Edge 1.3.6 is released with some new functionality for gamepad and the grblHAL firmware!
The next Edge release will be focused on general app performance and connection reliability for vanilla GRBL controllers + a few other small new features like 4-corner probing on top of continuing to expand support for grblHAL firmware.
Ethernet has emerged as the more reliable alternative to USB communications and is something that is both supported by more modern controllers and something that the upcoming Super Longboard will support.
We’ve added our first iteration of sending over ethernet instead of USB to this latest Edge build. If the grblHAL controller is selected, you should see a new “Network Devices” option with a configured IP address.
The IP address is configurable within preferences in the general tab.
For now, we’ve limited the functionality to TCP (port 23). We’ll be looking to expand it to work with websocket where supported in future releases.
Functionality should be similar as if sending over USB. We look forward to any feedback/issues experienced as we expand this functionality over the next few releases.
We’re slightly altering our approach to gamepad bindings, mapping available buttons as reported by the controller to actions instead of actions to buttons.
Each button can have a primary action and a secondary action by holding a modifier.
We’ve also added early iteration on joystick jogging and MPG mode jogging. Walid should have the details available for both soon.
We look forward to any feedback in this area since it will likely take a bit of iteration to get to our final implementation.
Connect over Ethernet using grblHAL controller/boards. IP address configurable within connection preferences
Fixed connection routing on HAL – should now be faster connecting
Fixed HAL pin states not reporting correctly
Unlock button now available on the UI at all times
Fixed HAL startup routine to correctly parse alarm code if in alarm state rather than assuming homing
Added better error logging to quickly address issues
Clearer distinction between planned lines and cut lines in visualizer – configurable in custom visualizer theme
Moved firmware selector in connection widget to bottom
Fixed issue with bitfield input in firmware tool
File parsing simplified to only need to parse the file once across several tools (outline, start from line)
Fixed edge case where Outline function would never return
Restructure of gamepad logic
Actions are set based on buttons present on your gamepad
Button labels can be modified by hovering over them and typing in your desired label
New feature allows you to add a second action to a button which can be used by pressing and holding the set button to activate the secondary actions (similar to the modifier key on keyboards)
New feature: Lockout button. Used to activate/deactivate gamepad buttons when needed. To use this feature, you must assign it to a button of your choice, then press and hold the button for 4 seconds, then it will toggle between lock and unlock
Added section for adjusting joystick functionality. Can now map joystick directions to certain axis. Have the ability to reverse the direction of the axis movement as well by checking the box next to the option
Added MPG mode for joystick
Jogging using gamepad is now dynamic, speed of jog will depend on the amount of force put on the joystick itself, if you push it all the way to the end jogging will be at max speed
Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Thanks to the individuals who participated in this week’s contest, where we asked you all to post your nature-themed projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Shane Jiang, Brad Jaycock, Glenn Thomas, Jared Husband, Johnny Sykes, and Ritchie Bedard are the winners of the “A Project That is Nature-Themed” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Halloween-Themed
Happy spooky season everyone! Celebrate the rest of the month with us by sharing your Halloween-themed projects made on your LongMill. We will select our favourite spooky projects and send some scary (not really) prizes to the makers!
Happy Friday! Thank you to the makers who entered the contest for this week, where we asked you all to share your best coaster projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Adam Payne, Andrew Fetzer, Michael Parker, Ed Lagace, Homestead Acres, and Jerry Brown are the winners of the “A Project That is a Coaster contest! Watch out for a prize!
P.S. We will be closed Monday, October 9th for Canadian Thanksgiving and back in the office on Tuesday, October 10th.
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Nature-Themed
The theme of the week is “projects that are nature-themed” Share with us your favourite plant, animal, scenery, outdoor, and any other nature-themed projects made on your LongMill for a chance to win some prizes!
Hey guys. As you might have heard from our last production update, we’re moving soon! To aid in our moving, we will be trying to sell as much stuff as we have in our inventory to reduce the number of trips we will have to take to bring everything to the new place.
This month, we are offering Free Shipping for orders above $150USD to $200CAD to the US and Canada. If you have over the threshold of items in your cart, you will automatically see a free shipping option at checkout.
We will keep this option available until the end of October (or until we run out of stuff).
Hey everyone. Here are some informative videos that you might have missed last month. Check them out below and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with our CNC-related videos.
LongMill MK2 User Spotlight: Interview with Ed Clarke
Over 18 months have passed since the debut of the LongMill MK2. In our ongoing quest for valuable insights, we have recently engaged in fresh interviews with our customer base. In one such interview, we had the pleasure of conversing with Ed Clarke. Join us as he recounts his CNC milling journey, shares his experiences with the LongMill MK2, and explores the exciting opportunities it has provided for him.
First Vortex Rotary Axis Project: Crafting a Chess Piece
Now that your Vortex rotary axis is fully configured, it’s time to kickstart your inaugural project! Follow along with Daniel and Johann as they walk you through the process of crafting a captivating chess piece. This project is designed to be both beginner-friendly and strategically advantageous for your checkmate tactics.
