Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 3D Printer Review

Our Test Lab has been fortunate to get access to the Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 3D printer. Find out what to expect of this unit in terms of features, performance, quality of print, and price.

There’s a new modular 3D printer in town that allows you to run a small, successful workshop at the fraction of the price.  We are talking about the Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 modular 3D printer.

As always, we managed to get our hands on the new release to test and find out what it has to offer. In this review, we’ll provide an overview of what we think about the new unit, the cool features that it come with it, provide a sample of some items we made, and our thoughts on the price.

Let’s get started.

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For starters, the new Snapmaker Artisan has all the things you’d expect from a Snapmaker machine. It features a predominantly metal outer body with interchangeable tool-heads that allow you to easily swap between CNC carving, 3D printing, or laser cutting and engraving.

Think of the Snapmaker Artisan as an upgraded version of the Snapmaker A350, but this time, with more power, especially when it comes to laser engraving and CNC capabilities.

Overview of the Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1

The Snapmaker Artisan features an upgraded dual-extrusion printhead. The part can withstand temperatures of up to about 300°C. These are two features makers that undertake very demanding projects highly desire.

We also love the large build volume of 350 x 400 x 400mm for 3D printing tasks and 400 x 400mm for laser and CNC projects. These volumes are larger than what we saw with the Snapmaker 2.0s (the A150, A250, and the A350.)

Read on to find out the features of the Snapmaker Artisan, and how it performs in 3D printing jobs, laser cutting/engraving and CNC tasks.

Snapmaker Artisan Review

The Snapmaker Artisan is another modular unit that the DIY enthusiast will absolutely adore. With this machine, you can let your imagination run wild. Your creativity will be your only limit.

Switching between tool-heads is a lot faster on the Artisan, largely in part due to the levered locking feature that replaces the screw system. Since there is no screwing to be done, you’ll take less than a minute to swap between all three tool-heads.

The Snapmaker Artisan also comes with a stock 10-watt laser engraving tool-head. This  is way more powerful than the 1.6-watt stock laser that the Snapmaker 2.0 come with. The new wattage opens up the possibilities of new, more diverse laser engraving creations.

Specifications

Display 3.5-inch Color Touchscreen
Frame Aluminum Alloy
File Transfer USB Cable, USB Flash Drive
Power 100-240V AC
Software Snapmaker Luban
Heated Bed Up to 80 Degrees Celsius
Print Head Speed Up to 100 mm per second
Nozzle Temperature Up to 250 Degrees Celsius
Layer Resolution 50-300microns
Non-Supported Materials (3D Printing) Graphite, Alumide, etc
Supported Materials (3D Printing) Non-Proprietary PLA, ABS, etc
Laser Power 10W
Wavelength 405nm
Safety Class Class B
Non-Supported Materials (Laser) Non-transparent acrylic, paper, plastic, leather, bamboo, wood, etc
Supported Materials (Laser) Transparent material, gems, glass, metal
Spindle Speed 18,000RPM
Non-Supported Materials (CNC) Gem, glass, metal, etc
Supported Materials (CNC) Jade, carbon fiber, PCB, acrylic, wood, etc
Depth 13.2-inches (335 mm)
Height 11.4-inches (289 mm)
Width 10.7-inches (272 mm)
Weight 10-pounds (4.5Kgs)

3D Printing Function

The new Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 has a dual extrusion 3D printing head. This is pretty cool because now the machine can comfortably accommodate high-temperatures materials, reaching up to 300°C. With the dual extrusion, your printing will be more versatile and faster.

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Dual Extruder

By the way, the dual extruder allows the unit to 3D print materials of two different colors at the same time. This means you will save time with your colored prints as you won’t have to  manually feed different materials at different times of the printing cycle.

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Printing with the Snapmaker Artisan

Moreover, you can now also 3D print  PLA if you’re looking for something that doesn’t dissolve and still use a dissolvable filament to print the supports. This eliminates the problem of the model breaking up  when you’re taking out its support. After printing, simply submerge the model into some water and the support will just melt away on its own.

Another interesting features of the Snapmaker Artisan is the heated bed. In this new unit, the bed now has Heated Zones. This is a feature a lot of people who own 2.0 versions would love to add to their printers as well. Why? Because the build plate on these models is rather huge and takes plenty of time and energy to properly heat up.

For instance, to heat up an A350’s entire build plate would take roughly 5 minutes. On the Artisan, the bed takes less than 3 minutes to heat up to 60 Degrees Celsius.

CNC Function

The Artisan’s new 200-watt CNC module enables the unit to achieve a spindle speed of around 18,000 RPM. This new function increases the printer’s power by 300%. This makes the Artisan faster, stronger, and more efficient.

With the CNC module, you can easily cut or carve hardwood (beech, walnut), softwood, HDF, MDF, plywood, Jade, Carbon Fiber, Acrylic, Epoxy Tooling Board, PCB and other materials.

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CNC module in action

We didn’t test this, but if this is true, then you won’t have any problems working with aluminum materials and the like.

We used hardwood in our test and the printer performed exceptionally well. So our guess is that if it’s good with hardwood material, it’ll probably perform just as good with most of the other wood materials available for 3D printing.

Here’s the finished product:

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Finished product

The Snapmaker Artisan’s new CNC module is definitely a huge upgrade and helps make the printer that much better.

