Is this modular 3-in-1 any good? (Snapmaker)

Facebook keeps sending me this promoted post for a 3 in 1 modular 3D Printer / Laser / CNC. Have you researched it? Have you tried it? Is it junk or is it a reasonable maker-y thing to have in your home?

They’re using a limited time offer to entice people to buy it.

Jack of all trades, but master of none? I mean, the price is decent and all of those things are essentially the same CNC component, with the main difference being the tool and the hold down system. I have never heard of this thing but the price is right for a small desktop CNC/Laser. I mean, if you have that kind of cash for a toy it might be a good pickup but honestly I don’t know enough about it. I am also skeptical of anything heavily pushed on facebook.

At a glance, that appears to be a 3D printer first, laser engraver second, and a 3-axis router a distant third. I say this because the first two options require minimal transmission of force since a 3D printer spits out filament into free space and a laser engraver moves around the mass of optics (or in this case the solid state laser module). A router on the other hand must exert force in all axes - this is not exclusive to the other two functions, but I suspect it’s not the unit’s strong suit either.

I can’t speak to the quality of this unit, but the following stands out to me:

  • Design is very much so a typical 3D printer: X/Z movement on the gantry, Y movement on the table, no enclosure. Not sure how critical the latter fact is, but I gather that it helps to retain heat for a number of 3D-printing operations
  • The engraver is a mere 1.6W. Expect slow going engraving things, slower going cutting things. I’d guess that it can cut paper-like materials at best.
  • The CNC router functionality is apt to be extremely slow and limited on what it can handle. A quick search suggests that an ER11 collet is best for 6mm or smaller bits. I’d be reluctant to use the A150 design for routing since there’s only the single vertical support.

Thanks, @ESmith. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. Pass.

Honestly, that’s my first clue something isn’t a great value proposition. Like the $100 ballpoint pen…


I run Facebook ads, so I didn’t see it this way. The under $2k price tag for a laser was the giveaway that something was off, though. I know there are cheaper versions, but Glowforge sends me ads constantly and their pro version is $5k. Good thing I belong to a makerspace.

If you’re looking for a fun laser to bring home, I’d suggest the k40 laser cutter for under a quarter of the price of the Snapmaker. It has the same strength of laser as a Glowforge, but much more open source and upgradeable.


The following review calls it their value pick but you should read it carefully. It appears to be a good honest review with coverage of both positives and negatives.

Also, can someone discuss what can/cannot be done with a 1.6 watt laser.

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Disclaimer, not an expert by any means and going off of old memory. There’s a loose square root correlation for laser strength to cutting depth, and which materials you can cut in the first place. So a stronger laser can cut deeper with fewer passes, and a weaker laser will require much longer to make the same kind of cuts.

You might say at 1.6W the laser cutter is really more of an engraver for easily burned materials (leather, paper, cardboard, SOME plastics), and at 40W it starts being able to pierce through those sorts of materials.