your first pass to be deeper than the length of the upcut side of your flute. In the case of our 1/8″ compression bit, the upcut part of the bit is 3mm long so we want our depth of cut to be larger than 3mm.

In the case of the demo video shown above, the settings this cut was 3.8mm depth per pass at 1300mm/min. You can use any depth of cut as long as your first pass is larger than the length of the upcut portion of your bit.

Then the rest of the cut should finish with the bottom of the part being cut using the upcut portion of the end mill cutting the last layer of material.

P.S. We are expecting to get 1/4″ compression bits around the end of March/start of April so make sure to look out for that!

Maintaining Linear Guides

Hi everyone. This post about maintaining the linear guides on your LongMill. We’ve had a couple of people report to us that they’ve had their Z-axis get stuck or become rough especially when they have been running over a long period of time.

I and another customer who has experienced this issue have been investigating the cause of this for a few weeks and doing more research to help customers prevent their linear guides from sticking.

I’ll just fill everyone in on our recommendation for maintaining your linear guides to ensure they work flawlessly for every cut. If you want to hear more about what we’ve done to look into linear guide maintenance, scroll down past this section to read more.

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Maintaining your Linear Guides

Although the frequency of lubricating your linear guides may vary depending on the type of cutting you do and the frequency of use, we would recommend doing this procedure every 20-30 hours. However, if you experience any grinding noises or roughness in your gantry, we recommend doing this procedure more often.

  1. Wipe your linear guides with a clean cloth, paper towel, rag, or shop towel to remove any dust that may have accumulated on your linear guides. Move your Z-axis up and down if needed.
  2. Apply a liberal of machine oil or grease to your linear guides. Move your Z-axis up and down to ensure that the bearings inside have a chance to get coated Most general-purpose lubrication options should suffice. However, it is not recommended to use dry lubricants or anything with particulates such as graphite in the lubricant.

Here are some links to more into about lubrication:

  • https://www.thomsonlinear.com/en/support/tips/what-should-be-used-to-lubricate-linear-bearings
  • https://www.hiwin.com/pdf/lubricating_instructions.pdf

We believe that most general-purpose lubricants such as the 3 in 1 oil should suffice since the linear guides are used in a relatively low speed, low load application.

These instructions are now a part of our Machine Maintenance page on our Resources.

Jumping into our other findings

One of our customers had reported having their Z-axis linear bearings seize several times, and with the help of this customer, we have investigated the issues further. Initially, this had been a fairly uncommon issue, with only 3 tickets in our system pertaining to these parts as well as a small number of users reporting this issue on our Facebook group so it hadn’t been top of mind for us to investigate. However, I guess it’s better to sort potential problems out than let them sit and percolate forever.

Based on research, the main reason for failure for linear guides is lack of lubrication. This is what I suspect happens.

  • Linear guides get coated with dust from regular use. This dust either sticks to the lubricant already on the guides and either falls off taking lubricant with it, the guides push it off, or the user wipes off dust and lubricant.
  • The chance of the ball bearings in the guide seizing goes up either due to the resistance between the balls rubbing against each other or dust making their way into the guide

To replicate the issue I first cleaned all of the grease and debris from a spare ZX gantry using brake cleaner. This provided a situation where the linear guides would have no lubrication. Then the guides were coated in MDF dust and were moved back and forth.

Although I was not able to create a complete failure of the bearings, were was a noticeable increase in friction, and over a longer period, I suspect that the bearings would be able to be coaxed into seizing.

After this testing, I applied machine oil to the guides as discussed in the section above and the linear guide returned to its original smooth movement. I believe that cleaning and relubricating the linear guides can return seized linear guides back to life, and maintaining them should ensure smooth operation for the years to come.

I hope that adding this helps improve the LongMill’s reliability and ensure that everyone’s machine keeps chugging along great!

Introducing the new Business Directory

Hi everyone, I wanted to share with everyone the new Business Directory!

Initially, we created the Business Directory because we would get a lot of phone calls and emails of people who were looking for us to do custom work. Although we were able to direct them to some of our customers who do custom work with their machines, we felt like it might be a good idea to create a directory that lets people find people in their local area for services.

It’s been great to have the directory in place to direct people to LongMill and Mill One users, it’s been difficult to maintain and update because every entry needed to be added manually. Also, there was no way to easily search for listings based on the name of the business or location.

Our new Business Directory offers a couple different functions that take it to the next level. These include:

  • Ability to search businesses based on location, description, name, and more
  • A user account system so that you can update and edit your listing at any time
  • Better security of email addresses and other personal info that are prone to being spammed
  • Ability to add photos and other details such as a description of your business

We also hope to be able to add new functions to this site as time goes on.

Whether you’re running a full time business with your machine, just doing things for fun, looking to connect with other users, or just want to browse to see a diverse community of CNC users, make sure to check out and list your business and work on our directory!

