Stand-alone, desktop 3D printers seem to be going the way of the Dodo bird with the introduction of all-in-one machines, which offer more than simple printing. There are an increasing of companies who have eschewed traditional 3D printing to incorporate additional functionality. I used to think it was all a gimmick, but after seeing a few in action (ZMorph, BoXZY, XYZ Davinci), I have since changed my mind. And why not, today’s makers want something more, something akin to a machine shop on a desktop. Snapmaker is the latest, and hopes they fit the bill with their modular all-in-one platform.
As outlined in the video, the 3D printer features an all-metal (anodized aluminum) construction with interchangeable modular heads for printing, CNC milling, and laser engraving, which are easily swapped-out without needing to reconfigure the entire platform, including software setup. The Snapmaker uses an Acme lead screw as the drive mechanism for precision movements in the X, Y and Z directions, making it a versatile machine whether printing, cutting or engraving.
As far as the other features are concerned- it uses the FDM process for 3D printing and can print sizes of up to 125 X 125 X 125mm at a resolution of 50 to 300 microns. On the engraving side, the machine features a
500mW 200mW laser that can handle wood, plastic, fabric, paper, and other soft surfaces. The CNC module can spin at speeds ranging from 2000 to 7000 RPMs and can handle the same materials as the engraver.
Rounding out the Snapper is a 3.2-icnh color touchscreen for easy setup of prints and other functions using drag-and-drop commands, making it one of the few machines that can boast as close to plug-and-play as you can get. It also doesn’t need any leveling pre-print and uses a piece of paper and Snap3D to set the Z-axis with nothing else needed.
The Snapmaker is also one of the more affordable all-in-one systems- costing a pledge of $299 and up on Kickstarter for the base platform and $75 for the CNC and laser modules. As far as crowdfunded campaigns go, this is another endeavor that skyrocketed from the get-go and has amassed over $1.9-million over a target goal of $50K and still has a few days to go before finishing.