UPDATES ON THIS POST
2022-08-12 Update the status of the quick-swap addon for SM 2.0 printer: The community feedback is super important to us regarding continuously improve user experience. We’ve heard your strong voice on quick-swap feature request. We have reevaluated this and started working on this. This is not a statement about promising this addon, but an update to correct my original post info (see the info below). There’s still an uncertainty. We will publish an announcement when all tests being passed.
2022-08-12 Add a reason to the limit to upgrade with 200W CNC module: The current limit of the SM 2.0 printer control board to the tool head is 5A, 24v voltage * 5A current = 120W power. So the user can only use 120W power even if a 200w spindle is installed.
Hello, Snapmaker owners, nice to meet you in the Snapmaker Forum! I’m Jade from the Snapmaker team. I don’t have an active history record in the forum. Feeling sorry about this. Reading the feedback in the group and forum, I realized that we did terrible in the project information sharing, which let a lot of our supporters down when seeing us releasing a new product.
After checking the discussion on the Artisan announcement topic in the group, I realized that I came late and I would need to collect deeper info to help the forum users to learn more regarding the backward compatibility problem. Anyway, I should not feel hesitate to share what I’ve shared to the Facebook Group here. OK. Let’s dive into the fact you care about now.
I noticed there have been some discussions on the old users’ support and the Artisan’s compatibility with previous products. I’d like to first say that you are not only the owners of Snapmaker printers, but also important supporters of Snapmaker, and we value your needs and experience. I’d also like to share some info on these topics and keep the communication going.
Looking back on our development of the first-generation 3-in-1 3D printer - the Original model, to Snapmaker 2.0, and now to the latest generation - Artisan, our mission has not changed during the six-year journey: to continuously explore and develop high-quality desktop 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’ve continued to take in our users’ feedback to continuously improve our 3-in-1 printers. At the same time, we were also conducting R&D work of its addons. Rotary module, Air Purifier, 10W High Power Laser Module, Dual Extrusion 3D Printing Module, and more, have been at the top of our product development priority list.
Of course, while developing these addons, we haven’t 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 technological advances and the best manufacturing techniques 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 we have made trade-offs, compromises, even terminated. To keep the complete backward compatibility of Artisan, new innovation would be too difficult to apply, or tune the final solution with terrible complexity. After a period of time and tests, we made a hard choice.
We have set down a compatibility list of Snapmaker 2.0 and Artisan. Here’s a preview version.
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 Extrusion 3D Printing Module, Filament Dryer, Emergency Stop Button. Snapmaker 2.0 owners - don’t fret, we haven’t forgotten you, the dual extrusion module and filament dryer will be coming to you as well - details to follow! (I adopted a suggestion from @rtrski to say this to you.)
However, Snapmaker 2.0 printers CANNOT SUPPORT TO UPGRADE with Artisan Linear Modules, quick-swap toolheads, quick-swap work platforms, Artisan Integrated Control System, and 200W CNC Module. Now let’s dive a little bit 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 dimension of the Linear Module had to be changed from 48 mm x 48 mm to 50 mm x 70 mm. When designing the Linear Module, we faced a dilemma: either we meet high-performance requirements or we realize Snapmaker 2.0 compatibility. The cross-sectional dimension of the Linear Module is mainly decided by 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 (we were trying hard not to make it overweight) and the desktop-level device size target (we need to consider typical personal desktop sizes), when developing new products, we eventually chose to design a new generation of Linear Module with higher performance, rather than the same or fine-tuned Snapmaker 2.0 Linear Module.
Quick-swap feature (toolheads 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 it cannot support the quick-swap work platforms. However, quick swap is more useful on work platforms than on toolheads. We still could not figure out a satisfactory solution after considerable evaluations and cost calculations. We don’t want users to spend a high cost to buy quick-swap tool heads only, and still not able to obtain a complete and smooth quick-swap experience. Therefore, we chose to give up adding the quick-swap feature to Snapmaker 2.0 printers.
The cost that the Snapmaker 2.0 user needs to pay for the quick-swap toolheads: the customized quick-swap kit for the Snapmaker 2.0 X-axis linear module and the toolheads.
The cost that the Snapmaker 2.0 user needs to pay for the quick-swap work platforms: replacing the existing base of the work platform to the one that 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 demand is relatively small (the number of repurchasing users of a single module is limited), it means that the margin of profit is smaller, which in turn will increase the production cost, and users are the ones who 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 of a quick swap design that costs an exorbitant amount of money from Snapmaker 2.0 users will decrease accordingly, and it is inevitable that this product falls into a vicious circle.
200W CNC Module:
The limiting factors of CNC machining capability on the Snapmaker 2.0 machine is not the toolhead, 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 proportional to the performance improvements that users will get. Therefore, we decided not to offer this upgrade option to Snapmaker 2.0.
I also have some other 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 400 mm 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 expandability, 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 higher priority.
Why don’t we release XL CNC router?
- We have a product design for XL CNC back in 2021, the product alias is C800, a single-function CNC router with a work area of 800 mm x 800 mm. The whole project lasted about 6 months and ended in failure. Major limitating factors of C800: It is difficult to guarantee the cost and flatness of 800 mm x 800 mm die casting piece. It is also difficult to control product weight and product cost, and the rigidity of user assembly cannot be 100% guaranteed. The difficulty of the R&D is: We were unable 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 were pre-researching XL CNC internally, we were also working on the productization of H Laser, whose alias is L500. The L500 project also lasted about 6 months, and came to no avail. Main reasons: Bad value/cost ratio. High power laser cutter needs a enclosed environment for the whole machine. So even if the Linear Modules are used, the product still needs to be enclosed by an extra shell, which made the aluminum shell of the Linear Modules (which costs a lot) redundant. 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 strenuous thinking, we believed that upgrading the power of the laser module would bring the most benefits to Snapmaker 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 all the details. Please keep sharing your feedback with us.