I have had my CNC machines for a little while now and we felt it was long overdue that I offered some thoughts on the Sienci Mill One.
Disclosure: While I bought my machine, 3DPC were also independently sent one to review, and 3D printer chat had already written up their review machine. These findings are based on my experience of the one that I purchased, which may be different.
What you get when you buy the Sienci Mill One is wood, metal, electronic, and plastic parts, plus the instructions to put it all together. What you do not get is the router itself, that is purchased separately. Factor in $100-150 for the router. I bought the Makita as suggested on the site.
Seeing as this is open source, you could say the instructions and support are really what you are purchasing. Parts-wise nothing in the box is outstanding quality, it is all the kind of thing you would expect from Ali Express, which is how they keep costs down. The Arduino and CNC shield are especially low-quality and you might consider buying legitimate versions if you plan to use yours a lot.
The instructions are excellent (the company responds well to customer feedback) and everything goes together well, apart from you might need to re-tap holes. There are a couple of places where the parts don’t quite line up successfully.
Unfortunately, I got all the way through the build before I realized I had purchased an anti-backlash kit with no idea how it fits and no energy to take everything apart again.
Using the Sienci
The Sienci has no software of its own, but it is a regular Arduino CNC setup so it is standard fare for anyone who has experience of these machines. For people new to CNC the instructions are again great, plus the Sienci folks are helpful and eager to get you moving.
There is no dust collection, either in the kit or as an accessory for print or purchase, so although the machine is partially enclosed, do have your shop vac handy.
Maximum travel is 235mm x 185mm x 100mm, but your actual work area is smaller than that, and Z of course depends on your material, waste board (you don’t get one in the kit) and end mill bits. No fasteners, brackets, clamps etc are included either, so at least get some double-sided carpet tape.
Pros and Cons
My machine currently lives at the Fuse33 maker space in Calgary. As a machine for learning/teaching on, that can be easily maintained, with no expensive, proprietary or difficult to acquire parts, while still having customer service, it is at a sweet spot.
Yes, it is open source so you could save a lot of money by gathering the parts yourself. The biggest purchase you have to make yourself anyway! But that is not the point, by buying from the company you support their efforts, and you get access to their support.
I would like to have more work area, and the design seems to attract dust into hard to reach areas.
For $576.41 CAD I found it good value, sitting between the T8 chinese CNC, and the X-carve in price, quality and capability.