What's Sienci Labs plan for supporting the Longmill MK1?

I noticed that the new MK2 version of the Longmill has just been announced for pre-ordering, and from the sketches shown on the website, the rails and gantries have been significantly changed from the original, which I’m dubbing the MK1.

I am therefore wondering what Sienci Labs is planning to do for supporting the MK1. I’m mostly concerned about availability of consumable parts that are unique to the MK1. V-wheels come to mind, but that’s just an assumption.

Kingston, ON, Canada

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@ApexWoodworks I don’t speak for Sienci, and they will likely reply, too, Marty. However to perhaps put your mind to rest a bit, this is an extract from the Sienci blog

Of course, we will offer both an upgrade kit and full kit options to customers. These parts are interchangeable between all generations of the LongMill:

Motors and electronics
Lead screws, couplers, and nuts
V-wheels, fasteners, and eccentric nuts
XZ gantry assembly
Drag chains

I believe, subject to confirmation from Sienci, that all the consumable parts are the same on versions 1 and 2.

It’ll be interesting to see what the rails look like, as they appear to be squarish extrusions rather than being set at an angle like the original. But there must be an angled face for the V-wheels to ride on.

@ApexWoodworks Marty: In case you have not seen this page, take a look here


There are some good pics of actual parts and a computer simulation of the wheel/rail interface that may help.

Thanks for that additional detail, Grant. My takeaway is to stay the course with my MkI until I at least have a firm grip on CNCing, then if ( a big IF now, that is…) I ever elect to get something more robust, I’ll at least have some experience to go forward with. This far I’m a happy camper!

@ApexWoodworks FWIW, I read the entirety of Andy’s post where he goes into great detail about the benefits of the Mk2 over Mk1. I also read his reply to his own FAQ about upgrading the 1 to the 2 - the cost benefit of doing so. He concludes that the benefits do not outweigh the cost. Each of us can do the same calculations based on our intended use of the Mill. I did them and it was a no-brainer for me. So far, there is nothing that I have wanted to do that I could not do with the Mk1. That said, I am a hobbyist, not a production operation. Also, I have a quite complete woodworking shop in my basement so I can do many things with other machines that others may need to rely on the Mill to do. I know that you are in the same position as me - likely more so. :grinning:

Again, FWIW, I think you are taking the right approach. I do believe that you will find that the Mk1 is very robust and, used correctly, with appropriate feeds and speeds, will do everything you ask of it. Size may become the only constraint and there are numerous ways around that.

Have fun.

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