Serial Numbers

Ah, but then we need hooks to allow us oldies to retrofit serial numbers into our old machines…

Maybe we could allow a provisional period where “oldies” aka everyone who has built a CNC could request a serial number and we’d have to rely on the honor system.

Example request: (how my request would look)

@serialbot -model mpcnc -builddate 2021-9-29


Your request has been recorded. After the provisional period ends, serial numbers will be issued based on build date.

Then we issue those serial numbers after a few weeks. After that provisional period, we do it incrementally.

That’s significantly more work to figure out I guess but worth it maybe?

That is a tough one.

A bot would be fun…but the first person to game it would really ruin it for everyone, and I do have a lot of people that are still sending nasty emails and comments.

But maybe I can do a submit and approve thing. I think discord has that built in, submit a picture into a special thread and I can approve it and it gets the bot to swing into action. Sounds a bit overcomplicated, but it would be fun.

I am going to need to get this and the challenges working. I was helping a friend move but I think I am done so I can do some forum work over the next few days.

This is definitely tough for previous builds and versions. I do have access to all previous order numbers, but that doesn’t cover self built stuff.

This is probably best. You can grab your spot and have like one day to edit your post and add your printed number picture. If you miss the window you lose your number. Again easy for things going forward, not easy for previous stuff.

What about a simple user/builder form submit, coupled with a validation script that generates a serial and keeps track of it all?

Ryan (or someone else - isn’t he busy enough?) validates the request and spits out an official serial number


if the builder choses to print / engrave / whatever, it’s up to him (of course I suppose someone could offer custom engraved / lasered serial number plates for big big bucks!)

I would suggest a coded serial #, just spit balling here:
2 digit machine type - LR, MP, ZN, 3D, etc
2 digit machine variant - 02
8 digit serial number - 1st two digits representing year built, 2 digits for the month, 2 digits for the day built, 2 digits for counter, (Ryan - Have you ever shipped out 100 kits of the same machine in one day? Would you want to try?)

That way early adopters get a coveted early serial number.
Example shown is one built on January 12, 2020. It also happens to be the first one recorded on that day.
LR02200112 or LR-02-20-01-12-01

For kits new or old, you could just assign the day you ship(ped) out the kits and if they get built great, if not, so what, a dead serial number - but at least it’s tracked.

Now all of this is predicated on the honor system as to when home printed / non kit previous builds are considered “built”

But really, if someone is not honest, who exactly are they trying to impress?

Ok gang, rip this idea to shreds :slight_smile:


Especially when you have that guy that showed up that was like your second or third order ever.


Exactly. The system should make sure it doesn’t give out the same number to two people (that would be embarrassing :blush:). But it shouldn’t work too hard to be secure, as long as one person can’t make 10,000 of them.

I even think making them do a carve or print or etch or something is too far. If they want to just look at the number on their computer and smile, that’s fine with me.

Also, that graphic looks awesome.

And that numbering scheme (date plus number) makes it a little more personal. It hides the total (which is good and bad).

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I don’t care too much about the serial number but a nice engravable v1 plate would be a nice addition to the store kind of like the touch plate you added. People could customize it with whatever they wanted. Maybe toss in a custom one on full kit purchases as a value add.

Official serial numbers imply some sort of responsibility of v1 for home built machines so I’d be wary of anything too formalized.


Another possible technical solution is to have something in the shop software. Something like purchasing a serial number from the store (it could be free). Orders would add it onto the kits and people who build their own can add it to their purchase of a rambo or if they are making a spare parts build, they can check out just for the digital number.


I thought about using a counter based number, but that would only reward those that posted first vs those had early builds.

I think it’s more of a badge of honor for those who had the vision to climb aboard the V1 train early…

And a standard plate that one could engrave / laser - why not?

I know virtually all serial number plates are steel or stainless with engraved or printed info, but since a majority of these machines are for wood, why not a wood plate?

These are cheap, and could be easily engraved or lasered, or even a clear label laser printed (ok I need to work on my photoshop wood burning, but you get the idea).


