After building a dozen projects on the Snapmaker 2.0 A350, here’s what I like and what I wish were different. This is an in depth review of the Snapmaker 2.
Hi there and welcome to the 3d printing zone. My name is Nils and in today’s video, we’re going to be reviewing the Snapmaker 2.0 and specifically the A350 model.
I’m familiar with snap maker. Snap maker produces a three in one machine. In fact, they produce a set of three in one machines. I did a review earlier on the snap maker. One when it came out and these snap makers are 3d printers, laser engravers, or laser cutters, as well as a CNC machine, all in one machine with swappable modules, I’ve put on display. Some of the things that I’ve created with this in the last several weeks that I’ve had this machine. So everything from CNC, carvings to laser cuttings, to 3d printed materials, to laser etchings, all different kinds of things that you can do. So a very versatile machine, super impressive, and they really come in at a price range. That’s extremely reasonable considering all that you’re getting in one package. Now the snap maker, 2.0 comes in three different sizes. You’ve got your a one 50, a two 50 and a three 50.
They really all have the same functionality. The big difference is the size. What you can actually cut or engrave or print is based on the size of this bed here, as well as how tall your Z axis is. Now, in a nutshell, the one 50 is roughly six inches square. As far as your cube for the volume that you have. The a two 50 is a little over nine inches in a cube format. And then the three 50 that I have here is a little bit over 12 and a half inches in all directions. Now let’s jump right into the 11 things that really impressed me about the snap maker. Now I’m going to start with the things that are lowest on my list, I guess, and get to the things that are most impressive to me, but these are all the things. There’s a lot of stuff I could have put in here, but I wanted to narrow down and whittle down.
The 11 that I think were most relevant specifically to the snap maker and what really sets it apart from its competition. Now, number 11, I wanted to start off with the most obvious thing and kind of get this one out of the way, but it’s a three in one machine you can do laser engraving, you can do CNC machining, and you can do 3d printing all in one device. Number 10, my list, one software to rule them all. So the snap maker comes with what’s called snap maker, Bon and snap maker. Lou Bon is software that can control the CNC, the laser engraving and the 3d printing all in one fairly simple interface. And it’s easy to work with. It’s easy to get to know you can watch some tutorials. There were a couple of things about it that I thought were a little tricky at first.
So I had to watch some videos to try to understand better and go through the manual and understand it as best I could. And then within no time, I was able to print to cut and to engrave no problem with the snap maker, Luban. And in addition to that, you can actually use your own software that you choose. So for example, for 3d printing, I like to use Kira or simplify 3d. I can use either of those and send the files to the snap maker via the included USB drive. Number nine on my list. Ad-Ons snap maker is working on a host of ad-ons that are going to be available for the snap maker in its various sizes. A few of those are available today with many more to come. One of the things that’s available today, that’s really cool. And I don’t know if you consider this an add-on or an accessory necessarily, but is an enclosure for the entire thing.
You can get the enclosure for any of the sizes of the snap makers and the enclosures are pretty high quality. I’ve read a lot about them. I haven’t tried one myself. Now, one add on I’m most excited about that they’re working on right now is a option for sort of a lave module or a rotator that you can put attached to the bed with that you can laser engrave a water bottle, for example, or a thermos and have it laser engrave on the rounded area of the, of the surface of the material. Another option would be to do a rounded box with the CNC, Carver and carved different patterns all around the box or any sort of round shape. So pretty cool stuff coming out. There are literally dozens of others that they’ve got on their website that they’re working on that will become available in the near future.
Number eight is wifi capability. I alluded to this earlier with the software, but you can in fact, hop on your laptop or your desktop set up everything that you want, the way you want it, and then send it over wirelessly to the snap maker. You don’t have to use the USB drive. You don’t have to hardwire into it. It’s just got built in wifi. Number seven on my list is organization and presentation. This is an area where snap maker excels. The unboxing for example, was seriously. One of the most pleasant unboxing experiences I’ve ever had. The manual, for example, that comes with this is super impressive. This is like a full-on catalog and it’s got full color illustrations of everything going on. And it’s not just some guy put this together as an afterthought. This was a very well thought out manual has everything that you could need walked you through the entire process and makes it really easy to get going with your snap maker.