February Production Updates

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Hello everyone, here is our February Production update. For previous production updates, please check our blog (https://sienci.com/blog/).

If you are looking for an update on where your order is on the waiting list, please check our list (https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215)

Please note that Feb 15 is a statutory holiday and we will be closed on that day.

Lead times for new orders

The current lead time for LongMills is 4-6 weeks.

Production has been going at a rapid pace. We have hired 7-8 new staff, 5 of which work in production, packing, and operations to help us catch up on the new backorders.

At the time of writing, just over half of Batch 4 machines have been sold and we are currently in the process of ordering parts for Batch 5.

The current lead time is expected to stay at 4-6 weeks as we expect that our production speed will be limited to a couple of different parts as they are in the process of being manufactured. At the current time these include:

  • Aluminum rails
  • ACME locking nuts
  • Steel gantries

Our manufacturers are working to produce these parts as quickly as possible and we expect to receive these parts in the next couple of weeks.

Some end mills and other add-ons are low or out of stock. We expect some end mills to be back in stock in the next week or two, and the remaining stock to be available at the start of March.

Commonly asked questions

If you are interested in ordering a LongMill please read this section.

Is there any way to skip the line/get my machine faster?

  • No. To keep things fair for all of our customers, we ship all orders based on when they were ordered. There are no exceptions. The only way to get a machine faster is to order one sooner. If we have updates to the lead time, they will be posted here and on the forum: https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215If you want to see where you are in the queue for your order, please check the forum.

Does it make a difference in when I get my machine if I pick it up?

  • The only difference it will make will be that you will not have to wait for the shipping/transit time for the machine to ship. Typically, machines take around 1-3 days to ship within Ontario. Otherwise, there is no difference.

When do you charge my card/take payment for my order?

  • Your card will be charged at the time you place your order. This is to ensure your place in line, purchase parts ahead of time, and have the most accurate estimates on production and delivery.

How can I cancel my order?

  • You can cancel your order with no penalty any time before your order ships. Please contact us through our website or email us with your order number and a request to make a cancellation. A refund will be processed through your original method of payment.

Can I add other items to my order before it ships?

If you’ve ordered a LongMill and wish to add other items to your order afterwards before it ships, please choose “Local pickup” (for free shipping) and add your LongMill order number. Some items (such as the T-track sets) cannot be combined for shipping.

Production updates

We have been incredibly busy in the recent months, especially as we’ve had our team grow by over 50% since the beginning of the year.

Here are some changes that we’ve made to improve production:

  • Dedicated staff for inventory tracking, QA, and production using automated systems
  • Dedicated staff for each packing and assembly station
  • Redesign or re-engineering of parts, such as the shoulder brackets and drag chain mount, to alleviate load off the 3D printer farm
  • Dedicated staff to run the 3D printer farm
  • Use of new automated printing technologies to improve printing throughput
  • Reorganization and labelling of stations and parts to make things easier to find
  • Use of custom manufacturing certain parts to improve part quality and better control over lead times

We are also working on:

  • Improved systems to test electronics, as well as making improvements to our electronics themselves
  • New packing tools to reduce the chance of missing parts in kits
  • Redesign of machine components to improve manufacturability and performance

A big part of our effort is to improve efficiency, quality, and throughput of our shop to catch up to our backorders. Our goal is to scale our production to be able to handle up to 300 LongMills per month.

Here are some challenges:

  • The volume of parts that we are now asking from our manufacturers is reaching a point where we may need to have more than one manufacturer make each part
  • Shipping couriers are sometimes not able to handle the volume on their trucks on regular pick-ups
  • COVID 19 slowdowns with shipping have affected incoming parts as well as shipping orders. Additionally, shipments going lost or missing shipments have been higher than before

Meet our newest sponsored creator, Dana from Buckys Customs

Hey everyone, meet Dana from Bucky’s Customs! Dana is one of our first sponsored creators that we’re working with to create content using your LongMill. Whether it’s your first time using your CNC or your hundredth time, we want to make the journey of learning the ins and outs as fun and easy as possible.

As Dana says “My intent is to learn as I go and bring the viewer with me on that same journey. I know how lost I was in the beginning and I feel I should try to create and share content I wished I had when I started.”

Make sure to check out all of the other great stuff on Dana’s Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQffithtlX96uayLQ4fQlFg) and subscribe for more great content!

With me and Chris being so busy trying to keep machines going out the door and all the other projects done, we haven’t had a whole lot of time to get new educational content for all of our LongMill and Mill One users. This is why we’re working on getting other LongMill users to help share their knowledge and experience with the community. This is part of our effort to create a more complete base for new customers as they learn to use their machines. We believe that supporting video content like what Dana is creating is part of creating a community where people can learn from each other and become more proficient with their CNC machines.

