Interestingly, my experience does not back this. My bed stays pretty much the same, regardless of temperature, and also after removing and reattaching the heated bed, my bed levelling is very consistent (and unfortunately pretty bumpy). Seems that there are a lot of variables…
IMHO what you say holds true right from the beginning: Dedicated machines would do the job always better, and - talking about current list prices for the Snapmakers - potentially not even much more expensive. But for me that’s the appeal of SM2: You have one tool, eating up space only once. And it allowed me to try the individual functions to see how much they add to my hobby. And now that I have it, I’ll try to improve it to come closer to the quality I’d get from dedicated machines.
There’s something to that. I had long been putting off learning CNC until I got the A350; now I am looking at upgrading a mini-mill in my shop to CNC, and building a full-size CNC router.
Ditto for the laser. I had zero interest in a laser engraver, and now I am seeing a lot of use for it. Certainly not enough use to justify a dedicated machine, but it’s nice to be able to do.
The greatest missed opportunity with this system, for me, is the closed nature of it. If this were a CAN-based framework that users or other companies could develop their own modules for, it would take off. Because let’s face it: you can take the core components (the controller and linear modules) and mount them to anything. There’s some limitation with the system being gantry-based, but some of the earlier design ideas hinted that this too could be changed. I suspect there are two competing factions at Snapmaker: the engineering arm, which wants to produce innovative and useful machines, and the marketing arm, which wants to become “Apple for the Maker community” (ugh, I am tired of that word).
Snapmaker has already done the design work for us… honestly if you copied the Artisan design I think you’d solve alot of your issues. You could make a simple adapter plate for the heated bed to put it down in the ‘groove’ and use the turn knob like they show to lock it in place.
Anyways, seems like Snappy put a lot of effort into this for their new design. I’m not sure why making a new bed was deemed to be cost prohibitive… I think alot of us have been willing to pour some money into fixes that make it better.
Looking at the Artisan, I’d say it’s because they realized they had to move the Y-axis modules father apart in order to achieve bed stability. There’s no good way to do that as an add-on to the A350 without shipping a new base (which, actually, wouldn’t be that expensive) and a bed to match the new carriage distance.
I’ve been playing with the model and possible design and came up with following draft. I wanted to make it as basic as possible.
Similar to what @brvdboss posted…
The screws used to attach the end cap(black) to the Y-axis (grey) would have to be elongated (included in kit) in order to increase strength. Possible shoulder screw have to be used to center the end cap.
Pre-drilled shaft can be mounted to the L bracket (blue)
The L bracket could be made out of two strips of aluminum, bolted together. To make it cheaper.
The bearing platform is not in the draft, since it is not affecting the concept.
I finished my mods and am quite satisfied with the results. Unfortunately I won’t be able to post a thread with pictures for another week or so.
In the meantime, here are a couple of things I found:
The additional weight is indeed a factor. I slowed printing down to 50-60 mm/s as the top speed, and this is using the new linear modules. Faster than that, and the additional weight made the carriage too jerky. Probably fine for CNC and laser, but 3D prints would wobble and thus catch on the nozzle when running at full speed.
A solid frame under the original platform, supported at the outermost edges by linear rails, is all that is necessary. The solid aluminum might be overkill in this regard, though it is certainly much easier to manage. I found that the frame under the platform pulled it into square, and prevented significant warp once the heated bed was up to temperature. This is with only four M4 bolts (one at each corner) attaching the frame to the platform. I immediately found that I was able to get decent first-layer prints on the entire bed for basically the first time ever.
Watch that heated bed cable. I have a temporary solution (an M4 threaded hook screwed into the end of a Y-axis module) , but the addition of a linear rail gives it no place to go, and it ends up snagging on the platform and/or the rail. The cable is not long enough to route under the base or anything sensible like that, and is not replaceable - so splicing an extra tool cable into the heated bed cable might be needed. The main cause of this is that I have an angle iron underneath the entire right edge of the platform, and that space has to be reserved for the heated bed cable.
I would like to have a kit with everything included.
I have some rails/linear bearings I purchased to rig this up with, but haven’t really gotten it together yet. There were some threaded brackets i printed from someone elses design to push from under the surface and they just dont seem like they are going to work right so I haven’t bothered to attempt this yet. I would need to come up with some different solutions. so if there is a solution available, i would be interested.
They’re very dependent on you printing them well… It was a tough fit on the ones I printed too (the original design). I think there are a few other designs out there that modd’d that design to make them work better.
I finaly went back and installed these after all this time. I assembled my enclosure as well.
I screwed and tapped the railes onto the main base and put the secondary piece in the webbing. I had a hard time getting the wrench to work well enough but got it.
I have only done one print, a holder for the power supply to the enclosure, which i need to reprint due to it peeling off of the sheet and being a little crooked from it, but it lookslike the quality of printing has increased a LOT fro mthe stability.
I had just installed new rails on the platform becuase the old ones were heavily used and I had spares.
We will see if this helps much or not. The quality looked better from the lack of wiggle on the rails.
First thing I can say about the enclosure is loading filament to the dual extruder wit hthe teflon pipes seems nice, but there was so much static on the plastic that the extruded lines while loading immediately floated over to the side wall and made a mess lol.
But at what point in your use case is it better to just get the dedicated machine built for the specific job, then to endlessly upgrade.
I’m wondering this same thing. About 50% of my questions on these forums essentially go unanswered (big thanks to those that did engage on some of the questions), and I see similar posts to mine from others that go unanswered… they all basically boil down to the lack of quality/repeatability of this as a product. I’m not sure if that’s cause of engineering compromises to make the 3-in-1 or they just don’t have engineers of the ability that are at other companies (some of which do make multiple products). Like you, I think rigidity is the biggest problem (especially for CNC, but I see it causing issues elsewhere), and then then oft-touted lack of tolerance in terms of flatness, etc. I liked the idea of the smaller footprint, but it’s just not panning out
Between the broken promises/expectations, and the lack of solutions to a lot of my issues, I’m becoming more and more vocal as an anti-Snapmaker.
From info in this forum and also resources on github, I have installed the linear rail mod. Stability is near perfect with no discernable see-saw. I also installed new carriage u-bearings on both y-axis carriages, replacements found on AliExpress (a good match if installed the right way up). Finally, I used digital calipers to set the u-bearing tolerances on all adjustments. Additional friction to y-axis is negligible. Thanks to all who pioneered the mods and found/created resources, I’m now back to “happy printing”.