Now, another one of my favorite things as far as organization goes with this device is that it comes with its own toolbox. It has everything that you need. So this toolbox is compartmentalized and basically got all of the little bits and pieces that you might need to run your machine and to swap things out. One of my favorite features is it’s got this nice little screwdriver and the screwdriver actually comes with all of its own bits. They fit right into the handle itself, and this is not chintsy plastic. This is all metal and everything is durable. Magnetically holds in just a really well put together device. And that just kind of matches the quality that you get with the snap maker in general. Everything’s high quality everything’s well done. Everything’s formatted in a way. That’s pretty impressive. One quick item on the toolbox is it’s kind of handy to know that you can actually fit this thing right underneath the bed here.
So it sits on the platform, but underneath the bed and the way this is designed, this can actually move back and forth freely with this sitting underneath it. So it’s just kind of a nice little storage spot for it. Now, lastly, with the organization and presentation for point number seven, is that the cable management on this as awesome, there are different ports along the side here that you can use, and then everything’s got a holder or a way to Fasten it. And there aren’t cables just running everywhere. It’s not like there’s a bunch of things that are going to bend in weird ways, or you’re trying to figure out what to do with them. They’ve thought a lot of that beforehand and made it really easy for everything to plug in. You set it up once and it stays out of its own way.
A lot of times with the 3d printers that I’ve used, you end up with cables that kind of get in the way of the bed as it moves and you’ll run into different issues with that. You don’t experience that sort of thing with a stamp maker. They’ve thought of that and taking care of it. Number six is the camera that comes with it on the laser engraver module. This is a really innovative idea. That really just makes sense. So on the laser module, right under here, you’ve got a little camera and that serves a couple of purposes. Number one, when you lay something on the bed for laser engraving, you can actually have it take pictures. It will take nine different pictures and then stitch them together in the software so that you can see where that item is on your layout, on your bed.
And with that, you can then go into the software and customize the size and scale of your design to fit and the positioning so that it fits onto the item that you want to engrave. That makes things a lot easier. And the other option that it has is you can scan with it. So let’s say you did some drawings, some ink drawings or some pencil drawings, and you want to actually turn those into something you can carve, or you can cut out with a laser engraver. So you can actually have the camera on here, scan what’s on the bed, and then cut those out with the file that will create a vector file out of those that you can use to do your cutting or your engraving with the snap maker. Number five for me, and this is a big one is standards, snap maker.
Didn’t go and try to do their own version of everything or come up with something new. They went with a lot of the standards that are in the industry today in each of the functions that it works with. So for example, the CNC machine actually uses an ER11 collet. It’s a very standard collet you can go out and buy different bits for it. I’ve actually purchased quite a few off of Amazon. You can get these on eBay or even at some of your local hardware stores from time to time, and you can just buy whatever sizes, whatever types, whatever ends, whatever flute links, whatever you need, and then put it in your standard, ER11 collet, which is really nice. The 3d printer has a 0.4 millimeter hot end. So standard size is what comes on most 3d printers. And you can in fact, swap out the head for different size nozzles.
And that makes it that much more versatile. Even the file format, the file formats that it uses for 3d printing for engraving, for all of these things are standard. There’s not really much that’s customized for snap maker itself. It allows you to have the world at your fingertips as far as options for upgrades swapping. And even like I say, file formats. Number four on my list is the quality of this machine as a 3d printer. This thing has all kinds of great features as a 3d printer. And I know quite a bit about this. I have 10 different 3d printers and have been able to compare quite a few of them and see what features make sense, which ones work, which ones don’t work, that kind of thing. This one has most of the desirable 3d printer features that I would want. So starting with the print head itself this print head here, when you put this module on, it’s a direct drive system, you can actually pop it out and see the drive right in there because it’s direct drive.
And it doesn’t have, what’s called a Bowden tube, which is the long clear tube that comes out. It means that you can use flexible material like this, and it will work just fine. It won’t clog up. And it just feeds right in. And the motor-drive is right down in here, which is ideally where it should be. Then another thing that it has is a really well-placed and well-designed blower on it. This blower you can kind of see from the side here will actually blow directly onto the material as it comes out. And what that means is you can do some pretty great overhangs the percent or the angle of your overhang can be fairly severe and it will handle it pretty well. Another feature in here in the head module is filament runout detection. So if you’re moving along, you run out of filament on your spool, then it’s going to notice that there’s no, no filament in there.
