Purchase decision A350

Hello, guys, I’m a little desperate about my prospective purchase! I read and see so many different opinions that I don’t know anything anymore. I’d like to cut plywood 4-5mm laser. Does that work with 2.0 or not? I keep reading that he’s unbearably loud. Is that really the case? I also read and see again and again in the reviews that there are better devices in sum for less money. But I didn’t find anything there either. Can you please give me informations here? I actually wanted to order it tomorrow! :frowning:

Thx a Lot

No - plywood has internal glue layers that blue diode lasers cannot easily burn through - you’d be best served by a CO2 laser.

4-5mm solid wood with no internal glue layers (a soft wood like balsa or basswood) you can cut through.

To cut through 5mm plywood for a test it took my in the range of 50 passes and charred it badly.

No louder than other 3DP machines I’ve owned. If you’re expecting silence, like it’ll be in the house, then yea, it’s pretty loud.

Maybe not for less money, but if you are primarily looking at doing laser cutting, you should get a CO2 laser cutter.

Just my 2 cents

I don’t understand that in the youtube video of cnc kitchen where stefan made, he reported that he could cut out 4mm with 4 passages. This test box for the test is also included in the scope of delivery. What kind of wood is that? I would just be able to use exactly all 3 functions in model making. A pure CO2 laser is grossly expensive and that’s never worth it for

The vido calls review snapmaker 2.0 cnc kitchen!

I didn’t think it was that loud, but the missus complains about it. Of course, I spend my free time with metalworking machinery, and she spends hers with sewing machines, so she may be the better judge :slight_smile:

I am disappointed with the 3-D printing capability. I will admit that it is my first 3D printer, and it might be that I am disappointed with 3D printing than with the SM2. I could not find a 3D printer with a comparable build area and of comparable quality for much less than the SM2.

Many comments I have heard (from non-owners) is that you are better off getting a CNC router (not much cheaper), a dedicated 3D printer (possibly much cheaper, such as the CR10), and a dedicated laser engraver. This is probably very good advice - I always prefer to have a single-purpose machine over a multi-purpose one.

The appealing thing about the Snapmaker is the platform: the CAN bus means that other vendors can (feasibly) produce add-ons that run on the SM platform. This is a very powerful idea: you have a CNC gantry with plugin-in toolheads. I think the workholding is likely the weak link of the system, and the proprietary cables make the CAN bus a bit less useful for us tinkerers.

Your main purpose is to cut wood with a laser?
This is my personal opinion:
Short answer: Buy a CO2 laser. There are plenty of choices out there.

Long answer:
The SM2 is, as it is, not that well suited for that purpose for a couple of reasons:

You may be able to cut 4-5mm, depending on the type of wood (Balsa?) and amount of additions (e.g. glue). But that will take many many passes.

SM2 is a great device to try out all these different functions (3D print, CNC, laser). And the possibility to extend it on an open source base is really attractive. However, the software is still not fully open sourced, there are still quite a lot of hardware internals missing in the documentation and some parts (like the used connectors) are proprietary. We will see how that will change or affect user made additions in the future. It is just something one needs to keep in mind when pointing out these benefits.

P.S.: Silent linear modules (see 1, 2 and 3) are planned for next month and will be default in future orders, as far as I heard.

I hope that helps you with your decision.

First of all, thank you very much to everyone who will give me more information here! Unfortunately, my decision is not necessarily facilitating.

Are you an insider of SM? Where did you get your information about the quieter linear modules and the stronger laser?

Will the laser be purchased or will it be re-selectable at the time of purchase? Will it be possible to cut the plywood with this increase? The power then increases enormously from 1.6 to 8W. The second half of the year is not long and then I’ll wait for the price range. In Austria, I have to buy the housing and thus pay a proud €2300


I gave you the wrong picture!
My main purpose is not laser cutting!
I’m a private person and I use the machine to support my model making.
I already own a 3D printer of the noname category and partly repair broken everyday objects by reconstructing broken parts (Fusion360) and printing them out. So, I’m already a little familiar with printing (cura).

The interest in the laser is because I have never worked with it before and I have received a lot of contradictory information again!!!

One says it’s possible, it doesn’t work from the other side! Then you can see videos of cnc Kitchen where it is shown that the laser can also cut out parts of plywood. Fake? I’m just interested because one or two times this could certainly be applied to me. But NOT mass-produced!!!

I also dedicate the same interest to the laser to the cnc. However, the requirement from me is clear and consistent with what the SM can do. I’m not afraid that he disappoints me. Since I have already manufactured some parts with a handwheel on an existing CoolTool machine.

So the laser theme is NEW for me and that’s why it comes to the fore because I would like to experience the experience of already owning SM users. Whether it is possible to tune the part so that it is possible to cut up to 5mm. But this is still about individual parts! But are also rather rare! Can also mill it at a time of need! If that But the laser Could be the mega!

I’m a huge fan of such multipurpose machines because I don’t have a bad place either.

I hope with this slightly larger post, it has become clearer what my claim is.

Should I direct my request to SM?


That does clear things up. If you search the forum for plywood, you’ll see that with the current laser there are problems with 3mm (it can be done, but carefully) so 4mm is probably a no-go.

The New Module Ideas thread has some discussion of the upgrades, and their rough release date (Q2, Q3). Also see https://forum.snapmaker.com/t/has-anyone-upgraded-their-laser/12074/2?u=edf which covers the limits of the SM laser in plywood pretty well.

My understanding is that the linear module improvements are for precision, and “being quieter” is really more of a side effect. I don’t recall any discussion specifically about making them quieter, but the noise is a common complaint, so I may have missed it. According to https://forum.snapmaker.com/t/when-can-i-preorder-2-5-upgrades/17994/3 they will be on sale in June.

