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LONGER LK5 Pro Review - 3D printer for prototyping with a little fiddling

LONGER LK5 Professional Assessment – 3D printer for prototyping with a bit fiddling

The LONGER LK5 Pro is a type of 3D printer that you buy when you know how to fix bugs. This device is a middle ground between the high-end, pre-made, branded 3D printers that cost a lot and the DIY 3D printers that are dirt cheap because you need to know exactly what you’re doing right away.

Setup and software

For setup you need to place the pressure extruder rod, arms and supports. You need to screw each of these components together in a specific order and insert the connectors between the powered components. If you are not satisfied with replacing Memory Sticks in your PC, this is not the 3D printer for you.

The LONGER LK5 Pro uses Ultimaker’s Cura software for cutting and staging. You have to follow a few simple instructions to load settings – and once you’ve tried it, you can adjust those settings to your liking.

To transfer files to the printer for printing, you need a microSD card. You can also use a USB cable to perform this process. However, it is a type B USB connection, not a standard type A. So unless you plan to use a converter, you shouldn’t expect to plug a USB stick with print files into the USB port which is standard in most large 3D printers.

You can also use this USB Type-B port to experiment with the software if you wish. This is recommended by the developers of the device – LONGER suggests that “with open source firmware you can try out your awesome ideas on LK5 Pro by changing the C-code.” We haven’t found a reason yet why changing The printer’s firmware would be beneficial in some way – but it’s nice to know that the company allows the user to make adjustments on the fly.

Printing and Repair

To print, a PLA line has to be fed through a mechanism that in turn feeds this line through a Teflon tube. At the point where the PLA is fed into the pipe, the device has a substrate detector.

With this detector and the feeding system with the tube, this printer can detect when the print material is running low, pause printing until the user reloads new material, and start again without damaging the final print product.

Due to the simple and clearly visible structure of the printer, troubleshooting of printing problems is both plausible and possible. This device is extremely accessible for repairs and adjustments.

Take, for example, the problem I had with the height of the pressure point. Since I had not taken the correct time to adjust the height of the hatchery, the distance between the print head and the hatchery was too small. The result was a media jam.

Because this device is so simple and accessible, I was able to remove components and find the point where the melted and then hardened PLA material was pinched. Once found, I was able to heat the printhead and eject the secured material with ease.

Print quality

As with most 3D printers, the print quality directly reflects the quality of the files used to print and the technical know-how of the user. If the bed of this printer didn’t need to be aligned – if it were automatically adjusted – the whole process would be much easier. Because of the extremely delicate nature of the 3D printing process, the Re: X, Y, and Z extrusion of liquid-hot plastic, a print bed that gets even the smallest bit off balance means that at best you have uneven printing, or in the worst case, a completely defective print (and temporarily inoperable printer).

If the print bed was level, the software was set up correctly, and the 3D print files were of good enough quality, the final products were pretty decent. We get precise and sharp details here as long as all software and hardware details are perfect.

Wrap up

This printer is adjustable and repairable, prints with standard 1.75mm materials (like PLA, as we tested here), and is relatively affordable. If you are looking for a good quality PLA extrusion system and you don’t want to break the bank, the LONGER LK5 Pro is a great choice.

This is more than your everyday average super affordable low resolution 3D printer that is great for hobbyists of all kinds. This is not a plug and play solution. Instead, it is a value option with the understanding that the user is ready to access and adjust to the process on the fly.

The LONGER LK5 PRO is priced around $ 330 this minute from the LONGER 3D website. You can also find this printer from LONGER on Amazon in the US and internationally. LONGER also sells a variety of PLA filaments for around $ 23 for a single 1kg spool.

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