Snapmaker is a single machine that lets you 3D Print, Laser Engrave, or CNC materials. All three functions, all one machine. Learn more about what I like and dislike about this machine and see how it holds up on all three fronts.
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Hi there and welcome to the 3d printing zone. My name is Nils. And in this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the three in one 3d printer, laser engraver, CNC machine it’s the Snapmaker.
As you may or may not know, my channel is really all about 3d printing. So I’ve got several different 3d printers. We talk about different reviews of different printers, as well as techniques things I’ve learned. Just cool builds things like that. But when snap maker reached out to me and said, Hey, we’ve got this machine, it does actually 3d printing, but it also does laser engraving and CNC. I was immediately interested in this. I’ve actually never done CNC and I’ve been wanting to get into it for quite a while. I’ve had buddies that have had laser engravers, and I’ve always wanted to try that out as well, but never really ventured into that realm. So I wanted to try both of those things and I figured they’ve, they’ve really gotta be very similar in functionality and the learning curve as far as 3d printing is concerned.
So I wanted to try them out and to my delight, they were all pretty easy to get into, especially with this interface and with this machine now right away, you’re going to notice that the snap maker is a pretty small little package. There’s really not a lot to it. This is it. This is the whole thing. And it’s actually a little bit bigger than normal right now with the spool on it. But normally it’s just this, you know, there’s really not much to it. So this is very compact. If you go on some of the forums for people who own the snap maker, you’ll find that a lot of people are actually taking this around with them to shows or to venues where they can actually do laser engraving CNC, carving, things like that on the spot for customers. So pretty cool stuff.
The build volume of course, with that then is fairly small as well. So with the 3d printing, you’re going to get about 125 millimeters by 125 millimeters, which is roughly five inches by five inches. And that’s a cube. So five inches in every direction, X, Y, and Z. So not a huge thing. Simply put, you can do something about this big, so not huge, but big enough that you can do some pretty fun little things and you can assemble multiple parts to do things as well. As far as 3d printing is concerned. That is also roughly your same volume or a space, your workspace that you have for laser engraving and for the CNC as well. So that’s about what size it does. So it definitely a little on the smaller side, but it’s so cool that it does all three of those and it does a pretty decent job at each of them.
Now I got to tell you, I have opened and assembled nine 3d printers at this point, I own nine of them, including this one and of those nine. This was by far the most pleasant unboxing experience that I’ve had take a look at how they package this thing, how well the presentation was made, how everything has its place, and it’s all laid out so nicely. I was actually super impressed. I felt like this was opening some sort of an Apple product or something. It was that caliber of quality of packaging and of display and that box opening experience. I really don’t care that much about like box openings and that kind of stuff. And unboxing, I will say, however, this was pretty fun seeing how great a job they did with that. Now, one of the first things I tried when I did get it assembled was 3d printing.
So within probably an hour of having received the box and opening it and getting it assembled and everything like that, I was able to start 3d printing with that. I printed a little cube at first, and then I went straight into this Coliseum and did the Roman Colosseum. We’ll take a look at that in more detail in just a moment. But what I learned was that the printer comes with S well, the, the device not just a printer comes with some software called snap maker, JS snap maker JS is some software that handles all three of its functionalities. So it can do all of the slicing for your 3d printing. It can do all of the sets, configuration and set up for laser engraving, including the power settings, the start point, everything like that, and then same kind of thing with the CNC.
So I thought it was really cool that they had software that comes with it. That’s really just as essential as the hardware in making this a user-friendly experience. So someone with very little lower in my case, no experience with two of these functionalities was able to get in and get started and do some things really easily. There are some online support videos that you can watch for it. Step-By-Step instructions really of how to do the laser engraving and the CNC as well as the 3d printing and how to use the software as well. What settings are available and things like that. Now, if you’re someone who’s already familiar with 3d printing and you’re used to using certain slicing software, you can totally use that as well. So you can set up the snap maker in your slicer of choice and then put in the print volume and everything else and get it started.
And then you can actually export your slices, your G code from that file. Or from that software, take the file. And then you’ve got two options. You can use a USB cable right from your computer, or you can put it on a USB drive and pop it right in. I really liked that as opposed to an SD card. I feel like this is just a little bit more universal. And you can just, there’s a little slot right over here. You can pop that in and you’re good to go. It’ll read off of that. So let’s jump into the 3d printing aspect a little bit. How does this rate as a 3d printer? So first of all, this 3d printer has all of the things that you would expect a current and modern 3d printer to have. It does have a heated bed. It does have software to come with it and it can handle just standard G-code files, which is really nice.