Argh… I didn’t think people actually cared about the order of the number itself.

Maybe we make the serial number a hash of the model and username. Makes it the same for everyone, yet numberless. Because the number doesn’t matter.

Who knew this would be such a hard problem.

Previous builds would be very hard to number, we iterated fast for a long time and there were several part swaps without full rebuilds.

I am very overwhelmed and behind on all the online stuff (Zen instructions are not even half done). So This needs to be easy and extra scripts make me very nervous as I already have to keep track of a lot of software and platforms. If something breaks I can rarely fix it without help, I typically just learn to use it. For example the Docs are not on the current version as I can’t figure out why the theme breaks. That stuff is higher on the priority list.

There has to be some sort of proof, at least a picture? If you get a number I get a picture. Think about how many times we have tried to imagine how many MPCNC’s are out there. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? No way to know.

Years ago I worked with Google Docs. You could make a sheet. Excel like sheet. Have it hold all the names dates and assigned Numbers. You can control who has access to that doc. Then you create a form that will be public. Users fill out the form and it saves the data to the sheet and returns the number. But it can still be abused by bots and scripts.

Hmm, I have build pics from September 2016 for my 525 MPCNC, but don’t have one for the finished version, though it had to be within a day or two of those. Then I have build pics from November 2016 for the MP3DP, but again without the final product (other than a running version after I moved the filament spool overhead in January). My build pics for the ZenXY were August 2017, but the first pics with everything running weren’t until September. I don’t have build pics for the Burly or Primo at all… :frowning:

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I “Finished” my Primo more than a year ago, but added stuff to it for months afterward, like drag chain holders (which I cut with the machine they were for) and spoilboard parts, and I’m looking at major modifications “soon”. When is it really done?

This isn’t like an assembly line machine with a real build date, most of us take some LR2 isn’t really done yet, it’s been in production for a few months, but it moves…

Maybe “crown date” is a reasonable measure? As in, the date that reasonably accurate motion is produced, even if you never drew an actual crown.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that making more work for Ryan isn’t anyone’s goal here, we want him to keep designing and shipping awesome hobby machines, less getting bogged down in tangential stuff.

March 17 2016 is the first picture I have of my completed mpcnc. I started printing around the 10th.

Before this post gets out of hand and off topic, this is not the place to upload your photo to get a serial number. :slight_smile:

We are trying to figure out how we could implement such a system.

What we know so far:

  • it needs to be automated because time is money.
  • it may hurt people’s feelings if they don’t get a low number. (Get over it!)
  • if anyone sends mean emails to Ryan, they can go chase a squirrel.

off topic is almost always on topic here :slight_smile:

Time is money, sure. But the real point is Ryan’s time is finite and we need to protect it. I have been guilty of this as much as anyone. But we need to watch out when we donate time that we consider the maintenance. Not trying to discourage any solutions. Just make it clear that Ryan cant hand make 2000 gcodes. We also need to be careful not to cause problems with the shop or forum software because Ryan is the only one who can fix it.

I don’t like the idea of a hash. You might as well have a random number generator on a static site. It doesn’t mean as much. I agree that if you are #55 or #65 it doesn’t matter much.

I would say that the initialization problem (handing out numbers to existing machines) is a temporary one. If this goes anywhere and we are looking back in a year, after a new version, or whatever. I’d like to see a system that is fun and reasonably fair. Think about that first and work backwards. When Ryan makes a MPCNC Optimus Primo, we will be able to start with #2, and it will be smooth.

There is a lot of documented evidence that the forum frequenters have built the machine (most of them, anyway). Maybe we skip that by making prior machines #0 and if people want something else, they can register for one of the first numbers. I would be happy with Low Rider 0, sharing it with all the great builds on here to date.


I will say that having a low number machine may help with street cred on the forum. Knowing someone has used the machine since the beginning tells me they may have a bit more experience than someone that started using it last week.

I know I fought through a few issues with my primo upgrade that hadn’t been seen yet.