After doing some research, I was set to purchase the Shapeoko Pro XXL until I came across people discussing the 1F. The ease of setup was the first thing that excited me. The rigidity and lack of belts put it over the top. Since then, I’ve discovered the Longmill. The setup isn’t nearly as easy, but the rigidity and lack of belts have me intrigued. The fact that it’s also much less expensive is the only reason I haven’t pulled the trigger on the 1F yet. I’m not concerned about shipping delays right now with the 1F vs getting the Longmill in a couple of weeks. I’ll be pretty busy until mid-August anyhow.
I’m hoping someone here has enough experience or insight into the Longmill to help me make my final decision.
I’m very excited about making a purchase soon. Thank in advance for any help!
I don’t have experience with the Longmill, but I see it comes with a grbl controller and I found grbl to be a bit limiting as compared with OF’s supported gcodes. For example, grbl doesn’t support subprograms whereas OF does. Neither supports Macros, but OF may in the future while the grbl developers have no intention of supporting macros.
Couldn’t find the reference where the developers of grbl said it wasn’t adding those features, but here is a little more background. Sub Programs? · Issue #912 · grbl/grbl · GitHub
You can work around the limitations in your CAM program, but kind of nice to have them supported in the controller.
Thank you, Chuck. I appreciate the input. I’m leaning soooo heavily toward 1F, but the price difference (for a first machine) is really making me at least consider LM. Knowing the limitations/advantages of each machine will really help make this decision that much easier.
I’ve had my longmill for almost a year and it is a good machine for the price. The drawback I have is with the V- Wheels and their adjustment, they have to be snug but not to snug and there are 12 of them. When you get one adjusted the other won’t spin freely then you get one side adjusted and the other side is too tight (or loose). I suffer from tremors and the longer it takes me to do something the more my hands shake, I need things to be tight or loose not somewhere in between. The Onefinity should solve that issue. I also think the new QCW and X-50 I ordered will help with any setup issues I might have
(I want things as idiot proof as possible)
Hope this helps
Jay, that helps immensely. Thank you very much for your insight. I was wondering about the V-wheels, myself.
I haven’t had longmill either. I have the woodworker though and love it. The v-wheels I can tell you from even forces used in 3d printing, which are MUCH lower than milling, cause wheels for wear, and loosen. I’ve spent hours and days over the past 5 years tinkering with belts and wheels on the printers. If I can get away without wheels on any new machine, I will. The Onefinity has been amazing to not have to mess with any of that. I just set it up and go.
There are maintenance videos out there on the Onefinity, and it’s so basic compared to my other machines. Make sure screws and rods are clean, and bolts are all still firmly attached, oil the screw ports, etc. it’s so easy. I’m sure you’ll be successful either way you go, but the Onefinity would be hard to beat from ease of use, setup and maintenance.
Thought of one other thing. The Longmill controller is not standalone so you need a pc/monitor or laptop by the machine to run it. May not be a big deal if you have a PC graveyard like me, but for some it would be an added expense.
And Michael look at the support from this forum you are already receiving. Nobody is trying to talk you into or out of the other and no negativity is present. They are just keeping it real. That to me speaks volumes too.
Bill - this is EXACTLY what I was thinking. When I posted questions on reddit in the earlier stages of research, it seems another company sent a wave of people in pushing that particular unit. I found that off-putting, to be honest, and it helped push me toward these two machines. Canadians - even their forums are more friendly
Yeah - Not being stand alone, v-wheels and that lead screw looks small and rough, is what ruins it for me. Nice that it comes with cable track and pretty informative resources:
I note that the Longmill is only Lead Screw driven rather than the Onefinity Models which have Precision Ball Screws which are far more accurate.
Those Acme Lead Screws are as cheap as chips whereas Ball Screws are far more expensive. Like that old saying ‘You get what you pay for’.
About to place my order for the Onefinity! I’m so excited!
If anyone has the necessary files for a really good spoil board with grids and measurements, I’d greatly appreciate it. Won’t be able to use it until I get the machine, but I’m going to start stockpiling everything I can to have it up and running on arrival (in September, I believe).
Off to research proper table builds and more!
I’ve never used or seen either the 1F or Longmill in person. But I do have plenty of work experience with lead screws, ball screws, linear slides, ball slide, and something similar to the wheels the V wheels. The higher the precision stuff always used real bearings.
The tools I work on use lead screws with a plastic nut for stuff that goes up and down that the only force being allied is gravity. The amount the nut wears is within our limits between calibrations. We can also make adjustments to how far the stepper moves if the nut drifts too far out before it’s time to recalibrate.
The newer tools all use ball screws which rarely go bad. These are tools that run 24/7 and will see more use in one year than you will ever put on your 1F. Getting to work on these tools has allowed me the chance to see how ball screws and linear slides work. Here’s a good animation.
ball screw animation
Thank you, Alex. That’s good to know
While doing research I found a lot of people invested in upgrades to compensate for weaknesses in the machine they bought. For example ShapeOKO has an upgraded Z axis. The biggest issue always seems to be stiffness/ accuracy. Often people would spend just as much upgrading as they did to purchase it.
I don’t know much about the Longmill and if people are doing upgrades to make it stiffer. My impression is that it’s more people wanting to push the machine past what it was designed for than a flaw with the machine. I’m certainly not trying to talk anyone into getting the 1F over another brand.