Featured image of 3-in-1 Snapmaker 3D Printer: Review the Facts Here!
Modular Masterpiece?

3-in-1 Snapmaker 3D Printer: Review the Facts Here!

Picture of Bulent Yusuf
by Bulent Yusuf
Feb 20, 2018

What is the Snapmaker 3D printer? Review the facts on this workshop productivity wunderkind that's a 3-in-1 3D printer, laser-engraver and CNC carver in a super-compact all-metal design. Plus, an exclusive interview with Snapmaker founder and CEO Daniel Chen.

There was a great deal of excitement around the Snapmaker 3D Printer when it launched on Kickstarter in March 2017. And that excitement translated into big numbers. Very big numbers indeed.

How big? Well, let’s put it this way. In the spectrum of crowdfunding success stories, the Snapmaker 3D Printer occupies a unique position. After raising $2,277,182 from 5,050 backers, Snapmaker is currently the third most funded 3D printing project on Kickstarter.

The units are only just now being shipped to backers, so it’s too early to provide a comprehensive Snapmaker 3D printer review. But in the interim, here’s a rundown of the promised features and technical specs of a product that’s captured the imaginations of so many makers.

Snapmaker 3D Printer Review Snapmaker 3D Printer Features

Image of Snapmaker 3D Printer: Review Snapmaker 3D Printer Features

The concept of the Snapmaker 3D printer is a modular machine with three distinct functions. The intended audience is the workshopper pushed for space.

First and foremost, the Snapmaker is an all-metal 3D printer. The aluminum frame encases all wiring, with the exception of a few tidy ribbon cables.

But the killer feature is that three interchangeable modules can be swapped onto the Snapmaker’s X-axis rail. In addition to 3D printing, it’s also capable of laser engraving and CNC milling.

The fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing module accepts a standard 1.75mm filament spool. The bed can be heated up to 80 degrees Celsius. But with a build volume of only 125mm square, prints are going to be strictly limited in size.

Ease of use is another core proposition with the Snapmaker 3D printer. It has an LCD touchscreen for operation, is simple to assemble, and comes bundled with the proprietary Snap3D software.

The laser engraving module has a class 200 mW laser. This is capable of burning designs into wood, leather and similar materials. In addition, the CNC milling module has an adjustable spindle speed between 2,000 and 7,000 rpm.

Snapmaker 3D Printer Review Snapmaker 3D Printer Tech Specs

Image of Snapmaker 3D Printer: Review Snapmaker 3D Printer Tech Specs

3D Printing

  • Heated Bed Up to 80 ℃
  • Layer Resolution 50~300 microns
  • Build Volume 125 x 125 x 125 mm (4.9″ x 4.9″ x 4.9″)
  • Supported Materials Non-proprietary 1.75mm PLA, ABS, etc.

Laser Engraving

  • Work Area 125 x 125 mm
  • Laser Power 200mW
  • Supported File Types SVG, JPEG, PNG, etc.
  • Supported Materials Wood, bamboo, leather, plastic, fabric, paper, non-transparent acrylic, and so on.

CNC Carving

  • Work Area 90 x 90 x 50 mm
  • Shank Diameter 3.175mm
  • Supported File Types* SVG, STEP, IGES, IGS, DWG, DXF, etc.
  • Supported Materials Wood, acrylic, PCB, carbon fiber sheet, etc.

*Users can work with these supported files with the help of third party software such as Autodesk Fusion 360.

Snapmaker 3D Printer Interview with Snapmaker Founder Daniel Chen

In this exclusive interview with ALL3DP, Snapmaker founder and CEO Daniel Chen speaks about the genesis of his innovative 3-in-1 machine.

Q: Where did the idea for the Snapmaker 3D printer come from?

Inspired by LEGO and many innovative DIY platforms, we love the idea of empowering people to realize their thoughts with creative products. With previous experience of playing with and designing 3D printers, we’ve been hearing about — and experiencing ourselves — the pain of setting up the difficult-to-use DIY 3D printer kit, and being limited by the standard plug-and-play 3D printer.

We are hoping to change that. So we came up with an idea: create an all-metal 3D printer, which is easy-to-use for beginners, expandable for makers, and truly affordable for everyone.

Q: How big is the team behind the Snapmaker 3D Printer? What is their background?

We’re a tech startup team of 8 people. Three quarters of us work on the project (engineering, coding and manufacturing), and the other quarter work with the community and marketing.

I started Snapmaker Inc. in 2016. Otoko, Tinker, Jade and Marx joined Snapmaker one after another soon. Before joining Snapmaker, we met each other at university or previous companies, and then became friends and partners.

Before starting Snapmaker, I worked as a Mechanical Engineer for aircraft engine manufacturing after graduating from university. Then I worked at a startup where I partnered with Tinker to lead the design and mass production of two DIY 3D Printer Kits.

Q: Where will the Snapmaker 3D printer be manufactured?

The Snapmaker 3D printer will be manufactured in Shenzhen, China. As with any project, we face the challenges of manufacturing. With our work experience in engineering and manufacturing, we started working on this part last year, and have already selected reputable die manufacturing companies to partner with.

