The LK4 3D Printer by Longer 3D is finally here! With its build volume of 220mm x 220mm x 250mm, this matches the build size of the Ender 3 so is it a good contender?

Specifications of the

  • CE Certification: Yes
  • Fliament: 1.75mm PLA, ABS, TPU, Copper, Wood, Carbon Fibre
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • Bed Temp: 110
  • Slice Software: Cura/Repetier-Host
  • Consumables Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Precision: 0.05-0.4mm

LK4 3D Printer

  • Color Print Speed: Up to 120mm/s
  • Maximum Print Size: 220*220*250mm
  • File Format: stl
  • Molding Technology: FDM
  • Auto Leveling: No
  • Voltage: 110-220V
  • Maximum Printing Speed: 120mm/s
  • Interface Type: USB

Where can I buy the LK4 3D Printer?

The price of the Longer LK4 3D Printer is not something to be sniffed at. Currently retailing at *£166 over on AlixExpress or Amazon where as the Ender 3 retails at around the same price. With the LK4, you do get a touchscreen & a run-out sensor. *Price correct as of August 2019

Packaging

The LK4 3D Printer came packaged neatly and securely with plenty of absorbing sponge inside! The components had their own little space, and the screws were labelled. Included was a small sample of PLA filament, Allen keys and spanner. However, there was no scraper or flush cutters! This is kind of like a necessity when it comes to 3D printing, so a shame to see these not included. Also included was an 8GB Micro SD card and USB reader and instructions.

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

The LK4 Build

The instructions that come with the LK4 3D Printer are detailed and contain detailed pictures to assist with the building process, so, therefore, it makes the LK4 relatively easy to put together. With the belt, you will have to use cable ties. These can loop on the extruder carriage to hold it in place.

Nothing too difficult mind! With the screen, you can have this on either side of your choosing, for instance, on the left or right-hand side of the machine. The SD card does contain more detailed instructions should you need to refer to them. If you can build an Ender 3, you can most certainly build this! It was good to see that they mentioned that the screws for the brass Z rod coupling are not to be too tight! You can access a copy of these instructions on the Longer 3D site.

Once I had finished building, the printer wobbled when it was sat flat on the table, therefore, to remedy this, I just removed one of the plastic feet on one corner, and the wobble had gone.

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

The Printer

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch? I first preheated the LK4’s hotend to 200 and the bed to 60. Heatup time was your average, just a few minutes. Once up to temperature, I proceeded to level the bed. Unfortunately, the levelling wheels are small and tricky to manoeuvre. Not good if you have large hands! As a result, the back right corner was more tricky to get to due to the frame being in the way.

The others are relatively easy to get to. Larger levelling wheels is a must for this to make it much more manageable. The hotend nozzle blower is 3D printed (similar to the CR10S Pro) but seems to do the job well. Loading the filament was easy. I especially like the location of the spool holder as it gives a right direction for the filament to enter the extruder without rubbing against anything and also doesn’t add weight to the top bar like other printers.

Surface

The LK4 build surface is glass with a surface sheet stuck on. The sheet is smooth and not textured, and when first trying to print, I found it stuck too well, and when peeling off, there were white marks on the bottom of the print. I know this is likely down to be too close, but I can’t help but think the build surface has something to do with this also.  Flipping the glass over so there was just bare glass, this seemed much better.

I did also switch to my Ender 3 glass bed to see how that did too. The heated bed cable is just plugged in with no strain relief, but to turn this into a positive, you can easily unplug this to remove the bed to remove your prints without upsetting the levelling. The Z-axis endstop is activated by the roller wheel rather than the z-axis bar hitting it, which is different. I can’t think of any negatives for having it this way, apart from perhaps the wheel wearing away over time, which would change your bed level? Only time will tell.

Starting a print

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch? Once you have your file sliced and added to the SD card, you can then insert this into the Longer LK4 3D printer. The location of the SD card slot, as well as the USB, is at the rear of the machine! Not a practical place if you have an enclosure or limited access to the back. This should be moved to the front, similar to the Ender 3. Navigating the screen is easy and straightforward.

You can preset the hotend and bed to PLA, ABS and even PETG. You select the file from your list and then just open. It will then give you a screen on the temps, fan speed, Z layer height, current time that has passed, progress and the model name. If printing one of the files already on the SD card, this also gives you the time it will take.

There is also a button which takes you to further options to change the print speed etc. while it’s printing. The noise of the printer isn’t too bad so. Therefore, I measured the sound with an app on my phone and came to an average of around 55db while it was printing.

The Prints

The SD card included has some already sliced models. I first started with these, and just to warn you, they all begin with a brim. I’m not a great lover of brims unless it is necessary, but still, I carried on with it. Here are some of the prints produced on the Longer LK4 3D Printer. This print was printed straight from the SD card. As you can see, it prints with a brim which is fully stuck on, and it seems the first few layers are too close. However, the print quality is outstanding!

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

More 3D Prints

These following prints were sliced in Simplify3D using a 0.2mm layer height, 200 hotend and 60 bed.

XYZ Calibration cube – Thingiverse

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

Flexi Dragon – Thingiverse

Some of these parts were a bit close, so I had to give a little force to separate the hinged parts, but overall, a good quality print.

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

Spiral Vase – Thingiverse

Using vase mode, this printed correctly!

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?
Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

Pros

  • Touchscreen
  • Price
  • Build quality
  • Spool holder location
  • Power supply location
  • Good instructions
  • Power resume functionality
  • Filament run out sensor

Cons

  • Small levelling wheels
  • No cutters or scraper included
  • No textured build surface
  • Small sample of filament
  • No bed cable strain relief
  • USB and SD Card slot location

What would I change?

I would change the location of the USB and SD card slot to the front, perhaps integrating it into part of the screen? Bigger levelling wheels for definite as they can be quite fiddly. Include at least a 250g spool of the filament along with flush cutters and a scraper and finally, some strain relief for the heated bed.

Overall

The Longer LK4 3D Printer is an excellent start if you have never had a printer before. Easy to build, easy to use and it produces some perfect prints! It is most definitely on par with the Ender 3, of which both are affordable…which one to choose? Good question! This would be a difficult decision for me as they are both as good as each other, however, with Longer 3D being reasonably new to the 3D printing market, I feel most people would go with the Ender 3 as they have been around for longer, but I say give Longer 3D a chance! They produce some quality built printers which produce great prints right out the box, and it also looks good.

I hope this review helps in your decision whether to purchase this printer or not, however, If you have any further questions or comments, please leave them below!

In the meantime, why not check out this Geeetech A10M 2019 – Dual Extruder Specs or how about SOVOL PLA 3D Printer Filament: High Quality at a Low Price?

Longer 3D LK4 3D Printer Review- One to watch?

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