There’s nothing proprietary here. It does have a little 0.4 millimeter hot end on it. And, and from what I can tell, it’s a pretty standard hot, and I think I could swap that out with other hot ends, which is something I like to do to try to get a faster, maybe lower Rez version of a print if I need to. It does have a fan for cooling as well, so that it does decent on bridging. In fact, it does quite well on bridging I was actually pretty impressed by that and it moves at a pretty good pace as well. So the volume on this is pretty small definitely not a large printer by any stretch. It’ll do 125 millimeters by one 25 by one 25. So it’s basically, we’re going to do a cube about five inches, so not too bad.
It’s definitely not as large as I would normally like, but that’s one of the reasons they came out with the snap maker 2.0, which has three different sizes, including a much larger bill volume size that can handle larger 3d prints as well as larger engravings and laser etchings. So definitely a good option to take a look at, but even for the one point, Oh, pretty revolutionary to have all three things in one I did start with the 3d printer portion of things since that’s what I’m most familiar with. And the first thing I wanted to try, I did a little cube and that came out just fine. So I moved on to this Roman Colosseum. Now, if you’re looking at this, you can probably see the quality is okay. I had some definite issues with it right in here, we had some of these little pillars that just didn’t come out and it’s not perfect.
It D it did a little bit of bridging it came out. Okay. But as far as the general quality, especially at the 0.1 millimeter resolution that I printed it with, it’s really smooth. This actually came out really good. I was impressed. So as far as accuracy and that kind of thing is concerned all of the little details in here, I thought this would be a good sample piece to try out. There’s all these little, little details in here, and you can really see how it did a really bang up job with those now, the issues that it had with the columns here and the pillars. I suspect that had something to do with either the fan or with adhesion. I’m not quite sure what it was. I haven’t really seen something quite like this before. I don’t know if there’s some slicing settings, most likely that I would need to adjust in order to get that better.
So most of them came out fine, but there’s just this handful of them that just really it choked on. So I’m not sure what is going on there, and I’ll show you some more prints in just a moment. Other ones I tried. So I tried to do a storm trooper that was holding up a a pencil. So it’s the Stormtrooper on his knees, like this, holding up your pen for you or your pencil. And it got about halfway through, as you can see, or maybe even two thirds. And then the whole thing came off. It actually shifted. So it did a little raft of sorts on here almost for the base. And then it just shifted and the whole thing came off and it stopped printing. So the resolution on this so far was looking really good. And again, I did this at 0.1 and that’s about as high as you’ll ever need to go.
And it looks really good. I was impressed with it. It had a lot of supports on here that I had to clean up, but I could still say on this off. But it did shift somehow. So there’s a couple of things you can do. I need to probably check to make sure the bed is a little bit cleaner so that there’s no issues with that. And then you can also put down painters tape on that and see if that works really, this bed feels like it sticks really well. It also has an auto calibration setting on it in the menu here so that you can calibrate it and it will get it right down to the right spot and remember that. So I may, may need to just recalibrate that I’m going to keep printing with it and try it out. I really feel like this is something that could print successfully in print.
Well, I’ve seen a lot of good prints come off of it. I think I just need to keep playing with a little bit now to that end. What I did is I went ahead with the calibration test for printers and it did pretty good. This is the kind of a standard 3d printer tests that I’ve run on many of these, it tests your overhang. So from the side here, you can see how much it’s able to overhang. And it did obviously struggle here at 80 degrees. 80 is, is pretty severe. Like if you’re getting up in the fifties and sixties that’s pretty good. If you’re 70 and 80, even the top of the 80 looks great. It just had some extra filament. It was struggling with that underneath, but it did a pretty good job bridging it did beautifully which is especially impressive since there’s not much of a fan going on here, it’s just very subtle, very small, but it did a really good job with that details.
Look really good. The text on this is tack sharp. It looks really nice. We do have some little floaters on here and that has to do with the jerk and acceleration settings that I can mess with. And then the, the little cylinders here came out great. All in all this looks like a really pretty decent test. So I’m pretty impressed with how well it did with that. And again, that was printed at 0.1 millimeters. So after I try it out, the 3d printing, I was ready to move to my second venture, which was CNC carving. Now, like I’ve mentioned, I have zero experience with CNC carving. I did some CAD in school and have done some 3d work and things like that, but have never tried CNC at all. So this was brand new to me. So all you have to do this little module just comes right off.
There are four screws. You take the little hex driver here and remove the [inaudible] screws and put on the new module. So this is the CNC one here. And then it’s just got basically a standard, a little ethernet clip in here for the wire that you plug that in, plug this, plug it into here. Instead it recognizes what it is. And then you’ve got your screen here that you can work with and set it all up and snap maker JS, send it to here. And once again, you can do that via the USB cable, or you can work with a just USB jump drive, which is pretty nice to have both options. I did find that it’s a lot easier if you have the computer connected. I also don’t like having a computer connected all the time. So I found both with the CNC and the laser engraving.