Pause your print and allow you to resume after you’ve replaced the spool and refed in your filament. Along with that, it has power failure detection and power failure recovery. So if you unplug this or there’s a power spike in the grid and everything goes out, then it’s going to take care of that for you and give you the option to restart where you left off. As soon as it’s got power again, you don’t lose your whole print and have to scrap it. You can just pick up where you left off next step on the features for the 3d printer is the bed itself. So first thing you’ll notice on this bed here is that I can just take the bed off magnetically. I love that feature. So it’s a flexible bed, which means when you’re done with your print, you can flex it, pop it off, and then you’re good to go.
And you can do that by taking this off the bed completely, which is awesome. And then the actual bed itself is of course heated. And it’s got a large surface area, like I said, it’s about a 12 a half or even a little bit bigger than that. The last thing about the 3d printer that I love is auto bed leveling. If you’re not familiar with auto bed leveling, it just means that you can get it pretty close in one spot, basically for the 3d printer. And then rather than having to go around to each corner with a piece of paper or a level, and trying to figure out exactly what that measurement should be and get that right, tightness or distance from the nozzle to the bed itself, you can actually just get it pretty close and it will go around and measure for you in nine different spots on the bed.
And then it gives you the option to level at once and say, yes, that’s the height that I wanted at. And then it will keep track of that and manage that for you. So even if one side’s a little bit high and another is a little bit low, the software can handle that for you via auto bed leveling. It’s a great feature. So all that to say, as a 3d printer, this thing is actually a really nice machine. This is not a three and one that happens to do 3d printing. This is a nice 3d printer that also does a great job with the other functions as well. Number three on my list is that this machine comes with everything you need to get going for 3d printing. For example, it literally comes with a full spool of filament, not just a sample size. It comes with the filament spool holder.
It comes with files that you can print. It comes with the software that you need, and it comes with the heated bed and the removable bed and everything that you need. You can jump right in and start 3d printing literally right away. Number two, on my list of my favorite features about the snap maker is the build volume bumping up to the a three 50 where I’ve got over 12. And in some cases, even 13 inches of width, depth, and length to work with gives you a lot of options. You can do a lot of bigger projects. You can piece things together. If you need to, you can do larger things like helmets. If you wanted, it’s just got a really good build volume size. And that’s something that just in my mind is kind of a requirement for any good machine, especially when it comes to 3d printing, laser engraving, or CNC carving.
Now my number one favorite feature on the snap maker, hands down is build quality. This is not a cheaply built machine or a cheaply designed machine. They weren’t looking to cut corners. Snap maker said, how do we build this thing? Rock solid. How do we make this a really solid experience for years to come? Everything you see here is metal metal screws, metal ends, metal columns, metal drive metal, bed metal, brackets, metal, metal, metal. I mean, this thing is crazily built, super sturdy. It’s aluminum. So it doesn’t weigh, you know, a ton. And, but it’s really just sturdy all over. Even down to the spool holder, everything on here is just solidly built. I love that about the snap maker. Now, in addition, all of these drives here are actually the same basic thing. They’re all using a lead screw inside and a motor.
And what that does is it means that you don’t have belts. You don’t have pulleys, you don’t have flexibility. Things are very precise. Everything is going to go the exact spot that it needs to go to. It’s very accurate. And I love that about how they’ve designed this. Okay. So those are the 11 things I really like about this machine. And as with any device or any product, there’s going to be a few things that you wish were a little bit different. So I’ve come up with the six things that stand out to me as stuff I would love to see changed in a future version. Some of this actually can be changed in the current version via software. And let’s take a look at some of those things, starting with number six, which is module changing. So I’ve got my laser cutter in here, module on here.
If I want to change that, I have to get out the screwdriver, undo four screws, take the new one, put it on and put in four new screws. And in addition, there are 24 holes back here, four of which get used. Why do I need 24 holes if only four are going to get used? That seems like just confusing to me. And it doesn’t feel like a smart way to do it. There are actually some users on the forums who have gone out and figured out how to 3d print a snap in place or a lock-in place module adapter for this. But why, why would we have to do that? Right? it feels like that’s something that could have been engineered a little bit better or made easier for the end user to swap out modules. Number five, this one’s a little bit petty.
This is kind of an optional thing, but it would be really nice if it had a monitoring camera. Some of my 3d printers come with built-in cameras where you can just keep an eye on things. They’re not high quality cameras, they’re fairly inexpensive, but they’re stationary, they’re fixed. And I can just keep an eye on things as they go. Having some sort of monitoring capability would be really nice. Number five. And this is one that can be fixed, I believe is it’s actually not fully wireless. It uses wifi, like I mentioned in the pros, but I can’t actually commit the job and get it started without interacting with it itself. That would be really nice if we had that option to basically control the touch screen or some of the process from the remote software, rather than having to go to the machine itself.
