After successfully building a ~2’x2’ MPCNC I decided I wanted a bigger cutting area and built-in vaccum routing, so I started on a 4’x8’ lowrider. I printed a bunch of 3D parts, used my MPCNC to cut the flat parts, bought all the bolts/rails/bearings, then started on a 4x8 table. I only have a few hours/week to do this stuff, so the table took months, and in that time LR3 came out.
I did some searching and it sounds like some people have built and used both versions. I also saw some talk of a 2-3 upgrade kit, but I looked in the V1 shop and didn’t see it.
The advice I’m looking for is: should I finish my LR2 and just use that for a while, or should I scrap my existing stuff and to go an LR3? Has anyone done a parts comparison for the purchased parts (rail, bearings, screw count/type, etc) to see what the cost delta is for going from 2-3 if you reuse most of those parts? Is the accuracy provided by the extra rigidity in LR3 substantial enough to make it worth buying all the new parts?
I don’t have a ton of extra money to spend on this kind of thing, and I think I’ve pretty much bought all the purchasable parts for the LR2. I’m tempted to just finish the LR2 build, but it’s a lot of time and effort to put into that if I’m going to discover that I need to move to LR3 solve some super annoying problem (which I assume was the driving force for coming out with a new LR version).
I had a LR1. I changed to the LR3 on the beta, but my motivation was mostly my interest in the new radical design. The LR2 is a great machine and it works very well for large sheet jobs. If you are interested in a tool, then the LR2 is a good fit for you. I am assuming you will save money by keeping your current plans, and I don’t see anything wrong with that plan.
If you are interested in the LR3 design, or you want to join in modifying it and building parts for other people, then the LR3 may be worth the extra money.
IMHO, you have two winning choices, and you can choose your own adventure.
I converted a functional lr2 unit to the lr3 and dissassembled a second lr2 for another conversion. If anything there were a lot of extra parts left over from the conversion, mostly m5 bolts and bearings. The most expensive additional part is the four linear rails. There’s more 3d printing involved such as the core and brackets. The lr3 is capable of handling a larger router such as a 2.25 hp Bosch. The lr3 is definitely an improvement so I believe it is worth the the extra effort.
That would be where I would advise from. Build rhe LR2. It’s a good solid design, and should serve you well. Even switching to a LR3 afterwards, if you experience any problems that an LR3 could solve won’t cost more later… well I suppose inflation… anyway its the same stuff you need to buy later versus now.
Added bonus! The temporary strut printed part is only supposed to hold things together to have the machine cut the “real” struts. If you build the LR2 first, you can use it to cut those struts and skip the disassemble and rebuild step. You can also use the LR2 for the LR3 flat parts. There are some savings to be had there.
The LR2 is going to save money from where you are, and still be a good machine for the larger area. You can consider the upgrade later. Print and cut parts slowly.
I switched from LR2 to LR3 for the beta, I was having issues with the LR2 that the LR3 resolved, but I could have fixed them without upgrading (and mostly had already.) I also had some LR3 specific new issues which I fixed. In neither case did I feel the issues were inherent in the design, but specific to my build.
Thanks everyone! I see 2 votes for sticking with the LR2, one for moving to 3. I’ll probably stick with the LR2 for now.
Unfortunately, I don’t have space to keep my MPCNC and the LR2, so I was planning to give my MPCNC to my dad to keep at his workshop (which has a TON more space). I’ve been assuming that the LR2 will do small jobs just as well as an MPCNC. Is this correct?
Thanks again for the quick replies and thoughtful advice.