In today’s article we are going to make a brief analysis of a desktop 3D printer that we received in our workshop, called Longer LK5 Pro.
Although this printer is not very recent, it is the first time that it has passed through our hands thanks to the Longer company, who have been kind enough to send us a unit for this article. In case you don’t know, Longer is a company focused on the development of products for 3D printing, and has been based in Shenzhen (China) since 2014.
They have in their catalog various 3D filament and resin printers, industrial printers and different printing materials for them. If you want to know more about Longer and all its products, do not hesitate to visit their official website at this link.
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The Longer LK5 Pro printer is really an evolution of a previous model that Longer launched some time ago (specifically the Longer LK4 Pro model).
In this new version, and as usual, they have introduced some important improvements to compete within the high-volume niche in desktop printers.
Some of the improvements that the Longer LK5 Pro offers us compared to its smaller sister are its larger printing surface, new Teflon tube (type Capricorn) to avoid possible jams and facilitate the entry of the filament and a pre-assembly of 90% of the machine at the time of assembly.
Longer LK5 Pro Printer
|Printing technology||FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)|
|Print volume||300 x 300 x 400mm (11.8 “x 11.8” x 9.8 “)|
|Print speed||≦ 180mm / s (Recommended 60-80mm/s)|
|Connections||TF Card or USB cable|
|Dimensions||580 x 540 x 663mm|
Where can I buy the Longer LK5 Pro?
You can buy the Longer LK5 Pro in the Amazon and Aliexpress marketplaces. Here we leave the direct links to the printer that we reference in this article.
If you use them, the price of the product will be the same as if you log in regularly, but 3DWork will have a small commission left. Something that will help us support the project and continue generating content.
As an alternative, you can also use our Markets.sx product search engine for 3D printing, where a single search will show you prices from different marketplaces (Amazon, Aliexpress, Banggood, etc.)
For the assembly process of the Longer LK5 Pro you should not need more than 15 or 20 minutes if you have some experience, since as we mentioned before, this printer is practically pre-assembled at the factory (something to be thankful for).
I remember assembling printers like the Legio model (some years ago) where 8-hour assemblies were somewhat tedious. Being able to have your printer assembled in a few minutes and quickly start playing with it is priceless.
The components that come inside the packaging are the following:
- 1 x Longer LK5 Pro
- 1 x Screw set
- 1 x Filament sensor (spare)
- 1 x Power cable
- 1 x Tool set
- 1 x Spatula for removal of parts
- 1 x USB memory reader
- 1 x Memory card memory
- 1 x User manual
- 1 x Small PLA coil
Unboxing and installation
The only parts that you will have to mount on the Longer LK5 Pro will be the bridge that holds the X axis, the Z axis motor and spindle, the screen and filament supports, the tie rods that give it rigidity and, if I remember correctly, the Z leveling sensor.
However, if you are one of those who do not like to read manuals in English and prefer something more visual, I leave you here an excellent video from Just Vlad, where it shows us the complete unboxing and installation process.
Components and mechanics
The Longer LK5 Pro printer is composed of 4020 aluminum profiles in its main structure, an X axis in 2020 aluminum profile and 4 legs also in 4020 profile, raising it and allowing the housing the electronics and the power supply at the bottom.
Two long bars are attached to the front that completely stiffen the structure by screwing on the upper part and on the front legs, as you can see in the image above.
Although these braces a priori seem flimsy from the images, after their installation they completely reinforce the structure, avoiding possible vibrations in it that can directly affect the quality of the pieces. Something essential in all these types of structures.
In addition, all this comes from the factory pre-assembled at 90%, which will save us an enormous amount of time in its preparation and subsequent assembly. In practically 20/30 minutes you can start making (and enjoying) your first impressions
And finally, we will have our LCD touch screen on the left side and inclined about 45º for optimal handling and visualization of the entire printing process.
Longer offers us in this printer a curious and unusual 4.3″ full touch color display. It is the first time I have used one of this type but the experience has been quite pleasant, it must be said.
The layout of the menus is very simple and intuitive and you can quickly access each and every one of the default options that it presents in the first instance. So simplicity is its strongest point.
If I have missed some options that the original marlin menu offers you, such as the management of the TMC drivers, leveling options and something else more.
However, these are usually advanced options that many users don’t use on a regular basis, realistically. But it is always good to have them at hand to avoid using GCode commands and to facilitate the task of managing our machines.
