3D printers have been available on the commercial level for years; and residential 3D printers have gained popularity over the past decade. Some residential 3D printers are great whilst others leave a lot to be desired.
Snapmaker plans to set the standard with a 3D printer built with an aluminum alloy frame. What makes the Snapmaker different is the modular design; allowing the user to not only 3D print, but also laser engrave and perform CNC carving tasks.
Typically 3D printers can be difficult to assemble and require a lot of time up front. Snapmaker states that you can assemble their 3D printer in less than 10 minutes thanks to its modular design of only 10 parts. The builders of Snapmaker state that because of the build quality the device “never needs leveling”, which stands by their goal of making this product friendly to new users.
In regards to the quality of 3D printing the developers behind Snapmaker have stated, “It prints at a resolution as fine as a $1000 3D printer does, while at a fraction of the cost.”.
Snapmaker includes a 3D slicer program called Snap3D that is tailored specifically for new users. It allows the user to drop the 3D model onto a grid to preview and ensure that the 3D print will come out as expected.
With an optional 500mW laser add-on, the Snapmaker is capable of laser engraving designs onto wood, leather, plastic, and other surfaces. In addition, you can also purchase a CNC carving add-on that can carve into wood, PCB, and acrylic using the spindle at 2,000 – 7,000 RPM.
At the time of writing Snapmaker is in a successful Kickstarter campaign and has well surpassed its initial goal of $50,000. The unit will retail at an estimated $299.
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