The Snapmaker Diary

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by aokman, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. aokman

    aokman Member

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    So I had the opportunity to get a Snapmaker A350 with no waitlist and took it. The unboxing experience was so special and unique that it needs to be shared. Very rarely do products come along that impress me anymore with presentation and the insane attention to detail and build quality...

    This is in no way a paid review, just me sharing and supporting products I want to see more of. Instead of the usual Chinese trash made as cheap as possible. You get the feeling that the designers who made this, wanted to make the best product they could...

    Feel free to discuss anything Snapmaker related if anyone else has one or ask questions, I will continue to add to this thread over time :)

    The manual for the Snapmaker 2.0 is next level, more akin to a Lego set with attention to detail and graphics. No more poorly translated English manuals!

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    The base plate is where everything starts, solid cast aluminium, machined then anodised. Good weight for the machine.

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    An exceptional toolkit is supplied with a machined, magnetic screwdriver and all accessories needed for assembly. All supplied fasteners are stainless steel. What attention to detail!

    All that said, I didn’t use the screwdriver much as there are so many dam screws in the build (28 holding up the Z axis alone). I wanted consistent torque across the frame so opted for a electric screwdriver with clutch.

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    The concept behind Snapmaker starts with the linear drive units, completely universal and shared with every axis. They are completely sealed, solid and driven with lead screws. They offer exceptional accuracy and rigidity.

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    The tool heads are lovely bits of engineering, covering single filament 3D printing, light CNC work and 1600mw laser cutting / engraving.

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    The backbone of the bed is a lovely structural piece with stainless inserts and machined mating surfaces. Just lovely...

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    Half way through the build, I released I don't want to be lifting / moving this thing later... One trip to IKEA later... solved.

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    The splitter boxes are used when dual drive units are needed on a single axis and the main control box, the mounting choice is... unusual but the beautiful anodised aluminium with chamfered edges continues. The control box for all axis has the capabilities to run 3 add-on units simultaneously. More units will be released with time including dual extruder 3D printing, rotary tables. Much more to be announced apparently....

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    The rest of the build was pretty basic for anyone who has built 3D printers before. The build is entirely metal. The brains is an Android powered touchscreen with quad core A7. Connected to the control box via USB-C. The touchscreen is magnetic and designed to be moved around when the additional enclosure is added on.

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    The stock laser bed is very nice however the fixture hardware is garbage silicone plugs that fail to hold anything. Most users stick to tape, paper clips or 3D printed fixtures on the bed...

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    A little cable management.

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    The Snapmaker Cart 2.0

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    I wondered how far I would have to dig to find some chinks in the armour. Didn't have to go too deep to find them. The external power supply has been a point of concern among the community with its noise, I decided to tear mine open... It is an off the shelf "Great Wall" unit adapted for purpose, an interesting idea with the breakout PCB for the header connections and output filtering added to the 24v rail.

    While not bad overall with assembly quality (surprisingly), it is littered with CapXon and TEAPO capacitors that will fail and are just garbage. The rear fan is a junk "ball bearing" 24v unit spinning at 13,000rpm and the internal PSU fan is a Yate Loon 12v unit.

    I plan to replace the rear fan with a quieter Papst fan as I'm pretty sure it simply doesn't need the airflow, while its not insanely loud, it certainly ain't quiet, or temperature controlled. There are signs of thermal monitoring in the PSU and I wonder if the fan is temperature controlled and might be possible to piggy back off also. No datasheet could be found.

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  2. OP
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    Reserved: 3D Printing
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    Reserved: Laser Cutting
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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  5. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Looks amazing, I will watch this thread with full vigor. That looks like a well crafted piece of kit.

    The power supply should be a pretty easy fix but I suppose when you are paying that much, you think it would be quality.
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    It certainly is a special bit of kit with the attention to detail. Power supply is an easy fix of course as its just 24v. Members have found a Meanwell PSU which seems to be a drop in replacement. While I agree it should be better quality, I also cannot fully blame them for it as im sure they just found a PSU that met their requirements and shoved it in without much more investigation most likely.