So far, we’ve completed over 80% of component sourcing. We are close to the supply chain in Shenzhen, which helps us keep a close watch on the manufacturing process and ensure rewards are delivered in a timely manner.

Snapmaker 3D Printer

Q: The Kickstarter page title leads with “the all-metal 3D printer”. Is 3D printing the Snapmaker’s primary function?

Yes. The Snapmaker 3D Printer features an all-metal build that ensures a reliable and consistent high precision 3D printing experience.

Q: There have been other all-in-one printers before, at a variety of price points. What makes the Snapmaker 3D printer stand apart?

We think it is the combination of all-metal quality, modular features and affordable price that makes the Snapmaker 3D printer stand out. When you look into the existing all-in-one printers on the market, you’ll find that most of them are over $1000 while still being limited to two or three specific functions preset by the companies.

However, the Snapmaker 3D Printer is entirely made up of a number of fully functional modules, which allows for various possible combinations of different machines. Moreover, we will provide more and more function modules in the near future. All of this is still in all-metal quality at an affordable price point.

Q: You propose that the Snapmaker 3D printer can be a combination of different machines. Does this mean the modules you create will work across the range of machines you release?

Yes. We want to build a LEGO-liked platform while which people can use our modules to build reliable machines that can work properly in reality. Following this principle, all the modules we make use the same mechanical and electronic interfaces.

Put simply, our modules are like LEGO blocks, empowering people to turn their ideas into real life objects, even powerful machines.

snapmaker 3d printer

Q: The Snapmaker 3D printer campaign goal was a modest $50,000, which was smashed in a matter of minutes. What will that original $50,000 be used for? What about the excess?

The original goal is the minimum amount we needed to raise for the fulfillment of our product to be possible. In addition to this, we prepared for more backers to join the campaign. The excess funding will be used for a much larger scale of production. This helps to bolster our negotiating position with suppliers for strict quality control and lower cost per unit.

Furthermore, we’ll hire additional engineers to work on this project so that we can make the Snapmaker better and speed up the product development.

Q: The Snapmaker 3D printer campaign timeline on Kickstarter includes the production of spools of filament. What does this mean exactly? Does the Snapmaker only accept proprietary filament?

The Snapmaker 3D Printer uses non-proprietary 1.75mm filament. Basically, anyone who backs a Snapmaker 3D Printer will receive a spool of filament provided by us. That’s the reason we include the production of filament in our timeline.

Q: How will you be keeping Snapmaker 3D printer backers updated during the production process?

We will share status information on the Snapmaker 3D printer with pictures and videos in the Update section on our Kickstarter project page. To keep close communication with our backers, we will post weekly updates and listen to their suggestions and feedback.

Snapmaker 3D Printer

Q: Open source is a large part of the origin and spirit of 3D printing. With this in mind, are people free to iterate on the Snapmaker 3D printer?

I totally agree with you that open source greatly promotes 3D printing technology. Generally, it is a long-term effort to grow and maintain the community of open source.

At this stage, we are busy with handling mass production and not able to maintain such a community. We’ve been thinking about this issue though, and will try to come to a conclusion after all rewards have been delivered to our backers.

Q: You bundle a proprietary software with the Snapmaker 3D printer. Can you tell us a little more about this?

We’ve used many different kinds of software for 3D printing. Most of them are quite complicated and require lots of manual settings, which is not friendly for beginners. Since we are able to design the machine, electronics and software of a 3D printer, we created Snap3D with an intuitive UI and only few settings to provide a newbie-friendly software experience.

Currently, we offer Snap3D for 3D printing, and another software (a combination of G-code sender and control panel) for laser engraving and CNC carving with Snapmaker. In the next version of our product, we plan to combine all functions into one software.

Q: But people are free to use other slicing software with the Snapmaker 3D printer. Can users choose other software to control the laser engraving and CNC carving modules too?

Yes. Since 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC carving are controlled by G-code, users can use any other software to generate G-code or send G-code to this machine, in addition to the software provided by us.

Snapmaker 3D Printer

Q: In addition to FDM printing, laser engraving and CNC carving, will you be releasing other module types for the Snapmaker 3D printer?

In the short term, we want to focus on 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC carving. We are going to make more types of modules but getting the Snapmaker 3D Printer delivered comes first.

Besides, we have a clear plan for introducing longer linear modules in the near future.

Q: What other plans for future of the Snapmaker 3D Printer can we expect to see?

We are going to provide a larger 3-in-1 machine with a larger work area of over 200 x 200mm, and another laser engraver with a large work area of over 300 x 300mm. Prototypes of both machines will be shown in public in April this year.

We plan to spend several years building a platform of various machines that can be easily set up. This platform will include all kinds of functional modules, electronics and easy-to-use software.

We have been obsessed with LEGO for the infinite possibilities and the rapid realization of creative ideas it offers. We hope to fully integrate these two concepts into our products. Instead of just selling products, we want to bridge the gap between imagination and reality.

snapmaker 3d printer

License: The text of "3-in-1 Snapmaker 3D Printer: Review the Facts Here!" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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