Sienci Site Feedback

Hi, I’m Aleks, and I’m working with Sienci to create and design resources for the LongMill. Any feedback from the community about the functionality, content, and aesthetics of the main site would be greatly appreciated! Specifically these two points:

  1. What did you want to see more of on the front page when you were buying the Longmill? What could be made more clear for prospective users? For example:
  • How to use the software
  • The types of projects that can be made
  • Technical specs
  • Pictures and videos of milling
  1. As a LongMill user, what online resources could be added, reorganized or reworked? Are there any frustrations you faced, like not being able to find something?

Thanks!

Hi all,

Aleks is an Architecture grad from UW and has worked with us on many occasions. He and I have been doing a lot of brainstorming recently into how we can keep working to make your experiences better and the experiences of future potential CNCers.

Some of you we first met with in-person, spoke with on the phone, or you’ve only ever known us through online interactions. Why us? What brought you to the LongMill over others? We’re a team of engineers and admittedly our ability to sell ourselves has never been great. We’re looking to see if we can learn more from all of you.

For this reason, I’m calling on all forum members for their input and feedback: @trust_level_0

Hi Aleks, will think on this some more but one item I would suggest is making the table dimensions and details easily accessible up front, given how integral the table is to the overall machine placement and use in the shop.

As part of that, the detailed footprint, cutting area (with and without dust shoe) and distance between the feet etc (for maximum stock width that can be loaded) are all questions that come up again and again but are also considerations during purchasing.

Likewise, I was unable to find information on feeds and speeds for baltic birch 3/4", a very typical stock size. The numbers I did find were evolved from the Mill One and very low, it turns out, compared to what can be done. Being conservative but accurate with specs is good, but dramatically under selling the capabilities may not be optimal. :slight_smile:

I’ll give it some more thought and share anything I come up with. A recommended “start pack” of mills being included or linked in prominently is a good idea. I struggled a bit with knowing what endmills to purchase and forgot to order the aluminum one.

-Jeff

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Hi guys, I’d be happy to help.
1 - I think its hard to put all that information on a landing sales page. I would actually slim it down to make it more salesy and add more images/videos. Even a promotional 60 second demo on how it works.

Another tab could be projects under 30 minutes?

  1. videos are key. I find when i’m stuck that it helps to view someone to go through the step by step process. videos of small projects? hold down ideas? common problems and solutions. Tool changes mid project without losing your work(perfecting the return to 0) Its nice to find specific videos to this product.
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I just ordered the LongMill. I have owned a X-Carve which I sold for a Shapeoko 3 (to gain rigidity). I am now replacing the Shapeoko 3 because I am tired of having to maintain the belts and 100 other little things that have to be adjusted continuously to cut welll.

The LongMill appears to have the rigidity and simplicity of design that will benefit me daily. I am a custom guitar builder. I only build approximately 50 guitars a year so each one has to be cut perfectly. The engineering behind your cnc machine appears to be such that I can accomplish that without having to purchase a much more expensive one. And I love the design because it allows for multiple ways to use it.

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I love the fact this is a Canadian company making a quality Canadian product (except the control board made in China but no fault of Sienci since they can’t source it here). The price seemed very reasonable for a mill of this size and quality. I really like the various videos the guys have been putting out there. I watched the assembly videos series Chris did when I was putting together my LongMill and this made the assembly process pretty easy.

I think the fact you guys are a team of engineers and not sales people just trying to sell more product made a big difference for me. The team seems to be genuinely interested in making a better product with great support (I can say first hand the support is great as I needed a new control board a few days after received my LongMill).

I am new to CNC, and although I’m a software engineer by day, I feel the biggest learning curve is using the various software programs for CNC projects. There are many programs out there, some free and some are very expensive. I’ve only been using the free programs so far and have been able to make a few projects successfully. I think people new to CNC would benefit by having videos on the software components needed for CNC and explanations of each.

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The videos are so much help, so more of those would be great.
More how to’s for the CAMLab software please : )
Do we have a space to share drawings / projects (open source) we have made.
Cheers
Rob

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Hello Aleks,

I spend a few months researching, before purchasing a Longmill (it’s still in the box), but I’m going to tell you why I did;

  1. It didn’t have belts like some of its more expensive cousins out there - so that was attractive
  2. It has some open-source roots - which was attractive for modification
  3. Simple and uncluttered ability to choose on your website
  4. Supporting young entrepreneurship and Canadian made product
  5. A competitively priced product
  6. Available today

For the record, I was waiting for OneFinity - but then discovered this - and LongMill is available now.

What would I like to see?

  1. More software details on initial configuration / use.
  2. Virtualized instances for “instant setup”
  3. CNC outbound metrics capture so I can review “what went wrong”
  4. Dynamic router speeds
  5. Starter Program with sample templates

I haven’t even had a chance to play with it yet, but I’m sure once I do, I’ll have a lot more suggestions.

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I had/have 0 experience in CNC and I had started looking for a hobby machine for a couple months. I can’t remember how I found out about Sienci, I think it was someone in a woodshop. I pretty much, straight up found out it was built and designed in Canada and was so excited to support you guys that I purchased it immediately. Admittedly, having done the research on the Shapeoko and X-carve and knowing their price points and shipping, I knew the price was right for me. I’ve now been telling everyone who will listen to check you guys out if they’re in the market for a CNC. Also, the facebook community that you guys built plus the ability to shoot you a message and get a thoughtful response is awesome.

All I could really ask for, has been mentioned above. VIDEOS are the best. Just an entire catalog of videos (which I realize is a ton of work) is all I need.