Kinematics and movements
As usual in this type of printers, the Longer LK5 Pro printer uses Cartesian kinematics in the purest Prusa style on a structure where the bed moves on the Y axis.
Lately interest is increasing in other types of kinematics, such as CoreXY, in printer formats like Voron 2.4 , BLV or VCore3. But for desktop printers, and in particular for this competitively priced large-format niche, Cartesian kinematics is the most economical option to pursue.
It is worth highlighting the very fluid and silent movements, thanks to its TMC2208 drivers, of which we wrote a very interesting article some time ago, and that you can consult here: TMC Drivers: Discover the best drivers for 3D printing and their available technologies
The Longer LK5 Pro printer can print pieces up to 300x300x400mm in volume approximately. This is a fairly important construction volume, since a vast majority of manufacturers continue to offer us 200x200m beds in their catalogs and I personally find them small depending on what prints.
This bed is fully heated (how could it be otherwise) and comes with glass with a porous ceramic coating. This coating gives us a better adherence of the pieces to avoid possible Warping issues.
As an extrusion system that comes standard in Longer LK5 Pro printers we have a extruder in the purest MK8 style. It is made of injected plastic, quite rigid at first glance, except for the gears that come into contact with our filament and the clamping spring obviously.
During my impressions, the flow of filament and its performance in general has not presented any problem. Perhaps a possible improvement would be to make it entirely of aluminum, or directly opt for a more modern double-push system, although that would imply a significant increase on the final price of the printer.
It should be noted that in the same extrusion system Longer3D has integrated the filament cut sensor very correctly, as you can see in the image above.
Finally, and like any bowden extrusion system, it has a Teflon tube to guide the filament to the melter. Longer3D has chosen to improve this tube with respect to its previous machines using a Capricorn.
In this way, it is possible to withstand higher temperatures and in the process avoid as much as possible obstructions on the way to our nozzle.
For the printing tests I have chosen a couple of materials that I had on hand, specifically PLA and PETG. In principle, all the tests have been satisfactory, especially the demo pieces that the memory card contains.
Obviously these parts are completely optimized for the machine, so they are usually the ones that come closest to the quality limit of the machine.
In printing parts that I downloaded from Thingiverse I have used SuperSlicer, a vitaminized fork of PrusaSlicer that I love.
Although I have not been able to waste more time than I would have liked in calibrating the machine, the quality of the parts is much more than acceptable (click on all images to enlarge).
|3D Model||3DBenchy by CreativeTools|
|Material||Generic PLA (QIDI brand)|
|Parameters||45mm/s, 200ºC / 60ºC|
|3D Model||Vase test (memory card)|
|Material||Generic PLA (QIDI brand)|
|Parameters||Spiral vase, 45mm/s, 200ºC / 60ºC|
|3D Model||Planet Hulk Bust by iczfirz|
|Material||Generic PLA (QIDI brand)|
|Parameters||45mm/s, 200ºC / 60ºC|
The Longer company has developed a machine with an excellent printing volume (300x300x400mm) at a really competitive cost for our pockets.
Certainly, it has one of the best prices on the market (always within its niche) and I think that was a priori its main objective, to position itself as a serious competitor with respect to other products such as Artillery Sidewinder X1 but at a slightly lower price offering similar features.
It should be noted in this printer its extreme ease of assembly, since, as we have previously commented in the article, it comes 90% pre-assembled, something that greatly facilitates the task of set-up.
Other points in its favor are its silent electronics (completely mandatory at this point), a surprisingly functional touch display with very agile menu layout, the robustness of its structure with both braces and the extensive support offered by Longer3D from its web page (manuals, guides, videos, etc.)
As possible improvements in future reviews, if I would like to see advanced menus on our touch screen to have better control of all aspects of our machine, as well as a second spindle in our Z axis to one to improve the stability of the bridge where our head is located.
Regarding its current MK8 extrusion system, I do not see its improvement essential, since the performance is more than acceptable, but it is obvious that it would offer us better results when printing parts.
However, this would directly influence the final price of it, and it is still an improvement or update that you can carry out at any other time.
In short, Longer LK5 Pro printers are a very interesting option when purchasing a new 3D printer with a large print volume. In addition to offering us a really competitive price and extreme simplicity of use regardless of whether you are a novice or advanced user in the world of 3D printing.