The high-power laser has been discussed for about just as long. Check the Roadmap - should be on there.

These machines are good for expressive work (little statues, decorative plaques, etc.). They are not good for making precision parts. That’s a broad statement with lots of grey areas, certainly, but that’s my take on it. Whether it’s good for model-making depends on where on the spectrum between these two you land for the kinds of models you make.

One specific thing I was hoping for in these machines is a ready ability to make multi-process parts. It’s physically possible, but not nearly has ready as I had hoped. It essentially requires something like recalibration every time you switch processes; the machine is not capable of holding reliably holding calibration between work runs.

If you mean every time you switch between a mode (laser, cnc, 3D printing) then it should go without saying that you have to recalibrate, you’re physically changing the machines setup, there is no machine in existence that would not require you to recalibrate after a change like that. It’s physically not the exact same when going back to a certain mode as it was before you changed from it, the way you bolt it on would be off by just a tiny bit not noticeable to the naked eye compared to before. It’s unrealistic to think that any machine would be capable of not having to recalibrate after a change like that.

I make precision parts with it and it does a great job doing so. It all lies in how you design the model and your print settings. Parametric modeling is how you need to make precision parts, the machine doesn’t know the difference, no machine does, and you have to set your print settings accordingly.

That’s just objectively not true though. There’s an whole class of industrial multi-tool machines that save work offsets between the tool heads, allowing you to switch easily.

I recently visited a job shop with a plasma cutter/laser cutter/cnc machine multi-tool.

Not drawing excessive parallels between $500k+ machinery and this, but even the manual change over process should be better than it is, where each tool has a known offset, and is mounted with shoulder bolts for precise positioning. The design in this aspect is obviously lacking.

I’ve done a fair amount of 3D printing for the last few years - as in they are always things I design and the machine I have had has rarely not been printing. Currently I’m printing mounting brackets for my bumper.
Beyond the lack of dual extrusion and all-metal extruder, I think the Snapmaker is one of the better 3D printing machines. The only failed prints I’ve had was when I was playing with making my own all-metal extruder.
I made a sound proof little room in the attic and yeah, you can still hear the machine downstairs. It isn’t the most quiet machine. But putting a cement block and a slab of rubber under it certainly kills 75% of the sound.
This is the only laser machine I’ve used, they are coming out with a more powerful module. To be honest I wish I could laser engrave more things. Right now I’ve only been successful with wood and leather. I haven’t tried cutting anything with it yet.
And I haven’t tried the CNC at all yet, because I’m afraid of the noise it will make! I did preorder the rotary module so I do have every intention to venture into the CNC world eventually!
What fascinates me most about Snapmaker is the quality of their products. It’s just really, really nice stuff. Also the fact that they keep making new modules and stuff means that the machine is going to keep getting better and better. I just hope that they don’t come out with a version 3.0 and then neglect the version 2.0
I would definitely recommend the Snapmaker over any other standalone machine.

@brent113 already addressed this in part, but didn’t get to just how inexpensive this facility is.

You can buy a 0XA toolpost and five tool holders today for around ~$160-$170 from reputable vendors, and these fit on small metal lathes that cost less that $1K. So not only is it possible, it’s both inexpensive and commonplace on machines in exactly the same price range as the SM 2.0. The exact same dovetail + sliding wedge mounting system could have been used to mount the work heads. It would take far less mass than a metal lathe requires, because the forces on the mount are so much less. It could have been done for less that $100 in machine cost.

Please don’t misrepresent my claim. I don’t believe the SM is well-suited for making precision parts when you want parts in all three of the processes it ships with, nor is it good with multiprocess parts. The FDM process with the best of the three the 2.0 ships with, to be sure. But even then, if your primary need in precision parts is FDM parts, you can buy more machine in a dedicated FDM printer than getting a SM.

You beat me to it :slight_smile:
Not only are the QCTP toolholders and example of how tools can maintain a position, but the more advanced lathe DROs retain a tool library which stores the height of each tool. Set it up once and your done.

When you get into the CNC world, there are modular tool systems (just check out Tormach’s site) for performing multiple classes of operations (milling, boring, screwcutting) on a single machining center.

It is not too much of a stretch to imagine a quick-change tool system on the X-axis linear module carriage, and the supporting software to manage it. The software would be a lot of work, but an alpha could provide for user-specified tool settings in JSON and a simple save/restore capability (save current position to file, user edits file, user loads file when toolhead is changed).

The limiting factor seems to be the power of the X and Z axis linear modules. They are clearly designed to handle light toolheads; putting something like a 0xA or AXA toolpost on them might be too much.

@Joschy I am not an insider. I am just following the forum.
I have now added some sources to my claims to make it easier to follow those.
I like the SM2 in general, but there are some downsides too, as every thing in life. You just need to elaborate whether these are critical to you or not.
The new laser module will be available as completely separate optional add-on.

The issue with laser cutting is that most of the time people are comparing apples with pears. The type of wood is really critical when comparing results. It’s like asking “Does it cut well?” without saying “steel, wood, paper, …”? Of course, other parameters play a big role, too.
To make things clear: Do not expact the 1.6W laser to be anything usable for cutting things other than paper or cardboard for example.

Not even cardboard, see here: Seeking help regarding laser cutting

Too much inorganic glue, methinks. Would be appropriate for a CO2 laser though.

I was thinking about standard parcel cardboard. But you are right. It is the same as for wood. You need to be very precise about the actual material to get comparable results.