Cottage Country Sienci: Creating Multiple Copies of a Fishing Lure on the LongMill CNC
In this installment of Cottage Country Sienci, Scott shares valuable knowledge on efficiently crafting numerous replicas of a fishing lure using the LongMill. Mastering this technique will enable you to boost your production capacity and make the most of your time—ideal for those looking to enhance their business endeavours.
LongMill MK2 User Spotlight: Interview with Carmine De Luca
It has been over 18 months since we introduced the LongMill MK2. To gather valuable insights, we recently carried out fresh interviews with our customers. In one such interview, we had a conversation with Carmine De Luca. Come and join us as he recounts his CNC milling journey, discusses his experiences with the LongMill MK2, and explores the doors it has opened for him.
Quick Start Guide for the Vortex Rotary Axis
This video is a definitive guide on how to set up your Vortex Rotary Axis for carving. You will see us set some zeroes, explore the various work-holding options, and make some beautifully round stock and the whole works, so sit back and enjoy the show!
Cottage Country Sienci: Creating Profitable In Scale Coasters Using the LongMill MK2 CNC
In this exciting episode of Cottage Country Sienci, Scott will be your guide as he demonstrates the art of crafting high-volume projects for your business using cutting-edge CNC technology. Watch as Scott masterfully leverages the power of the LongMill and the LaserBeam to craft a stunning collection of meticulously scaled coasters, each designed for maximum profitability.
Hey everyone, here are the Oct 2023 production updates!
Ok so the marketing team asked me to do this in a video format, so enjoy.
A few months ago, we signed a lease on a new building a few minutes up the road on 120 Randall Drive. This space is not just double in square footage (around 8000sqft to 15,000sqft), we also get double high, 20ft ceilings, which will allow us to store a ton more materials as well as open up the possibility for new development space to help us build new products.
We now have full access to the building, and are starting some construction to outfit the space and get things moved over. Look out for an invite for housewarming in the next few months!
LongMill MK2 and Extension Kits
Production for LongMills and Extension Kits continues to move along smoothly. Shipments for these orders are generally shipping same day or within a few days.
We’ve recently made a small change to the laser-cutting process for the steel plates by switching to nitrogen from oxygen, which has shown to improve the quality of the cut edges on our parts. We expect the quality of the coatings and threading on tapped holes to improve because nitrogen reduces the impurities found on the edges of cut parts.
We don’t see a huge difference at this stage between the two different processes, but as we continue to work our way in processing all of the parts, we’ll be able to compare our QA reports to see if there is an improvement.
We’re also working on reducing our reliance on the 3D printing farm by experimenting with injection-molded feet. At the scale we are printing now, we believe that the cost of injection molding will save us money in just a few months.
We did run into a small issue where the manufacturer applied the finishing for inside the part rather than on the outside. As you can see in the photo, the outside of the foot is shiny, rather than a matt finish. The manufacturer is currently working on refinishing the molds so that they will look in our opinion, better for the next batch of samples.
In other news, we are also working on improving the quality of our lead screws. In the previous batch, we ran into a lot of issues of bent screws, so we started looking for some alternative suppliers.
This lead us down a pretty deep rabbit hole because we found that there are a lot of different types of threads and standards, some of which are country dependant. At this stage, we’re focusing on making the screws backwards compatible so that they are functionally the same as before.
Additionally, we believe that we can make the finish of the screws smoother, which may also lead to smoother motion and less wear and friction on the nut.
LaserBeam orders are shipping out consistently and we have stock ready to ship. We are currently restocking some of our parts over the next few weeks.
Vortex Rotary Axis
We have now cleared the queue for the Vortex Rotary Axis for the pre-orders. We now have them in stock and can ship them within a few days. We only have around 70-80 units left, so make sure to grab one before we run out!
Production for the new batch is now underway, and we expect Batch 2 of the Vortex to be ready in about 3 months.
Thank you for everyone for participating in our survey. If you haven’t participated and would like to, please check out the Sienci Router Survey which will help us learn more about what our users are looking for in a new router.
For the uninitiated, we’ve recently embarked on a new project exploring the possibility of building our own router or spindle system. Here are some reasons:
The Makita RT0701 which is the most popular router used in hobby CNC machines have gone up in price, and may continue to increase in price.
More people are reporting issues with the Makita RT0701, such as the bearings overheating, button breaking, and the speed dial losing its tension.
There are no inputs to allow PWM speed control, unless you use a VFD and spindle combination
Routers are loud
Our goal is to:
Provide an alternative to the Makita RT0701 of a similar form factor so that it can be easily installed in place of it.
Incorporate controls that allow on/off and speed control using gSender or in gcode directly, same as a spindle
Improve the longevity and reduce noise
Improve efficiency, power, and allow for a wide variety of bit sizes to be used
Additionally, we may incorporate features such as:
Grounding through the bit, so that touch plates and bit setters can be used without needing to attach a probe to the bit or collet.