Interested in becoming a sponsored creator yourself? Please fill out an application form below!

Or if you want to share it with another friend for a family member, you can give them this link: https://forms.gle/rsA3jwccD33PKt7eA

Bit Crashes and Incorrect Movements when Returning to Zero after Touch Plate Probing on UGS

Hi everyone, we have been working on a bit of a mysterious problem with touch plates over the last little bit and we finally figured out the reason.

If you’ve found that your probe does everything correctly, but when you press “return to zero” on UGS, your bit either crashes or moves to the incorrect location, please read this post as it may pertain to you.

TL;DR

If you don’t want to read all of the nitty gritty, change your units in the jog controller from “inches” to “mm” before running the probe cycle and pressing return to zero. Once you complete this process, you can change it back to “inches” for jogging if you wish.

Doing this before every cycle will ensure that your machine performs its probing cycle correctly.

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Please note that we are currently working on solutions to this bug, and we hope to have it fixed soon.

The nitty gritty technical details

If you are using UGS, there is a bug that can cause the touch plate to move farther than the expected origin of your workpiece, which can plunge the bit into the machine bed. This is due to how the probing module is programmed. When you press “Measure outside corner,” UGS enters the probe cycle process, where it sends commands to the machine to move at a specified speed until either the touch plate is contacted or the machine is done travelling the specified distance. This repeats twice for the X, Y, and Z axes, once fast and once slow.  

For the probe process, whenever UGS is specifying co-ordinates for movement, it dictates that the coordinates are in millimeters using the “G21” command. Immediately afterward, it will call the default units from the jog control with either “G21” (mm) or “G20” (inches), which is handy because if your probe cycle fails midway, you can still jog your machine the proper amount. This basic pattern of [mm] [action] [co-ordinates] [inches] continues but stops at the last few lines, where the co-ordinates of the measured offset distances were supposed to be in millimeter values, but because UGS did not put “G21” to call it out in millimeters, UGS assigned the co-ordinates to be in inches, as it was the last command to have been sent. Therefore if the machine was supposed to move 2 mm to get to the origin of the workpiece, then it will now move 2 inches.  

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January Production Updates

Hi everyone. I hope everyone had a restful holiday season. We have now returned from holidays on Jan 4th and are back getting into the swing of things.

We have started shipping general parts, end mills, and other supplies this week, but machines will start shipping next week (Jan 11). If you placed an order recently that isn’t a LongMill, please note that although most items ship within 1-2 days, there may be some variances in when items ship.

For more day to day shipping updates for LongMills please check https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215/

If you are reading this because you are planning on ordering a machine, I ask that you please read this update carefully as will provide important information and answer many of the common questions you may have. If you have any other questions that are not answered in this post, please check the FAQ. For any info not provided in this post or in the FAQ, feel free to get in touch with us.

LongMill production

With COVID-19 numbers rising, most of our staff are currently working from home. Our staff who went away over the holidays are working from home with the 14-day mandatory quarantine. Some of our core staff members on the operations team are currently working at the office to continue shipping orders out and running the 3D print farm.

Lead times for new orders

The current lead time for LongMills is 4-6 weeks.

We expect lead times to remain around this range for the next little while as we have had a large influx of orders come in during December and into January. We currently sell machines than we are able to build per week, which means that our lead times will not decrease until we are further able to scale production even more.

We are currently in the process of hiring additional staff to help us decrease our lead times, as our current bottleneck is from how quickly we can pack and assemble kits.

I am expecting some volatility in the lead time near the end of February and March, as we will likely be running out of gantries and rails around this time. We are currently working on producing more parts but there have been steel shortages and fluctuating aluminum prices that have affected the industry.

Once we begin to run out of these parts, lead times will likely change.

Besides rails and gantries, we have ordered 1000 machines worth of other stock, such as lead screws, electronics, motors, v-wheels, nuts, fasteners… so these items should keep us going until March/April.

Currently, about 40% of Batch 4 has been sold.

Current lead times

Orders #27725 and onward are expected to begin shipping Jan 11th. We expect to ship around 40-50 units per week until we are clear of the backlog of orders.

Orders #27725 to #27883 expected to ship week of Jan 11

Orders #27885 to #28016 expected to ship week of Jan 18

Orders #28017 to #28092 expected to ship week of Jan 25

Orders #28094 and onwards expected to ship after Feb 1st.

Commonly asked questions

If you are interested in ordering a LongMill please read this section.

Is there any way to skip the line/get my machine faster?

  • No. To keep things fair for all of our customers, we ship all orders based on when they were ordered. There are no exceptions. The only way to get a machine faster is to order one sooner. If we have updates to the lead time, they will be posted here and on the forum: https://forum.sienci.com/t/list-of-shipped-machines/1215If you want to see where you are in the queue for your order, please check the forum.

