Longer is relatively well known on the French market, I had already had the opportunity to test their resin printer the Orange 30, but I had not yet tested an FDM printer of this brand. The manufacturer offered me to try their brand new model, the LK5 Pro.
This LK5 Pro with a 300x300x400mm print area is priced at around 295€ on the AliExpress Official Store, with stock in Europe, a relatively good price, but what is this machine really worth? What does it have that is PRO?
Main features of the Longer LK5 Pro
– 300x300x400mm printing surface
– Heated tray with ultra low glass surface
– Bowden type remote extruder
– 4.3″ colour touch screen –
Silent motherboard (TMC2208 drivers)
– Reinforced triangle structure
– High temperature resistant PTFE tube (capricorn type)
– End of filament detector
– Resume printing in case of cut
Please note that unlike the “LK4” series for which there is the LK4 and LK4 Pro, there is no “non-pro” version for the LK5.
For less than 300€, you can enjoy a printer with a silent motherboard and a colour touchscreen, on paper it is relatively close to the Creality CR-10 v2 (the LK5 Pro doesn’t have the dual motor for the Z-axis) whose price is much higher (between 380-400€).
Unpacking the Longer LK5 Pro
The box is relatively compact, compared to other similar machines I’ve already tested, but the package is still 14kg.
The machine is partially assembled, at first sight the components seem to be of good quality. Compared to the CR-10 v2, the assembly time will be a bit longer, as the X axis is not mounted on the Z axis structure, so you’ll have to read the instructions carefully, but it’s still within the reach of a beginner, even if you’re not a great handyman. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to fully assemble this machine.
First impressions with the Longer LK5 Pro
Before you start, you will need to adjust the platen, there is no self-levelling sensor on this machine, so we will do this manually.
Using an A4 sheet of paper, you need to check that the 4 corners of the platen are not too close to/far from the nozzle, you need to have about the thickness of an A4 sheet (i.e. about 0.10mm). You will also need to check that the belts are tight and re-tension them if necessary, and finally you will need to check the eccentrics to ensure that the bearings can rotate freely, and that there is no play.
Once these adjustments have been made, you can launch the first print, it is recommended to print a test model provided on the micro SD card of the printer. They have just thought of putting a Benchy as a test file (as well as some other example gcode), the result is clean for a first print. The second example file is a whistle with a “Longer” inscription, this whistle is working well!
Prusa Slicer configuration for the Longer LK5 Pro
I use Prusa Slicer for most of my machines, they have integrated since version 2.3 profiles for the Creality CR-10 and Ender3, this is a good thing, this LK5 Pro is relatively close to the CR-10, so I will use one of these profiles by default. I’m not going to change any values as this printer is also equipped with a remote Bowden extruder.
Let’s go for the first print from this profile, a little astronaut! The colour touch screen interface is very clear and intuitive. The printing result is clean with a layer height of 0.20mm, Sunlu PLA filament at 200°C.
Other prints made with the LK5 Pro
In blue, PLA filament from Tianse, also in 0.20mm.
In grey PLA+ from Eryone, in 0.20mm for the 2 figures, and 0.24mm for the last print (in a box). The rendering is clean, for a default profile without having made any modifications, it’s more than correct.
I also made some other prints with this machine, which you can see in this little video.
To conclude, what can I say about this Longer LK5 Pro?
First of all, thank you to Longer for sending me this machine, and to be totally honest I was expecting a rather average machine, but in the end I must say that this printer does the job!
Its price under 300€ is without doubt its strong point, it is certainly not equipped with very high-end features (no self-levelling sensor, nor direct drive extruder), but for this price you can’t ask too much.
The machine is quiet in operation, much quieter than an Ender 3, but you can still hear the fan, it’s a shame the manufacturers don’t go for a quieter fan, that would be an undeniable advantage.
The print quality is good, even if you can probably get better results by adapting the profile, I have not tested it with other Slicers like Cura either. The purpose of this test is to show you what you can get from this printer “out of the box” without being an expert, and without spending hours tearing your hair out!
I also appreciate the Ultrabase type platen, with which I had a very good adhesion on the ten or so prints made, the prints all came off very easily once the platen had cooled down (be careful to adjust the platen the first time), the platen looks straight.
Would I recommend this printer for purchase?
Longer is not the first brand that would come to mind if you ask me which 3D printer to choose, but if your budget is tight and you want to go for this brand, yes you can buy this LK5 Pro, perfectly suitable for a beginner.