Easier mechanism to change bits
There were a couple interesting things we found in the survey:
While we assumed people would comment that they wanted more power from the Makita, we found that most people were satisfied with the power that it already provided
We also assumed people would be more interested in using 1/2″ tooling, but it appeared it was not a feature a lot of people didn’t find useful
Another very popular request that we didn’t include in the survey initially was an easier way to change tools, such as an auto tool changer.
The majority of respondents told us that they would budget between $300 to $500 for a new router or spindle system, which is higher than we expected.
At this current time, we are in progress of researching some different motor options, as well as exploring different motor control options to validate that the basic functionality of the router can be produced. Once that is complete, we will be working on developing the mechanics and structure of the router. There is no set timeline yet, but I expect that we’ll likely have something ready to share by the end of the year.
Some interesting things we found:
First is a comparison of running the Makita without a fan, which means basically ripping out the one in there already. We found that there is a decent change in volume at higher speeds. In practice, it sounds quieter as well because the frequencies coming from the fan is more perceptible (lower pitched) than the other parts of the motor.
Johann also mentioned that he found NSK bearings in some routers and CW in some of the new Makitas we were taking apart. The hypothesis is that during the pandemic, there may have been supply chain issues with getting NSK, so Makita used CW in production instead, which coincides with a larger number of bearing failures or overheating issues that we’ve seen happen in the past year.
SuperLongBoard beta testing continues.
We recently received the newest version of the prototypes, which we expect to be put into production after validation. We now have 25 boards we are working with to complete phase 2 of beta testing.
Here’s a video of us testing the macro buttons, which allow the user to program a specific code or function into the buttons themselves, rather than just start, pause, and stop, which is hardwired into the current control board. In this case, it’s being used to move the machine to a specific position to assist with getting the machine out of the way for changing tools and materials.
We have received the version 2 of the SLB early last week and have been doing our internal testing before we prepare them for use. Here’s a bit of an update (this is the email I sent to the beta testers earlier).
– V2 has a couple of components that had issues and we are manually replacing parts and updating the design. This is minor surgery but a bit tedious working with small parts. We were hoping to start sending out the V2 version at the end of last week, but we are shooting for end of this week and the start of next to have the first 3 boards ready.
– The development team are working on testing and implementing features, listed in the attachment below. This is an excerpt from the main development notes we have. Thought I would share so you guys know what to look forward to them. Some have already been implemented but not tested.
– We also have a newly designed case that we are 3D printing and assembling, which allow you to install the case to the rail of the machine, or on the table or in another place. We are starting production of it now, which will be made from aluminum and acrylic. We should be getting them in Nov-Dec.
We recently ran into an issue with someone having placed a few orders for LongMills on our site using different aliases and charging the orders back after they had shipped. It appears to be done using stolen credit cards, but we are looking into this further.
Although this happens very rarely, it is a part of business that we can’t avoid. I just wanted to mention this to warn people to be cautious if they run across any LongMills for sale, still in the box, that seems suspicious, especially in the Montreal area…
It’s weekly contest time! Thanks to the individuals who participated in this week’s contest, where we asked you all to post your Autumn/Thanksgiving-Themed projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Dan Holdgreve, Allan RG, Matt Loll, Kevin Turner, Lester Brake, and Jeremy Bergh are the winners of the “A Project That is Autumn/Thanksgiving-Themed Part 2” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is a Coaster
This week’s theme is “projects that are coasters”! Share with us your best coaster projects made on your LongMill, and we will choose our favourite ones and send those makers prizes!
Happy Friday! Thank you to everyone who entered the contest for this week, where we asked you all to share your best Autumn/Thanksgiving-Themed projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Mathew McAuley, Roger Jo, Pete Salvatore, Andrew Riffle, Shannon Marie, and Ryan Field are the winners of the “A Project That is Autumn/Thanksgiving-Themed” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Autumn/Thanksgiving-Themed Part 2
We are continuing our Autumn/Thanksgiving theme for this week. Help us celebrate by posting any Autumn or Thanksgiving-related projects made with your LongMill, and we’ll choose our favourite projects to send awesome prizes to!
Hey everyone! Thanks to the individuals who participated in this week’s contest, where we asked you all to post your household item projects made on the LongMill.
Last Week’s Winners
We are happy to announce that Matt Osterhaus, Tammy Noble, Larry Wotring II, Don Rideout, Jeff Richardson, and Bob Eggleston are the winners of the “A Project That is a Household Item” contest! A prize is on its way!
This Week’s Theme: A Project That is Autumn/Canadian Thanksgiving-Themed
Hey everyone, for our American neighbours, did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up soon? Help us celebrate by posting any Autumn or Thanksgiving-related projects made with your LongMill, and we’ll choose our favourite projects to send awesome prizes to!