    I would prefer a Delta or TDK Lambda unit, I may fit my own when a heated enclosure is added to the build :)

    The experience overall fells like the ultimate LEGO kit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  7. Cererus

    Cererus Member

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    Looks quite nice for a turn key system, did you get the print head and cnc head as well?
    Can you dump G code from other CAM packages, do they provide post files?

    You do know about laser cutting some plastics and the potential to poison yourself and corode the machine, this is running in a shed or garage not in your house if you do that I hope.
     
  8. OP
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    I wouldn’t exactly call it turn key, you need to assemble it :lol: yes it can take g code directly and isnt a locked down platform. That being said CNC is probably the last purpose I intend to use. The machine comes with all tool heads by default.

    Im aware of the dangers with laser cutting, the next step is building the enclosure. There is an off the shelf unit for it but has a significant wait list.

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    Its probably the best blend of being noob friendly while also giving you room to grow and take more control of the machine.

    That said, some of the member posts of what has already been achieved combining all functions is amazing...

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    First mod was to do away with the garbage power supply fan. Replaced with a 20mm thick Papst 414H. If I did it over again id just use the normal 414 which is a bit quieter. Ill just slow this one down with a resistor :)

    Stock fan isnt 40mm surprisingly but 35mm... :confused:

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  10. Mjollnir

    Mjollnir Member

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    Looks amazing, eagerly subscribed for updates.
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    soon :) just need to finish off one other project then I can get stuck into it properly :)
     
  12. brayway

    brayway Member

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    This is awesome, would absolutely love one of these, so much you can do!
     
  13. OP
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    Ok sooo... finally been able to sit down and spend some time with the machine. Laser engraving is the main area I’m focusing on first.

    First try was to test the material, evaluate laser power etc but went well aside from alignment.

    Out of the box the laser bed is pretty garbage, the rubber plugs to hold parts are useless and tape becomes tedious... my first job where I want repeatability so I setup a jig with some parallels.

    Also been having issues with maintaining a connection in Luban, investigating this still as its driving me nuts!

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  14. brayway

    brayway Member

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    Nice work on the mounts, a shame it's pretty average from the get-go.

    Looks like a pretty clean burn though!
     
  15. dirtyd

    dirtyd Member

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    Single pass for that etch? Any manual cleanup afterwards?
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    Single pass, 80% power. Visual dot manual focus only and just ran it under water to wash away the carbon.

    Auto focus is a bit whacky when you want to dial a new part height in without actually burning it to do an autofocus test. Going to find the actual laser head focus point relative to the modules actual height so I can just feeler gauge it going forward hopefully. I don't like the laser head dancing around all the fixturing once its setup and trying to do an autofocus at a different Z height anyways.

    Getting my head around how the work coordinates work in reality vs Luban, best method I found so far is to find centre, pencil it and drop the preview laser dot on it and set the origin and go from there currently. This new part is tricky as I have to plunge the laser below the rim and can potentially crash.

    This was a 2 pass burn, 80% power, alignment was perfect but a bit blurry, will get the focus dialled in and maybe dial back the power... Yes I know be careful with my phone camera... its my work phone :lol:

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  17. mtma

    mtma Member

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    What do you mean? Everyone wants a "SPACEi - YOU ARE GO F" phone right?

    Looks like it's going pretty well though. Wonder if the lasering is enough to consider adding a cover/shield though?
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    I do have a ghetto cardboard shield setup to cover direct exposure but I wear safety glasses anyways. The enclosure is certainly an option but $900 investment and the perspex is not officially certified as laser safe just naturally spectrum blocking so Im working on some ideas :)
     
  19. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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    Who else read that as "You are go for launch" until the close up?
     
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    aokman

    aokman Member

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    Someone finally got the joke haha... its a lunchbox... was either going to be that or just “Go For Lunch”

    Meanwhile I made it back with more supplies... I have a few more attempts now :lol:

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