LR2 vs LR3

Is there a thread discussing how the LR3 compares to the LR2? i.e Is the LR3 designed to completely supersede the LR2 or is the LR2 still preferred depending on use case?

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What I’ve seen in the forums so far is that if you’re mostly done building your LR2 you should finish it and use it to cut parts for an LR3. If you haven’t started one yet, you should build the LR3.

I believe the LR3 fills all the same operational use cases as the LR2. I’m not one of the beta users, just an interested follower on the forums, so take my comments for what they’re worth.


One of the criteria for being a beta tester for the LR3 was to have built a LR2. As such we have some basis of comparison.

The LR2 is to be completely superseded by the LR3 for builds going forwards, and the parts and kits are probably no longer going to be offered by the V1 shop. It will of course still be completely possible to build one, and for those who have already started the project, and have the printed parts ready and the hardware in hand are probably best off finishing the LR2.

The basic operation of the machine is unchanged.


Understood - what would you say are the main improvements over the previous version? Was it designed to be more capable, easier to assemble, cheaper than the LR2, all of the above?

It should be a bit stiffer, and everything stays on top of the table.


Is there a possibility of a “LR2 to LR3 Upgrade Kit” from the V1 store? I always want to buy from Ryan where possible, but it seems like the only option is to buy a full LR3 kit. Really just need the hardware difference list from the instructions. This would be a major convenience for those that built our LR2’s from Ryan’s kit originally.

  • The change in orientation of the X rails, plus the stiffening material on the braces makes for a stiffer axis. This is what makes it possible to use conduit for the X axis. This makes a new build less expensive, or an upgrade stiffer and more capable.

  • The integrated linear rail on the Y axis. (Yes, just one.) This really helps stabilize the axis.

  • Nothing below table surface. This means also that the table can be pushed straight against a wall. While this isn’t a change in expense or machine capability, it is a good thing. It also makes the LR3 more encloseable.

  • Ease of removal from the table. This makes the table more usable as an assembly table, or other workshop surface when the machine is not in use. (It’s probably not too difficult to adapt the belt holder removal to the LR2, come to think about it.)

  • More versatile tool mounting. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, since it’s less easy to remove the tool from the machine. Using the tool’s router base as before allowed the tool to be dismounted very easily for bit changes and the like, but it is now easier to use the bit’s full cutting depth, which was difficult before, since the router base is designed not to allow the collet nut to the surface. This also allows you to make a mistake in your CAM and plunge too deep, allowing the router collet nut to contact the work surface, meaning an increased fire hazard! Like I said, double-edged sword, but it is definitely increased utility.

  • Integrated provisions for endstops. While I had endstops on my LR2 and they worked very well, the integrated provisions are very nice to have, and makes wire management much easier.

  • Improved protection from dust/chips for the Z leadscrews.

I think the overall cost has gone up a bit. The linear rails are a bit more expensive than the skate bearings and steel, but there is a huge reduction in the number of skate bearings. The variation in hardware is much less now though, there isn’t the same need for several different length bolts. This is going to make Ryan’s job easier for creating kits, as well as for self-sourcing parts.

I was thinking about upgrade kits. The LR2 comes with a lot of #6-32 screws and locknuts, but I don’t know that there are enough to replace all of the 5mm scews and locknuts needed for the braces. Maybe for a good number of them, which would make some 1.25"-1.5" #6-32 screws an acceptable substitute for many of the 5mm screws used in the beam to hold the strut plate on. The #6 locknuts are 5/16" wrench size, which is a good match for the 8mm wrench sized nuts for the 5mm screws, so the captive nut locations would also work.

The LR3 uses 1.5" 5/16" bolts, which aren’t in use at all for the LR2. It has 1.25" and 1.75" bolts, which is kind of a bummer, but the 1.5" bolts are easier to find and cheaper.


If you already have a LR2 it might be better to sell it for $2-300 and use the funds towards a LR3 kit. Doing it that way would come out ahead $$$ wise over salvaging $150 in parts… plus someone else gets a good starter cnc.