Here is another product made using the CNC module

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Laser Function

The Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 has a high-power 10-watt laser cutting and engraving module. When compared to the 2.0 A350, the 10W laser module on this new unit is on a totally different level in terms of capability. The only reason you’d ever want to go back to using the A350’s 1.6-watt laser function is if the one on your new Artisan 3-in-1 got spoiled or suddenly stopped working.

In fact, this 10-watt high-power laser is one of the main reasons why the Artisan 3-in-1 3D printer features an enclosure in the overall package. Safety comes first and Snapmaker has shown how it’s making this a priority by doing this.

Here are some items engraved with the Snapmaker Artisan:

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Redesigned Power Module

The new power module on the Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 is much bigger and different from those on Snapmaker’s previous 3D printers. Instead of a rectangle thing that sits flat and horizontally, it has sort of like an octagonal overall shape but with similar depth to its predecessors.

Additionally, the unit now has a display screen sitting at the front rather than a touchscreen display that’s attached to the actual 3D printing machine. Yes, at first glance, it looks a bit weird and out of place. However, it’s kind of walled off and has a solid build quality.

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Touchscreen

The back also features enough vents to help keep the machine both cool and quiet as you work.

However, we feel that maybe Snapmaker should have reduced the size of the wall around the display screen and placed the screen a bit inward because the viewing angle is a little distorted when you’re not right in front of it. They should’ve just made the screen the main front so that you can still see what you’re doing if you’re viewing the screen from different angles.

There’s a slot feature at the top and the front we didn’t really investigate further. We assumed it was just an inlet valve or a storage port of some kind.

Finally, the power supply has an in-built e-stop button function, which is a great feature. The only issue with is that it goes a little bit ack into the supply. We believe e-stop buttons should be more on the outside so that you can easily get to them when you have an emergency. You want to be able to quickly slap the button and shut down the machine when something unexpected occurs.

Quick-Swap Systems

When the original 3-in-1 3D printer from Snapmaker first launched on the Kickstarter platform, one of the machine’s primary selling points was the ability to quickly change between CNC, laser engraving/cutting, and 3D printing modules, as well as building plates. On the Snapmaker 2.0 versions, switching between these modules takes roughly 20 minutes or so.

However, with the Artisan’s new and improved Quick-Swap screwless system, switching between these modules happens a lot faster. You’ll only take about a minute or so to change from one module to another.

Next-Gen Linear Modules

Linear rail systems are widely used in industrial sectors like transportation equipment and industrial robots. The systems help make sure pieces of equipment strictly follow specific paths in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. With 3D printing machines, that equipment would be CNC Carving, Laser Engraving/Cutting, and 3D Printing tool-heads.

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In the previous Snapmaker 2.0 model, the bearings moved using pulleys and linear rods. This is a common sight in most 3D printing machines on the market. However, linear rods don’t provide such high-precision, smooth movements.

On the other hand, linear rail systems comfortably provide more rigid motion mechanisms. They’re less susceptible to vibration issues. Therefore, they help to reduce printing complications like ringing.

The Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 3D printer introduces industrial-grade transmission tech to desktop fabrication. By this, we mean that steel guide rails are embedded in the machine’s linear modules.

As far as the drive unit is concerned, Snapmaker used Gates high-quality synchronous belt features in the Y and X axes to enhance the lead. This improved the efficiency of power transmission while still maintaining low noise levels and high accuracy.

Expanded Work Area

The new Artisan 3-in-1 3D printer also has a 350 x 400 x 400 work area. This is bigger than the 320 x 350 x 330 workspace of the Snapmaker 2.0 A350 model.

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If you’re not used to so much space, you might have issues dealing with uneven beds. Things may not always be as level as you you’d like. The good news is that the next-gen linear modules eliminate this problem.

The Artisan also has a new bed mount for your utility plates. The mount is as solid and rigid as it looks at first glance. The base plate is also very dense and strong, which makes the whole setup a lot better.

Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 Price

The Snapmaker Artisan 3-in-1 modular 3D printer is currently available on a pre-order price of $2799. This price not only gets you the unit, but also an enclosure.

From the looks of things, this is about $1000 more expensive than the immediate predecessor, the Snapmaker 2.0 A350.  We think that the price is a little high.

The only reason why we would recommend buying this unit is if you will mainly be doing CNC work. This is because the CNC function is the major upgrade of the machine. Other upgrades, such as the screwless system, quick replacement of modular tool heads, and fast heating print bed are manageable for the hobbyist maker.

We can’t also forget the dual-extrusion system, which not only allows you to print two materials of different colors, but also supports flexible filament. This is another plus of the Artisan.

So, for $1000, the main upgrades we’re seeing is the dual-extrusion system and an upgraded CNC module. You’ll have to decide whether the extra $1000 is worth it for the Artisan or whether the A350 will be just fine for you.

Conclusion

Because the Snapmaker Artisan is still a relatively new 3D printing machine, we haven’t been able to really see what it can do just yet. There’s still a lot to test out and that’s why we’re going to play around with it a bit more.

We’ll update this article with more thoughts, creations and issues that arise as we continue using the machine.

However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have enough time with it to know how great a machine it is. In fact, the new redesigned power supply and 10W laser module really blew us away. We’ve had the opportunity of testing quite a number of 3D printing machines in our time and, without a doubt, we can say this one’s right up there with the best of them.

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