Since a lot of people aren’t on FB for various reasons, I’ll post this here for their benefit.
Long post from Jade Wu about design decisions for upgrades to 2.0 and reason for creation of Artisan. Of particular interest is the paragraph about the XL cnc and their determination (which many of us became well aware of) that 2.0 design couldn’t handle any more powerful spindle.
Hello, Snapmaker owners, nice to meet you! I’m Jade. I’m from the Snapmaker team. I saw there are some discussions on the old users support worry and the compatibility questions. I would like to share some views on these topics and keep up the communication.
You are not only the owners of Snapmaker printers, but also important supporters of Snapmaker, and we value your needs and experience. From our development of the first-generation 3-in-1 3D printer - Original model, to Snapmaker 2.0, and now to the latest generation - Artisan, our original intention has not changed during the six-year journey: to continuously explore and develop high-quality desktop-level digital fabrication tools, so as to empower people to make something wonderful in the physical world.
Snapmaker 2.0 is a very popular project. Since its release in 2019, we have continued to absorb user feedback to continuously improve our 3-in-1 printers. At the same time, we are also conducting R&D work of its upgraded version modules. Rotary module, air purifier, 10W high-power laser module, dual-nozzle 3D printing module, and more, have been at the top of our product development priority list. Of course, while developing these expansion modules, we have not stopped exploring the design and development of stronger 3-in-1 printers. I believe that no one is more eager than us to apply the latest technology and the best manufacturing process methods to all our products. We’ve had a number of innovative projects internally, some of which have been very successful, but as is inevitable in all product development, some have made trade-offs, compromised, even terminated.
We have sorted out a compatibility list of Snapmaker 2.0 and Artisan. This list will be published within one day. I’ve shared a preview version in the comments under this post.
To put it simply, the modules that Snapmaker 2.0 (A, AT, F models) can support for upgrade are: rotary module, TMC2209 linear modules, air purifier, 10W high-power laser module, dual-nozzle 3D printing module, filament dryer, emergency stop button; and Snapmaker 2.0 does not support upgraded modules (while Artisan supports): 200W CNC module, Artisan linear modules, Artisan controller module, quick-swap feature (tool heads and work platforms) .
Therefore, many old users are concerned about whether Snapmaker 2.0 can support Artisan linear modules, quick-swap tool heads, quick-swap work platforms, and 200W CNC modules. Now let’s dive a little more into our main considerations when doing product design.
Artisan Linear Modules:
In order to greatly improve the performance of the machine, the cross-sectional section size of the linear module has been changed from 48mmx48mm to 50mmx70mm. When designing the linear module, we faced a dilemma: either meet high-performance requirements or realize SM 2.0 compatibility. The cross-sectional size of the linear module is mainly subject to two factors: one is the grinding efficiency, and the other is the size of the motor. The need to achieve greater torque at high speed means that we need to use a higher power/larger size motor; in addition, limited by the product weight target (try not to be overweight) and the desktop-level device size target (need to meet the personal desktop-level application scenario), when developing new products, we finally chose to design a new generation of linear modules with higher performance, rather than the same or fine-tuned Snapmaker 2.0 linear modules.
Quick-swap feature (tool heads and work platforms):
We have evaluated a quick-swap kit for Snapmaker 2.0, and the conclusion is: in terms of feasibility, it can only support the quick-swap tool heads at most, but cannot provide the quick-swap work platforms. However, work platforms need the quick-swap feature the most. We still could not get a satisfactory plan after various plan evaluations and cost calculations. We don’t want users to spend a high cost to buy quick-swap tool heads only, and still not be able to obtain a complete and excellent quick-swap experience. Therefore, we chose to give up adding the quick-swap feature to Snapmaker 2.0 printers.
The cost that the SM 2.0 user needs to pay for the quick-swap tool heads: the customized quick-swap kit for the Snapmaker 2.0 X-axis linear module and the tool heads.
The cost that the SM 2.0 user needs to pay for the quick-swap work platforms: replacing the existing base of the work platform (spider skeleton) to the one features quick-swap function, replacing the heated bed and print sheet with the glass build plate and the die-casting platform under the glass build plate. In addition, a customized quick-swap kit is required. All of these require high-standards of processing technology and increased production costs. When the market demand is small (the number of repurchasing users of a single module is limited), It means that the output is smaller, which further increases the production cost, and users actually need to pay a high cost for this. On the other hand, because it is impossible to provide an affordable product solution for users, the demand for users will also decrease accordingly, and it is inevitable to fall into a vicious circle of high cost on the user end.
200W CNC module:
The boundary condition of CNC machining capability on the SM 2.0 machine is not the tool head, but the work platform and linear modules. The rigidity of the linear modules of the Snapmaker 2.0 printers is not enough to support the long-term use of the 200W CNC. The expansion and upgrade costs that users need to pay for this are not equal to the performance improvements that users will get. Therefore, we do not offer this upgrade option to Snapmaker 2.0.
We also have some thoughts related to this topic, and would like to share with you, for example:
Why not make the work area of the new product the same as that of A350/A350T/F350?
- We have always wanted to maximize the value of exploring 3-in-1 3D printers, and the 400mm cubic is the maximum value obtained through scientific Value Engineering / Value Matrix Analysis (value = functional value / cost) and multiple rounds of rigorous engineering prototype testing and verification design scheme.
Will Artisan come with the same modularity as Snapmaker 2.0?
- Artisan has a certain degree of expandable, but it is different from Snapmaker 2.0 in the pursuit of modularity. When designing Artisan, we put “stronger performance” and “value/cost ratio” at a higher level priority.
Why don’t we release XL CNC router?
- We have a product design for XL CNC back in 2021, the internal project name is C800, a single-function CNC router with a work area of 800mm x 800mm. The whole project lasted about 6 months and ended in failure. Product problems and boundaries of C800: It is difficult to guarantee the cost and flatness of 800mm x 800mm die casting piece. It is difficult to control product weight and product cost, and the rigidity of assembly cannot be 100% guaranteed by the user. The difficulty of the R&D is: We were not able to guarantee that the parallelism and equal height of the double Y could meet our standards.
Why don’t we release H Laser cutter?
- While we are pre-researching XL CNC internally, we are also working on the productization of H Laser, whose internal name is L500. The L500 project also lasted about 6 months, and the final result was a failure. Main reasons: Inadequate value/cost ratio. High power laser cutter needs a enclosed environment of the whole machine. Only the linear module is used to build the product, and the product still needs to be enclosed by an extra shell. Then the aluminum profile of the linear module is wasted, which costs a lot. Moreover, the main requirement of the laser for linear motion is speed rather than rigidity. The linear module would have performance redundancy due to this reason. After repeated thinking, we believed that the value of upgrading the power of the laser module would bring the most benefits to SM 2.0 users. Therefore, we have provided the upgrade option of a 10W high-power laser module.
It’s a long post. Thanks for taking the time to learn about the details. Please keep sharing your feedback with us. We are preparing more and more official FAQ articles based on your feedback, which will be published very soon. Have a nice day! Make something wonderful.