You can kind of get a few settings connected and set up in place with the computer connected, and then you can grab the file, put it on a jump drive, pop it in, and then you don’t need to have your computer connected any longer. So that’s kind of nice to have that option. So swapping out, it’s pretty easy. I’ve got a heated bed on here and all I had to do was unplug this here, take out the screws. There’s just thumb screws underneath here, and then put on this standard plate here and the plate. Once that’s on here, you’ve got some different connectors that you can use. Got me a little box of toys here. So you can take these little holders here, thread some of them in here, and then hold down your work piece that you’re going to be CNC carving. So I want us to try something a little bit ambitious right off the bat, because why start simple?
Right. So I went ahead and did this. I took a photo. This is a photo of my dad when he was 18 years old and went ahead and put that in to the snap maker, JS software. So tick this tiny little, super sharp pointed bit pop that into the end of the Carver here, which just uses an Allen wrench or a hex wrench to do that. And then it’s really just going row by row and carving at different depths every single bit. So this carving here actually took about 36 hours to do so. It took quite a long time cause it wasn’t raining moving much. It does come with a another bit. That’s a lot larger. This one here, you’re not going to get the same detail out of it, but you can move a lot faster if you just need to do something a little bit simpler.
So that’s kind of nice to have that as an option. I looked, you can buy other bits for it as well and try different things out. And the fact that it comes with a couple and give you some, some options is really nice. So had some good success with that. And as you can see, it came out perfect. This is just a piece of pine. This is just a one by four that I took a slice of and wanted to try it out and it worked great. So very impressed with that. You do have different settings and snap maker JS to give it a try. Now, the last thing I tried out was the laser engraver and I actually had a lot of fun with this. This thing was pretty cool. So this is a 350 watt laser engraver. There is a 1600 watt that you can upgrade to.
So definitely something I want to check out, but even with the three 50, I never got it up to 100% power and it worked pretty well. I could do some pretty fun stuff. So first thing I tried was just doing a logo. So I did my learn to DIY logo here and it did a really good job. If you take a look really closely in it, this you can see there’s almost a little bit of pixelation to it. And so you can adjust the settings to make it a little bit more high Rez and, or a little bit simpler and lower Rez. And again, this is just on a piece of pine, a one by four that I cut, did a great job. It looks really good. I’m a handle that no problem. I think this print took something like 20 or engraving took something like 23 minutes to do so it moves pretty quickly.
Laser engraving is pretty fun. As you can see here, then what is fun? I wanted to try some other stuff and I thought, let me experiment a little bit and see what I can get away with. So the next thing I tried was laser engraving the back of my phone case. So I in Photoshop mocked up a little picture of myself, along with my name and did a little gradient on my name. I wanted to see how it could handle that in snap maker JS, you’ve got multiple options for how it’s going to render the actual laser engraving itself. The image of it. You can do it in dots. You can do it in lines and there are other options as well. And then there’s different. What I would call rasterization settings for how it’s going to handle those, that engraving or that image that you’re trying to process.
You can select a vector versus a photo. You can kind of do a simple black and white. There’s a lot of options there and it’s going to give you lots of previews to make sure you know, what you’re getting before you start laser engraving. So a couple of the things that I noticed, it handled really all of the materials I tried really well. There are some things that you would definitely need a much more powerful laser in order to do. Then I thought, what else could I do? And I took off my belt, which is leather and tried doing the same picture on my belt. I didn’t change anything. The settings were the same. The size was the same. Literally all I did was lined the belt up on the bed and let it go again. So that worked out really well, too.
So that’s, that’s actually still there today. So here it is on the, on the belt itself and it’s just, it’s in there. You can, I’ve been wearing this thing for a week or two with this engraving in it and it’s, it’s on there for good, which is pretty fun. So definitely lots of options, lots of choices for how you do laser engravings and materials that you can work on, which is, which is really cool now to wrap up just a few things about the snap maker itself. Some things that I like and some things I don’t like. So I noticed one of the things I like right away, first of all, again, the packaging awesome, really good experience, kudos to whoever engineered that experience for opening the box and how it was packaged. Usually not something I care about, but super well done in this case enough that it, that it really stood out.
That’s nice. I can take this screen, which is a touch screen, and I can just remove it right off the little holder it’s magnetic. And so it just snaps into place brilliantly done very, very nice really loved that. The size of this thing is awesome. I think it would be really cool. And I could print one, I guess that it’d be really cool just to have a handle so you can carry this thing around from place to place as you’re, if you’re doing some traveling with this, or if you’re just moving it around the area that you’re in. So that’s really handy as well. I love the size of it. It does, it does come with a spool holder, which I just leave on all the time. It’s only for 3d printing of course, but it’s nice to have that on there. So you’ve got some just nice little well-thought out features here.