Does it make a difference in when I get my machine if I pick it up?

  • The only difference it will make will be that you will not have to wait for the shipping/transit time for the machine to ship. Typically, machines take around 1-3 days to ship within Ontario. Otherwise, there is no difference.

When do you charge my card/take payment for my order?

  • Your card will be charged at the time you place your order. This is to ensure your place in line, purchase parts ahead of time, and have the most accurate estimates on production and delivery.

How can I cancel my order?

  • You can cancel your order with no penalty any time before your order ships. Please contact us through our website or email us with your order number and a request to make a cancellation. A refund will be processed through your original method of payment.

Can I add other items to my order before it ships?

If you’ve ordered a LongMill and wish to add other items to your order afterwards before it ships, please choose “Local pickup” (for free shipping) and add your LongMill order number. Some items (such as the T-track sets) cannot be combined for shipping.

1/8″ Precision Collet for Makita RT0701 Routers now available

Hi everyone. I’m happy to announce that we now have 1/8″ Precision Collet Adapters for Makita RT0701 Routers available on our store. These collets are specially designed for Makita RT0701 routers which are commonly used on LongMills and other hobby CNC machines.

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1/8″ Precision Collet

This collet serves as an alternative to the popular 1/4″ to 1/8″ Collet Adapter that is widely used with routers that come standard with a 1/4″ collet only.

Having the ability to use 1/8″ shank bits is great as

  • It can save money from buying smaller size bits with a 1/4″ shank as 1/8″ shank bits are significantly cheaper
  • It offers a wider variety of bits you can use

In most applications, users should not see any perceivable differences between using the Precision Collet over the Collet Adapter, especially for woodworking where overall tolerances needed for runout are fairly low. However, here are some benefits of using the Precision Collet

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Some bunnies to test collets. With general woodworking both types work great.

Routers rely on a certain degree of concentricity when it comes to getting accurate cuts and lower vibration. This means that the center of the bit must align with the rotational axis of the router. We refer to the distance between the center of rotation of the router and the center of rotation of the bit as runout.

Runout plays an important role in how accurately your cuts can come out. Imagine that you have a 1/4″ (0.25″) end mill. If you were to drill a hole with this end mill, you should expect to have a hole that is exactly 1/4″ (0.25″) in diameter.

Now imagine that you have a run out of 0.005″. This means that your hole would cut 0.251″ in diameter instead of 0.25″. In the real world, we should expect a certain degree of runout from any rotating tool, and in some cases, may affect the accuracy of your cutting as well.

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Checking the runout on a 1/4″ end mill

I have measured and tested collets to see how they look in terms of runout.

I would preface that the measuring tools that I have aren’t great and aren’t the most precise, but they are generally good enough to get an understanding of the relationships between the different parts. I also have done some real world testing by running some projects with the collets to make comparisons.

Here are some notes:

  • All the measurements were taken on Makita RT0701 routers one was almost new, while the other one has been used for several hundred hours. Runout on both was around 0.0015″ (measured from the shank above the nut)
  • Measuring runout with the 1/4″ stock collet using a 1/4″ bit produced around 0.0015″ of runout. This was actually surprisingly accurate, as this means that there is almost no runout in the collet.
  • Measuring runout with the 1/4″ to 1/8″ Collet Adapter using the stock 1/4″ Makita collet produced around 0.0045″ to 0.006″ of runout.
  • Measuring the runout with the 1/8″ Precision Collet produced between 0.0015″ to 0.003″ of total runout.
  • The runout of both the Collet Adapter and Precision Collet was lowest with the shank seated over the complete length of the collet.

This means that the overall runout between the Collet Adapter vs the Precision Collet can have up to a 0.003″ difference.

In most situations, this difference will have no perceivable impact as 0.003″ is about the thickness of a sheet of paper. However, in some applications, the extra precision may make a difference for example with:

  • Precision metal milling
  • Small engravings and inlays
  • PCB milling
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Thickness of a sheet of paper

The other factor to consider is reliability. The Precision Collet eliminates the chance for a user to install the collet adapter incorrectly or in the wrong position. With the Precision Collet, there is no adapter that can fall, and as mentioned earlier, the better the “hold” on the bit, the less runout there is.

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The Precision Collet should also reduce the chance of the bit falling out during cutting or being pushed into the router with every plunge cut with its more reliable bit holding.

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Fully seating the bit in the collet decreases runout

Conclusion

The 1/4″ to 1/8″ Collet Adapter offers an inexpensive and relatively accurate way to use 1/8″ bits with your 1/4″ router. With most users, the difference will be minor at best. On the other hand, if you want to dive into cuts that require more precision, or want the comfort and convenience of a collet that can go directly into your router without an adapter, the 1/8″ Precision Collet is a great option.

Order yours here: https://sienci.com/product/1-8-precision-collet