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I am also new to the CNC scene and was researching for what felt like forever. I had pretty much decided on a Shapeoko but came across the Longmill mentioned online and in less than a day of research I was sold. The Canadian factor was huge for me. The reputation of your outstanding customer service was another big selling point. Most of what I would recommend has already been mentioned above but here are a couple I don’t think have been made yet.

Videos are great but I would really appreciate a camera man to be on hand to zoom the camera. I found it tough to actually see what you we’re doing some times.

Speeds and feeds info. Maybe a series of videos showing speeds and feeds tests on different materials with different bits? I know the variables are pretty much endless but maybe a series on some of the more common combos used?

Anyways keep up the great work. I am completely impressed with my Longmill and couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone, this is giving us a lot to think about :smile:

Please more people join in if you haven’t already. Even if all you have to say is a repeat of what’s already been said, it’ll help up to better understand what really matters most to you guys :+1:

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Unlike many I have been involved with cnc routers a bit longer than most, nearly 20 years now. Yes, these cnc things did exist back then. Though only recently have been able to purchase a home cnc.

As for the website, overall I think the site is nicely done. Though some things I think that would help users of all levels.

  • The Gallery. I like the gallery and seeing what others are doing. Maybe take it a bit deeper by including not just a link to the picture, yet information on size, material, router bits, feed speeds and such.
  • Project tutorials. Videos for tutorials where a user can follow along, either just watching are actually going through the steps of the project. From basic things like cutting out the lambs to more in depth carvings. As users are at all levels, things could be from entry level to some with more difficulty.

As I said, I think the website is pretty good. Though some of the things I mentioned are available online, at time the information one can find is a bit overwhelming. Thus a central point and learning path is something I think would be helpful.

As for the second question why Sienci? Let me count the reasons.

  • Lead Screws - For me this put the Longmill way ahead of the others in this part of the market. I had looked at some with belts, yet there seemed to be a fair amount of issues. using lead screws for each axis will make for much better accuracy and repeatability. (My original post noted the lead screws as ball screws, I apologize for any confusion.)
  • Size - The size of the work area at 30x30 is very good for a machine at this price level. I want to use the machine for several things which cannot be done with a machine with a smaller footprint.
  • Feed Rates and Positioning Speeds - The Longmill has good feed speeds thus cut speeds. I am able to cutout small projects in a reasonable time.
  • It was not Sienci’s first dance. Sienci had already produced a smaller cnc. This gave me as a buyer some confidence that the Longmill would deliver what was promised and it has.
  • Overall these items and more made Sienci an easy pick ver other machines in the market.

Thank You,

Dan

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Not intended to pick on anybody, just wanted to correct “ball screw” to lead screw.
Maybe ball screws in V3, eh Chris?:grin:

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Who’s knows Hansi, maybe in a new machine down the road :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for pointing that out. I was incorrect and should have said lead screw. I apologize for any confusion. I should have said lead screw. I did update my post.

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You say “We’re a team of engineers and admittedly our ability to sell ourselves has never been great”. I would argue that being a team of engineers IS what sells you. It sold me. I think that as long as you keep doing what you’re doing … being engineers; solving problems, you will generate all the success you’ll want. Gates, Jobs, Andreessen … all focused on problem solving and success came to them. Just keep doing what you’re doing guys!

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There is one easy area that could use some updating on the product webpage.

The specifications aren’t at all detailed enough for a CNC machine. I was trying to cut an opening through my spoilboard today and about 3/4 of the way through the cut I realized I was going to run out of Z-axis. I thought it was 100mm of travel (after my discovery) but I couldn’t verify this anywhere. Also, UGS was saying I was at 107 or 108 so I was quite worried I was about to crash in to the end of the Z.

I see it does say something like approxmately 4.5" of Z travel but approximate doesn’t hel when you’re down to mm. The full metric and imperial eqivalents need to be listed there. Have a look at what the guys who made the Mega V list for details: https://millrightcnc.com/product/millright-cnc-mega-v-router-bundle/

For a variety of reasons I think the Longmill is superior but their specs are much more easily accessed.

Likewise the discussions we’ve had about the cutting area vs. cutting area with the dust boot on etc should really be detailed too. These “little” things can make a big difference in whether someone has enough information to choose the Longmill over other machines, and also how people can prepare before arrival for their machine and what they can easily do when working with it.

Through trial and error I’ve figured out that I appear to have 848 mm Y-axis travel with the dust boot on and 746mm X-axis travel with the boot on. I think this is correct within a few mm, but not sure.

Anyway, consistent and thorough specs in both mm and imperial (mm first if it is design in mm) would be another suggestion.\

And a question - is there a specific reason that the inner feet on the Y-rails don’t protrude the same amount as the end feet? It would make lining things up easier if they were all aligned. It would also make it easier to square the first rail to the table when installing it.

-Jeff

@jwoody18 I’ve recently been making updates to the shop page to make this information more accessible. I believe I’ve addressed most of what you’ve pointed out but would love to hear your opinion. Care to comment on it’s current look? Make sure to refresh the page to get the latest version

“Well, that was easy.” Sienci needs an Easy button, clearly. :slight_smile:
I’ll take a look and report back.

-Jeff

That’s definitely an improvement, Chris. There is a space missing in the Z-axis text.

I think it’s a lost opportunity not mentioning that you get slightly more than you are paying for in the names.

In sales and marketing (my old hunting grounds) you generally want to talk about the feature (100 mm of Z-axis travel) and the benefit - cuts material as thick as… Or whatever the application is.

It’s easy for a “new to CNC” buyer to get bogged down in just specs without knowing why they matter. I think that experience can really help differentiate your approach.

-Jeff

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