For those in the US, The 5/16 bolts are available at tractor supply by the pound which is a much cheaper way to buy than any of the online sources.


Thanks for the in depth comparison, really helpful.


If you have the ability to cut your lead screws then all you need is the linear rails and some nuts and bolts. I don’t get nuts and bolts any cheaper than you can, and then I have to mark them up to bag them. When the dust settles if people really want this I can but it is not like before when you needed pulleys, idlers, belts, leadscrews, and hardware.

DANG, Thanks Dan that was a great summary!


Are you selling the linear rails separately. Those seem like the trickiest to get right. Especially if you haven’t bought linear rails before.

And yes, the bolts may be more effective to buy elsewhere, but people like to buy from you for The Right Stuff. Just like you made a bit starter pack, an upgrade pack would probably be popular.

Of course, if selling 4 linear rails and 10 bolts means you don’t have enough stock for the full kits, then you need to take your shop needs into account. If that’s the case, I completely understand (and I guess others will too).


Yes, well soon I will be. The next shipment just cleared customs and should be here soon. Then I will list them.

As always you make a lot of sense. As soon as I get the rest of the release sorted out and all the parts in I will start getting a upgrade kit together.


I could definitely source things myself, but if there was an upgrade kit option in the shop I’d definitely take advantage of that even at a premium (seriously whatever cost makes you money on this). However if supporting that option complicates things or cannibalizes parts for the full LR3 kits I 100% understand that.

I’m the type of “V1er” who is most interested in the final machine. I want to learn as I go and know the machine inside and out, but the ultimate goal is to have a machine I can use to create other things. I’m happy to pay a premium for doing it the V1 way (buy the kit) because I know the care and attention to detail that you have put into it, because I expect to pay for the knowledge I’ll gain (a huge value that most people don’t take into account) and because the more standard my build is the easier it will be to troubleshoot with the help of this awesome community. I also always to prefer to buy from the shop to support V1. Without your effort this entire world of CNC would be largely out of reach for me.

Ultimately it’s just a suggestion for the long term, I’m printing parts now and am going to start upgrading ASAP so I can grab the upgrade hardware myself if needed!


If you have #6-32 bolts and nuts left over, an upgrade kit might be a good use for them. I reassembled by 1/2" conduit beam using #6-32 screws. (Project idea, still on the drawing board.) It’s helpful that the 5/16"/8mm wrench size is close enough to the same for the captive nuts. The 1" screws are a little short, but work for the captive nut positions if you push the nuts in first. The 1.5" screws are a little long, but entirely functional. I have a big box of 1.5" screws and locknuts, so I used them.

Of course, the 5mm screws are a better fit in the brace pieces.

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Which has the knock on effect of increasing the table width needed in order to cut full sheets.

I’ve been planning a 4x8 LR2 build for my workshop, and recently finished drywall. I framed out a 58” wide recessed cubby with plans to build a flip up table for the LR2, so it could be stowed and I wouldn’t lose main footprint in the shop.

A 4x8 capable LR3 needs a table 61” wide… so now I can’t put it in the spot I had planned

All that means is- I build a 4x8 LR3, put it in the garage with an awesome enclosure (since all on top makes that so easy) and build a decent sized Primo for the shop.



Man that would be epic. Having to rebuild my Y plates on my LR2, has got me thinking, maybe I should go ahead and upgrade to the LR3 since it’s pretty much going to be a complete rebuild anyway. I printed my original parts in PETG, thinking it would be stronger than PLA, but nah. Over time, and Mississippi humidity, PETG gets quite flexy. If you happen to figure out which parts for just the LR2 to LR3 upgrade, please let me know!

UPDATE: I realize now that this was an older post, and I have found the “Upgrade Kit” on the shop page. Duh. Overlook this please.


I didn’t know about LowRider v2 to LowRider v3 hardware upgrade kit. – V1 Engineering Inc, that’s cool.