Say hello to Snapmaker — a three-in-one, all-metal workshop productivity machine for under $200. It’s so cheap! What’s the catch?
What is the catch indeed. The recently unveiled Snapmaker Kickstarter project sets its sights high with the promise of a modular, three function machine. The intended audience, we think, is the workshopper pushed for space.
The Snapmaker’s pre-Kickstarter launch page states the Snapmaker is an all-metal 3D printer. From the imagery, we see the aluminum frame encases all wiring, with the exception of a few tidy ribbon cables.
The killer feature here though is not its neatness. Three interchangeable modules can be swapped onto the Snapmaker’s X-axis rail for 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC milling.
The fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing module accepts 1.75mm filament of the expected material types. Interestingly, the bed is heated (up to 100 degrees Celsius). But at only 125mm square and with a build height of 125mm, prints are rather limited in size.
Ease of use seems to be a common theme for the Snapmaker. It makes use of a color touchscreen for operation, simple assembly of few parts and comes bundled with the proprietary Snap3D software. Presumably this is to ensure smooth operation switching between functions. The pre-launch page also states compatibility with the likes of Cura and Slic3r.
The laser engraving module features a class 1500 mW laser. This is capable of burning designs into wood, leather and similar materials. In addition, the CNC milling module claims an adjustable spindle speed between 2,000 and 7,000 rpm.
The Snapmaker Kickstarter page goes live on 14 March, 7am PST/10am EST. Early birds could possibly snap one up for $199, though without seeing the Kickstarter page, we couldn’t say yet what this would include. Possibly only one module, rather than the whole caboodle of three.
You could colorfully liken Kickstarter as gambling for tech dreamers with money to burn. And as such we advise caution before diving in and pledging. There are plenty of success stories and dramatic failures to point to as cautionary tales — sometimes the crowdfunding platform itself steps in to damage control on wayward projects.
For the concept alone, we quite like the Snapmaker. The build bed is somewhat limiting, but we could imagine it finding a place in a small creative workshop where space is at a premium.
On the other hand, a space saving device that does a shoddy job is still going to waste what little space it does take up.
And this is all hypothetical, since we have yet to see if the Snapmaker will even meet its crowdfunding goal and ship to backers. Over to the tech dreamers with money to burn to find out…
License: The text of "Snapmaker Kickstarter Project Teases 3D Printer, Laser Etcher and CNC Milling All-In-One" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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