New user looking into first CNC

I’m a new user working on building a shop in my garage.
Was going to just be a wood shop but now planning a full makers space.
Lots of wood working stuff but also a adding much more.

Currently have a Biqu B1 3d printer.

First thing I found was the LR3 but the more I look into the MPCNC, the more it looks like a better start?

My first question is about the difference between them.
Much is obvious looking at the basics, but that part aside, is one essentially better, more accurate, faster than the other?

I’ll search for this answer in the forum so feel free to ignore this question for now.
If I find a good answer I’ll reply to this thread with what I found.

Already reading a few topics on my question.

Already looks like I might want both.

Let me know if you think this is off base.

If I was only going to be working in wood the LR3 would be ideal all around, and certainly is if you wish to get to 2’ x 4’ or larger.

It seem like it might be easier to modify the MPCNC in a small form factor to work at reasonable speed on precision small aluminum parts?

I’ll do more wood than anything, but will be working in metal as well.

I will let someone answer who has built both. I’ve built a LowRider V2 (with router), upgraded it to a V3 (with router), and also built a second LR3 (plasma). I’ve been real happy with the V3. I bought a used, already built MPCNC Primo, which arrived disassembled, but I’ve never assembled it, because I’ve never needed it. The LR3 has always done whatever I needed done. But there are makers here who have built both. So, hopefully they will chime in.

Also note: an improved LowRider V4 is expected soon. Ryan won’t publish it if it does not offer considerable improvement over the V3. Since the V3 is already this good, the V4 would be even more impressive.

Already watched a few of your videos Doug! Thanks for the great work and the reply.

Excited about the Kobalt router!

Will definitely look at our plasma cutter setup as that is on my list as well.

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I built both the Primo and the LowRider 3 and there is nearly no reason not to go for the LowRider.
I posted about it before but can’t find it. And as Doug said: if you can wait for a bit, there might be a better LowRider.

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I built the Burly (MPCNC predecessor to the current Primo. I knew it would be going into my basement shop and while I’d love to have the space to do full 4 foot by 8 foot sheets, I wasn’t going to be wrestling those down my stairs. If I had a garage, or ground-level shop I’d build the LowRider and figure out a way to use the table as an alternate work surface (by removing the gantry, probably), or have it fold up or flip over so as to have room for other work to get done.

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@ttraband makes a good point here, about the LowRider’s ability to have its surface do double duty as an assembly table / work surface. I do this all the time with my big one. I designed a mod to move the belts down, not only on the sides, below the work surface, but even hidden inside of C-shaped metal struts that my LowRider rides on. I did it initially only at the side where I load and unload sheet materials, but someone asked if it could be done on both sides, so I eventually did it to the other side as well. There is now at least one other mod for this approach, and it can be either only moved down, or hidden in a strut.

Great points guys!

Other than starting to look for great deals on parts and doing homework, there is no chance I will be able to start this build till late summer or even this fall.

Might work out very well on the V4 front! :slight_smile:
All of this is going into my garage and while I do not know how big I might want want to go, I hate the idea of being limited.

One of my first projects will be a custom home theater subwoofer cabinet. I’m targeting this thing at 10hz so it will be big and a horn design, so I really think my options will expand quite a bit if I have a CNC for the project.

Very excited about finding this community as it is exactly what I was looking for!

It also looks like there are at least two users here that did builds in the Portland, OR area so I plan to reach out to them to see if there is an opportunity to check out there results.


It’s always possible that a newer/better machine is right around the corner. The printer is up to V5, so I started building a V4 and will end that build on V5.

Ryan periodically experiments and new things arrive when they arrive. There’s been no word that the tests that “Might” lead to an LR4 or a newer MPCNC flavor were sufficiently better that they’re making it to beta builds.

If you wait for the next one (and then the next next one) you may never get to the end.

LR3 is a fantastic machine. Very worth the build.

In that case, hang out with us, ask questions, join the community.

When you’re ready to build then we’ll be here to help and advise.

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Three years ago I waited for the Primo to come out. Well worth the wait. Still the current model. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m going to keep learning and watching as I get ready!

One thing I’m also going to do is start getting any parts that are safe to buy ahead of time.

One dilemma for me is that I want to support Ryan in any way I can but my budget for this really does not exist so I also have to look for every way to keep costs down though I do not want to sacrifice quality or performance.

Helps that I have a 3d printer and lots of filament already, but for other things, I’m especially interested in buying any parts that I would use for other projects in quantity.

For instance, the bearings for all of these options are the same type and I both already have some and I’m interested in getting a quantity more at a good price point.

These are crucial to this and any similar build so I do have to ask how much veriation there is in the quality of these bearings?

The ones I currently have are ANCIRS

I’m looking at something like this:

Also looking for deals on rails for this and other projects where they might be used.

To be honest, buying the kit from Ryan is the easiest way, especially for a new person, and his prices are very reasonable. If you’re outside the US, then it might make sense to source parts separately.

Ryan sells these for 45 cents a piece and the LR3 needs 14. So, we’re talking $6.30.

It seems to me that the best way to save money is to print the parts yourself. Otherwise than that, I’m not sure it’s worth it.


I don’t want to shame some cheaper options. Often they are cheaper and similar enough to not matter. But we have seen some issues with the cheaper bearings.


That wasn’t my intent. I just know other than a few items, it’s really diminishing returns on cost savings that may not be worth the risk or effort.

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I didn’t think you were shaming anything. I said that because I was about to shame the cheaper bearings.


Why don’t you shame some of the cheap controllers while you’re at it? :beating_dead_horse: