Hi there. I bought the Mill One through the original Kickstarter, got it working, and then… life got in the way. I disassembled it, put it in a box, and forgot about it… until now.
I am planning to resurrect my Mill One mainly for woodworking purposes (e.g. making small signs, templates for a handheld router) so I don’t need extreme accuracy or the ability to machine aluminium. At the same time, I realise a number of improvements were made to the design (both by Sienci and by users), so I would like to incorporate some of them in my (re)build if I can.
Having said that, I realise there are significant limitations to the Mill One design (which is why Sienci shifted to the Longmill style), so I don’t want to spend a lot of time and money trying to improve it. If I ever need significant accuracy or the capability to machine metal I think it would be best to buy a new machine already optimised for the purpose. (My experiences with the Mill One will hopefully guide me in any such purchase in the future).
So I would be interested in hearing from you what you consider to be the best “value” upgrades to the M1V1; the “low-hanging fruit” which gives the most “bang for buck”? Some thoughts I have based one what I have researched so far include:
- Stiffening up and squaring the MDF frame (e.g. with more brackets in the back corners, the attachment of a base).
- 3D printing a new router mount (I have the Makita trim router), as per the M1V3 design.
- Fitting anti-backlash nuts.
Any other suggestions?
“Bumping” post in the hope of a reply
@mprenzler Michael: I suggest that you contact Sienci directly with your question. It seems that no one on the forum has done what you are contemplating.
Gwilki: thanks for the suggestion, I’ll do that.
Life always has its way with us huh. Cool to see you on the path to bringing your Mill One back and then some - you’re right that a dedicated metal milling machine the Mill One is not, but certainly some upgrades make it a pretty capable small CNC for a wide range of uses.
I think the upgrades you make would be mostly dependant on what tools and materials you have available to you. The ones you mentioned already are definitely good - though I always found the anti-backlash nuts for the mill to not be as effective as they could’ve been. Most of the notable changes from V1 to V3 were to increase rigidity and cutting area while keeping all else relatively equal. My top suggestions would be:
- Replace the HDPE Y-axis with the steel + MDF wasteboard combo of V3 which will make cutting to the left and right side of the cutting area much more rigid
- Add top brackets to the MDF frame or if you have other materials on hand consider changing out the frame for steel sheet - a modification I’ve seen done before with the Mill One - or some other form of rigid material or bracing
- Definitely 3D print the new router mount to better secure the router - there’s another community designed version here that might be even better still: Onshape
- Consider reprinting the angle brackets that hold the rails to the MDF since the V1 brackets were a bit on the skinny side. The V3 design is much better suited as well as a community design that added two more bolt mounting positions: Onshape
I hope my thoughts help you out in deciding what you’d like to change around
It was definitely a shame to move on from the Mill One design as I really liked it but unfortunately our team has never been great salespeople and so with how much time we were putting into customer services, resources, and R&D our sales were never able to sustain the team - that’s one of the main reasons we moved on to the LM since it’s always been able to sell itself better which gives us the space to do all the other stuff that we like to do rather than trying to convince people to buy our stuff, haha
Thanks for the detailed reply. No need to apologize for the Mill One. I think it’s a great design for a compact/desktop mill, and exactly what I wanted to learn on to get into the world of CNC. I have the capabilities to do all of your suggested modifications except (perhaps) the steel bed. I was thinking instead of making a wider bed/wasteboard which extends to the enclosure, and supporting it there with bearings to reduce deflection. If someone has done something similar already, please let me know (I couldn’t find such a mod in my searches).
Glad to hear the LM is selling well and allowing you to do what you do.