Featured image of Snapmaker Launches Snapmaker 2 Pre-Order Campaign on Kickstarter
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Snapmaker Launches Snapmaker 2 Pre-Order Campaign on Kickstarter

Picture of Matthew Mensley
by Matthew Mensley
May 7, 2019

A follow up to the well-received Snapmaker 3D printer, the Snapmaker 2 is now live on Kickstarter. An all-in-one 3D printer, laser engraver and CNC carving machine, there are three new versions backable as pre-orders.

After weeks of teasing, Snapmaker has launched its second eponymous all-in-one 3D printer, laser engraver, and CNC machine. Dubbed Snapmaker 2, the new machine appears to improve upon the modular architecture of its Kickstarter-crowdfunded predecessor, the Snapmaker, scaling up to offer three different sized machines. The largest features a voluminous 320 x 350 x 330 mm build volume.

At the time of writing the campaign stands just shy of 2,000 backers netting almost $2-million USD, a huge amount that already almost outstrips that raised by the original Snapmaker.

We reviewed the original Snapmaker and found it to be a competent machine that achieves its three core functions well. Further to this, we got a first-hand glimpse of the Snapmaker 2 a few months ago at the Snapmaker HQ in Shenzhen, China, and were impressed with the results the R&D team there were getting.

The traditional functions of 3D printing, laser engraving, and CNC carving remain for the Snapmaker 2, albeit with enhancements across the board; the critical differentiation comes in the new sizes and a new control box that can handle far more features and add-ons than the original Snapmaker.

An unfortunate consequence of the control box upgrade is inoperability with the existing Snapmaker modules. Tough luck for users of the old machine looking to upgrade the platform but not the tool heads.

The benefit of the new brain is that the all in all-in-one could encompass much more in the future. The Kickstarter page for the machine teases the possibility of add-ons for wireless connectivity, job monitoring, emergency stop button, plus new tool heads such as multi-material 3D printing.

It’s proposed in the project’s timeline that the accompanying software and firmware for the Snapmaker 2 will become open source, encouraging more from the active community that already uses the Snapmaker.

For more detail on the Snapmaker 2, check out our Review the Specs piece.

Pre-Orders via Kickstarter — The New Norm?

As often appears to be the case for companies that successfully crowdfund a machine, this follow on has launched as a pre-order campaign; a move that allows the company to drum up interest with the possibility of steep discounts (early-bird pricing), fund the production of early units and gauge general interest without the risk of overproducing.

Building upon the modular formula of the original Snapmaker, the Snapmaker 2 looks to make good on the team’s promises to explore larger machine sizes — a move posited before the first Snapmaker even reached backers. It’s an understandable move, given the original machine’s restrictively teeny tiny work volume.

Alongside the above, however, was the pledge to provide larger linear modules for users to customize the proportions of their printer. Unfortunately for Snapmaker users waiting with bated breath, this appears to have fallen by the wayside, highlighting the fraught nature of backing projects on Kickstarter. Simple — but to some, important –things can get de-prioritized and cut.

We’ve seen a pre-production version of the Snapmaker 2 in action, and it looks great. But as ever with projects on Kickstarter — think twice about whether you could afford to lose the money should it fall through, and settle on the possibility that what you think you’re getting doesn’t live up to the hype, or arrives wildly late.

Snapmaker 2

License: The text of "Snapmaker Launches Snapmaker 2 Pre-Order Campaign on Kickstarter" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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