3D Print Module Rebuild?

After the incident with the PLA flooding the module, I’ve noticed considerable misalignment of parts, issues with screws, etc. So I’m thinking why not rebuild him? We have the technology, to make him stronger, faster, better, and to leap different axis{es?} in a single bound. [Sorry for the quite bad, pretty terrible “6 Million Dollar Man” reference.]

The Snapmaker is a rock solid innovation, the structure is fantastic, and it is actually quite beautiful and modern. Overall, I am seeing posts on issues with what holds everything together and while I discuss these issues with support, why not trick this thing out?

So, what would you use to build your dream 3D module? What have you used in the past for replacement parts to other printers?

The screws, bolts, wiring, element and thermistor, heat block, nozzle, fans, shrouds, boards, and adding anything? Less weight? Insulating tape? Use different metals? Attachments? Cable fasteners? Continuity Upgrades? Any ideas would be great, no bad ideas, and I am keeping the housing…



tis the nature of mankind to seek improvement… you might pick up some work as a designer at Snapmaker.

Keep having fun, i look forward to updates


Here’s what I would do for the Print Module:

  • Incorporate the Multi-Color print head. Diamond HotEndRepRap Link
  • Make sure it works with flexible filament.
  • Add printed material cooling. Many of the great printers have this.
  • Add a camera to watch the action up close on the LCD panel.
  • Update the controller and firmware to support all these things as they will need it.

Here’s some changes I would make to other parts of the SnapMaker:

  • Replace the lead screws with ball screws, more accurate, more durable, of course more expensive. That would also include a spring loaded ball thrust bearing at the end of the ball screw. No good spending the money on the ball screw without dealing with any axial play of the ball screw.
  • Replace the driver chips with the new quiet ones. Trinamic TMC2130
  • Make the OctoPi an optional buy.
  • Replace the CNC cutter adapter with a collet like Dremel uses.
  • Use a better motor for the CNC module, one that can have the speed controlled.

I’m pretty sure the SnapMaker team has many of these improvements on their to-do list, they just need the time and resources to implement them. Here’s a suggestion for the team:

  • Utilize the thousands of SM enthusiasts by forming teams that can work on some of these projects.
  • Reward them with discounts instead of salary or consulting fees.
  • Have both an economical version and a premium one. Many people will pay the money for premium if they use it a lot.

Two changes that I am planning on doing in the long run to improve the 3d printing on my SnapMaker.

  1. Change out the control board for something like a Duet.
  2. Change out the 3d module for a E3D Titan Aero.

Only thing that sucks is without SnapMaker’s firmware source code it may be impossible to get all of the feature running on another controller board. This is why I hope they will do the right thing and honor the GPL license Marlin is released under.

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@CthulhuLabs I really don’t think you need the source code to do replace the board and most firmware being used is fill in the blanks. The machine is going to do whatever the brain tells it to do and the structure can be measured.

The rest of this post is educational only and does not reflect the views and opinions of the author and I do not condone the following methods of code extraction and these should not be attempted by anyone that is not properly trained and certified in forensics.

The board shows as a Genuino in the Arduino IDE because of the library build offered with the board but is an obvious clone of the MakeBot board you were asking about in another thread. If you want to pin into the IC than you just need a serial socket snap in and the right translator such as a GoodFet or a Bus Pirate or you can try a program called BinWalk. But…

I don’t see the point because the software and specs are constantly changing and haven’t been polished. I’m down for swapping out the board, send me the one you want to use and we can turn this into a collaborative effort. I would like to say that I am only here to help and none of my posts are intended to damage or fault the SnapMaker team or company.

Rainie and I have been trying to get together on these issues but our schedules just don’t mesh with the 13 hour difference in time. I enjoy challenges and I run a business that would benefit from the continued success of SnapMaker and the time invested in module improvements would really be considered CE in the field.

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SnapMaker’s firmware is highly modified. Run a M503 Gcode on your controller and take a look at things like the acceleration. SnapMaker has the standard X,Y,Z,E acceleration, but they also have LaserX, LaserY, LaserZ and CNCX, CNCY, CNCZ. Also the SnapMaker firmware has Gcodes that are not in standard Marlin like M1005 which Rainie asked people to use here:

Also without the source code for their firmware it will be very difficult to get that screen working on another firmware which is something I very much want to do. The only way I see to take that screen apart risks breaking the screen. If you are willing to do that be my guest.

Dude, this is an Arduino [or similar], a shield, and a relay/divider, the laser and spindle are controlled by the same thing and the unusual code is the result of what would normally be jumping off of a control pin to the PWM. Yes, they have put these together and reduced the parts/cost and I did say prototype with [blank], at some point.

This is an upgrade that is possible with Sainsmart, Sanguino, Knockoffduino, DuinoXXX, whatever. The code has been recompiled to accommodate changes in the pins and I’m pretty sure that’s it. The problem is that when recompiling, are you certain that certain modules are turning off as they should, like a heated bed that isn’t in use. And… is your voltage spiking as a result of a smoothing problem?

Anyways, I was offering to assist you with the swap, not win at module matching. Peace.

Sorry, not trying to be argumentative, merely trying to point out that there is quite a bit of unknowns to their firmware like the screen and those other G-Codes. I am sure I (or we) could get a different firmware to run the machine like RepRapFirmware or GRBL. Well everything but the screen (though a bus pirate may help with that). The real point is we should not have to resort to that. The GPL exists for a reason. That reason is to prevent this exact situation. The fact of the matter is many people have contributed to Marlin through the years and SnapMaker’s lack of respect for the GPL is basically giving all those people the middle finger.

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Did you actually manage to rebuild the entire module that you put in pieces ?
I totally unscrew everything and now i’m lost with all the screws and parts…

I wish they would at least upgrade the extruder to a dual drive on the v2. I have an a250 and miss my artillery sidewinder which I upgraded with an hemera.

I bought the Snapmaker 350 to print, which it does to my satisfaction. Others seem to play around with the machine itself.