The Longer LK4, which we will talk about today, was born to impose itself in the market of the economic quality. It comes in the same shape as the modern small, as the Ender 3 (click here for the review) which follows excellent technical features, having some extra in the basic version though.
It’s the same brand that produces Alfawise U30. Consequently the shapes and operation are almost identical. But even compared to the latter the Longer LK4 has some advantages, which we will talk about when we explain the editing.
Let’s start firstly with the technical description, which immediately gives us a rough idea.
- Printing volume – 22 x 22 x 25 cm
- Heated bed – Yes
- Printable materials – PLA, ABS, PET, PETG, ASA, flexible and more
- Colour touch display – 2,8″
- Restart print after power outage
- End of filament sensor
- Plate with adherent surface
- Mosfets installed as standard
When buying a cheap device, above all, quality is one of the main concerns. So should we buy a more expensive model?
Fortunately, this is not a problem with the LONGER LK4. This 3D printer is made with a sturdy aluminum frame that weighs about 7 kg. It’s rock solid. The power supply and the motherboard connections are secure and provide excellent electrical protection. It’s actually a printer that brings together, as a result, quality and economy in a perfect marriage!
Unboxing the Longer LK4
The Longer LK4 comes packaged in a medium-sized cardboard box. About 20cm high and about 50cm wide.
The package arrived on time after 7 days from the order at the official Aliexpress store. It is well packed with no signs of damage. Once opened I found all the components well protected and ordered, each housed in their own compartment. I didn’t find a single “stray” bolt inside the package.
Inside you can find, in addition to the printer:
- Allen set (even more than the ones we actually use)
- Wrench 7/10
- Micro SD with USB adapter
- Spatula, very good, rigid and already pointed for the removal of prints
- Cable ties
- Power cable
- Filament 5m
- Reserve Filament End Sensor – Corect, a second Filament End Sensor!
The micro sd contains the digital copy of the instructions and several files to make the first test prints.
Assembly the Longer LK4
This machine, like all new generation 3D printers, comes pre-assembled at about 90%. Basically we deal with 3 pieces.
- The second piece is the castle (the upper part).
- Last piece is the x-axis, then the bar where the extruder moves, already fully mounted!
Then beyond the 3 macro components we will still have the touch screen, the port filament and the motor with bar for Z movement.
Once all the components were removed from the packaging, I started finally the assembly of the machine.
The assembly is very simple and intuitive to carry out.
Just follow the excellent and complete instructions in English, but of course easy understanding thanks to the illustrative images. Also regarding the electrical wiring part it is all explained in detail in the instructions and also identified by labels on the cables. It’s almost impossible to make a mistake.
If you have average mechanical capabilities you will be able to make this printer operational in about 20 minutes, without any particular difficulty. The only thing that made me think about was the installation of the color monitor. An ultra-thin cable is used, which must be inserted and locked by tightening a special ring. Beyond this particular nothing to report.
Here I summarize the few assembly points
Note: before starting keep in mind that the Longer LK4 has (as shown in the photo) smooth profiles for the visible part. This makes the assembly even easier! The smooth part must always be visible!
Insert the fully mounted X-axis into the “castle”. The hot end part must be on the smooth side of the castle!
- Place the castle with the smooth part towards the front of the printer and tighten the 4 screws from under the base.
Place the flat cable with the bronzes towards the monitor board and tighten the ring. Then install the metal protection at the back of the screen.
- Secure the touch screen.
- Fix the filament port.
- Place the z motor on the back and fix to the holes on the profile.
- Make electrical connections following the labels.
After these simple steps the printer is ready to work!
Longer LK4: First impression
It is very solid, the frame is really solid! The project, with special extensions that lift it for about 10 cm is very functional.
Another point that struck me immediately was the plate. The surface is not smooth, it is recalling the surface of the Buildtak.
All the pieces that compose it, from the supports for the wheels, for the extruder and the plate are all made of aluminum, light and also very resistant. As aluminum is also the frame of the touch screen. Very convenient and intuitive interface of the touch screen display. In fact, allows you to access all the useful functions quickly and immediately, even when printing for the correction “on the fly” of some values. For example the cooling fan speed, the nozzle flow and temperature, the temperature of the printing table, etc..
The prints come off well from the plate, with the PLA just heat the top to 60°C. This will stick to the printing surface. On the one hand, I had a hard time pulling the press off at the end of the job.
Tip: To detach the press if you have difficulty, with one hand hold the plate and with the other, by sliding the spatula supplied on the plate give a nice shot. The movement must be done in the Y direction. So you will not cause damage to the plate leveling.
The idea of having a second filament end sensor as a replacement is excellent.
The first prints
After the assembly phase here are finally the first tests. I must say that this printer has a really impressive quality, right from the start without any modification!
The layers are practically invisible and the rendering of the details is very satisfying! What do you think?
Software features of LK4
We must certainly start with the touch screen color monitor. It is immediate to select what we want the machine to do for us.
And to think that in little different models these modifications involved a bad job, to tinker inside the firmware. Certainly this printer is not one but several steps forward.
Another thing I cannot fail to mention is the firmware upgrade. I challenge anyone to find a machine where it is easy to change the firmware as well as this one. The operations to be done are:
- Download firmware and unpack it to SD card (Download link).
- Insert the SD card into the printer and turn it on.
- Wait for it to update automatically, turn off the machine and remove the SD.
Is that all? Well, that’s it…!
Longer LK4: Optional on board
This 3D printer, even if very cheap, can be a concentrate of technology, with many options on board.
Longer LK4: 2 upgrades I recommend!
Here are 2 upgrades that I recommend right away.
- The knobs to adjust the height of the plate are rather small. The Ender 3 is equipped with much larger knobs that make the installation light and precise.
If you, like me, prefer bigger knobs you can improve it without spending a penny! It will be sufficient to print new knobs to overlap with those in use.
If we want to make it perfect we can also install insulating cotton under the plate, to minimize the waste of electricity. Having to use the heat of the plate for adhesion this will decrease consumption. Also in this case price and installation are on our side.
Longer LK4: Everything that made me fall in love.
There are many design solutions that I liked very much, and here they are listed:
- Adhesion printing plan without adding any product.
- Stable and well built, solid materials.
- The Filament End Sensor: Allows you to go all the way to the coil without fear.
- Reboot after power failure: not to fear any more sudden blackouts.
- The touch color display: complete and intuitive, together with the menus allows us to move with extreme simplicity.
- Print quality in general: really good output from the box.
- Heating rate.
- The price: Even if we haven’t talked about money yet, the price of this super-equipped printer is the real and definitive strength. In other words a MUST have.
Longer LK4: To improve
- Slightly noisy power supply fan, but nothing excessive.
- Not very comfortable the housing of the micro SD.
- Very little filament supplied, equip yourself with a coil of filament! So you will use it!
Whatever is your knowledge of 3D printing world, Longer LK4 will be a great friend for your creativity! To summarize the print quality is amazing, and does not require any previous skills to use it at the best!
With some upgrades it can become a perfect 3D printer, therefore ready to compete with much more expensive and famous models. The fact that it can print almost all materials, also thanks to the short PTFE tube, makes it suitable even if you have special needs.
Where Can I Buy Long LK4?
The best shop to buy Longer LK4 is the Longer Global Store on Aliexpress. Here you will find the best prices of the network, fast shipping from Europe and a great after sale. Ready to solve your problems!
Currently Longer LK4 is available for sale on this shop at the incredible price of 120€! With shipment in 10 days without customs charges since the printer is already in Europe!
This store has the best prices on all Longer products! All models at the lowest prices in the market!
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