One of the things that I wish it did better is with laser engraving in particular. And I think it’s the same with CNC. I don’t have the option and I could be wrong. And if someone knows that I’m wrong on this, please leave in the comments and I’ll pin it. I don’t believe you have the option to change the power of the engraving of the laser engraver of the laser. From the settings here. I think you have to do that on your computer, start a print here and then, or start a job here. And then it will remember whatever that laser setting is. If I’m not mistaken, if I go to, for example, print a something at 75% power, and then that’s why the computers connected. And then I take the USB stick and bring in another job that’s supposed to be at 50% power.
It’s going to print it at 75 because it doesn’t know to change that power setting. I could be wrong on that, but that’s the experience that I’ve had so far. So being able to work a little bit more untethered would be ideal. The other thing is kind of the same thing with the CNC is the starting point. I don’t really have the option to say, remember this starting point from this device here, which would be super handy. I see, it seems like I had to do that with the computer connected as opposed to just through the interface here. So it’d be nice if the interface on the machine itself had a little bit more to it, but not a big deal. Just to have a computer around a laptop is handy, or if you have a computer in the room, you’re doing this now on that note this is noisy. It’s a, it’s a noisy little machine. There’s not much you can do about that. We’re talking about CNC, carving, which is messy. You should have a vacuum around to suck up all the shavings. We’re talking about laser engraving, which is relatively quiet and then seeing, or excuse me, 3d printing. And that’s almost always a little bit noisy. So there is a, a fan back here that’s pretty noisy. You’ve just got a little switch right here for the power.
It’s got a, it’s a fairly loud little thing, not a big deal. This is a little, it’s a tool, right? I mean, this is a little power tool, essentially, a very smart, very capable power tool, but that’s something to keep in mind. You’re not going to want to keep this in your bedroom, for example, and be sleeping while it’s doing something, which you should probably not do. You should keep an eye on it anyway. And I would never go to sleep while something’s 3d printing. No, anyway, pretty loud. And it feels like it’s almost still ramping up a little bit as far as decibel. So something to keep in mind, it’s a little bit noisy and I’m okay with that. I think I have that expectation. So that’s all right. It also comes with an extra print bed, which is really nice. If this one gets scratched, damaged, whatever, they’ve got a new bed that you can put on here and all in all, just a really cool little thing. I’m going to shut this down. Oh, the screen is full color and it’s full touchscreen. By the way, I can go to my controls. I can go to jog mode and move things around.
Okay. So I’ve got a lot of options there, which is pretty cool. So what about price? The snap maker? 1.0, came out as a Kickstarter and there were discount prices available for that campaign, but the current selling price for that from either Amazon or from snap maker directly is $799 for this machine. That’s us dollars. And so not a bad price. When you consider all that you’re getting, you’re really getting three separate machines, all in one easy with it. Literally within two minutes, you could swap these out and have it go from a CNC to a laser engraver or 3d printer. So that’s the price for the snap maker. 1.0, which I think is really still a good deal, even just for the older 1.0 version, the 2.0 model the campaign has finished on, on Kickstarter as well. And they have three models now available.
So the smallest one is actually a little bit bigger than this one. And also it comes in at seven 99. So you get a little bit more volume. You’ve got some extra features and some updated software all for that same price. So hardware upgrade, software upgrade and volume upgrade for seven 99. So definitely a great deal. If you go to the, I think they call them the a one 52 50 and three 50, the 83 50, if I’m not mistaken runs dimensionally three 20 by three 30 by three 50. So you get three not three times, but two and a half times the size of this and a pretty decent volume. And that one is 1199. So for $1,200 us, you’re getting a pretty good sized three in one machine. So that’s the rates on the snap maker. I’m sure those will change over time.
They always do things come down over time typically. But if you’re interested in purchasing a snap maker, either the 1.0 or the 2.0, help me out by using the link in the description below. And that will give me a tiny bit of commission and it’ll cost you exactly the same. So definitely check that out. I’ll also put links in the description for the snap maker forum on Facebook. Something that I use to kind of find out how people are using things, issues that they’re running into and what the resolutions for those are. And mostly just to see what cool things people are up to with a snap maker, seeing some really cool and creative ideas for how people are using this machine. So that’s the snap maker 1.0, really impressed with this little machine. Definitely an amazing addition. For someone who’s kind of a DIY maker like myself. So definitely something I’ve, I’ve been pretty excited to see. So hopefully you enjoyed this. If you have questions or comments or anything, please leave those in the description below and feel free to check out the other content on my site here at the 3d printing zone and follow us on Instagram or Facebook. If you want to see what’s going on in between the videos we’re making again, my name is Nils. Thanks for watching at the 3d printing zone.