Number three, on my pet peeves, as they were for the snap maker is the software itself, Snapmaker, Luban is actually great. And it does a lot of things really well, but it’s got a couple of main limitations. Number one, there were several files I tried to load that were really quite complex and it just couldn’t handle them. I was running these on a modern Mac book pro with tons of Ram tons of processing power. And it just, it crashed, it couldn’t handle it. And so for most of the stuff I did, it worked great, not a problem. But when I started to get into some really complex stuff particularly with the laser engraving, it just, it, it blew up, it didn’t know how to handle that within the software. And then secondly was the limited set of options that you have for your settings.
And that goes with really any of the three modules or the three capabilities that it has. So in 3d printing, you have quite a few options, but not nearly as many as you get with software like Kira or simplify 3d. For example, now granted those softwares are very robust. They they’re constantly version and there’s a team of engineers working on them. So I don’t necessarily expect that. And the fact is you can use those softwares and I often do with the snap maker. So again, not a huge limitation, not something that’s going to stop me from wanting to use the snap maker, but just know that sometimes if you can’t get what you need done in the software, you might need some third-party software and then send the file over to the snap maker. My number two pet peeve is you’ll notice that this thing is not on right now. That’s because I would have a hard time shooting this video with the snap maker turned on. Let me just give you a sample of how loud this is and that that’s really my pet peeve. It’s just noisy. The fan on the power unit is loud. Okay, I’m powering this on now.
Now I’m using a lav mic here, so it shouldn’t just be picking up what’s in this area. So you might not be hearing it even quite as loud, as loud as it is. It’s pretty loud. So like I say, the fan noise or the noise of the machine running in general is my number two pet peeve. One of the things that makes this one a little bit different is it’s not enclosed. If it were enclosed like a traditional laser engraver might be, for example, then you would see a little bit less noise, but really generally it’s just what you would expect for this type of machine.
Now for my number one, pet peeve with the snap maker, 2.0, and that is the power of the laser. The laser on this machine is just enough to kind of get my feet wet and make me want to do more, but not enough to actually do some of the cutting that I want to be able to do. Now don’t get me wrong as far as etching and engraving and that kind of thing. Doing images like this, I’m doing this sort of thing that does a pretty amazing job. In fact, if you look at some of the close-ups here, you can see that it will actually cut right through this piece. No problem. This is a really thin stock though. There’s not much to this one. But it will cut right through it. No problem. It could engrave out of this and you can see some of the engraving work I’ve been able to do on these with these thinner kind of veneer pieces.
And it does a nice job with that, but when it comes to trying to cut out a three millimeter piece or a one eighth inch piece, for example, it really, it can be done, but it’s so much work so much time and it’s kind of a hit or miss situation even then. So this is a 1600 milliwatt laser output and that type of power is that converts to a 1.6 watt. And so that’s where I say the while. That is kind of my number one pet peeve is that it’s not more robust. I can see why it’s not more robust. At 1.6 watt on here will do most things. It will cut out your paper, your thin veneers, and even cut into some you know, one and a half millimeter apply and do a pretty good job with that. And that’s really all this is intended for.
This is not a dedicated ventilated laser cutting machine it’s meant to engrave and to do some cutting. And that does that well. So those are the things I really like about the snap maker and some of the things I wish were a little bit different. You’ll notice on that list of things that I wish were different. None of them were real deal-breakers mostly just things that I hope that they can change or evolve in the, or things that I guess kind of makes sense, given what it’s trying to be. It’s not three separate individual machines trying to be everything to everyone. But there are some things that I think would be awesome to see changed in the future. And some of that, just to be a software now in summary, would I recommend the step maker 2.0 to others? Absolutely. Laser engraving, 3d printing, CNC, cutting the whole nine yards.
Really cool to be able to do everything with the snap maker and with the A350 I’ve got the volume I need to be able to do just about any project I want to do. So yes, I would recommend the snap maker. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out the links in the description below. So there you have it. That’s the snap maker, A350. If you want to learn more about the old one, you can actually get some good deals on those on the smaller one, the snap maker, 1.0, I’ve got to review a video that you can check out up here for that, but hopefully you enjoyed watching this feel free to check out some of my other 3d printing videos here on the 3d printing zone. And we’ll catch you next time.
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