We've designed a high quality 3D printer that is fast and easy to assemble and prints high quality parts.
Users do not need any technical background knowledge to assemble the Snap 3D printer, making it ideal for users who don't want to deal with the complex design challenges of putting together their own printer (cutting parts, electronics, soldering).
The printer's frame is extremely strong and doesn't require fasteners thanks to our design innovation and high quality materials. From our first prototype in wood to our final product in plastic, the printer is one of the best designed and most appealing 3D printers, and also offers your choice of frame color.
Our dream is for the Snap 3D printer to be a platform for 3D printing innovations. This is why we've chosen the modular design. Advanced users, makers and product designers will be able to customize their printer. One example is the Extruder's platform that can be easily removed and replaced with a different Extruder for liquid printing or dispensing (printing chocolate, sugar or food). The print bed is also modular for this purpose. Users will be able to add a second Extruder for experimental dual printing. Our electronics will support this option too.
- No Soldering; Electronics & Wires snap together
- Large build volume: 8 x 8 x 8 inches
-ABS, PLA, Nylon 3 mm filament
-100 micron layers resolution
-Stand alone with microSD input
-LCD panel with control interface: No need to use your computer, laptop to control the printer, pause and reset buttons, navigation buttons
-The best heated bed for ABS: Helios bed
-Easy and fast to assemble
-Software: Repetier, Pronterface or slic3r
Press & Reviews:
"Snap 3D has become a fully functional 3D printer capable of servicing the prototyping needs of anyone from students to startups...With a heated Helios print bed, the Snap is novel not only for its technology but for its construction method as well." - The World’s First Snap Together 3D Printer, Engineering.com
"Snap3D Printer by Tjiko Labs, was especially designed so that owners can assemble and reconfigure it themselves. No nails, soldering or wiring required — the pieces snap together like K'nex or Legos" - Build Your Own 3D Printer with Snap3D, Tom's Guide
-Engineering and final tests on other Snap3D Printers
- Extruder and End stops production
- Frame Production
- Electronics and other components order
- First batch shipping
Also seen on:
Our first 3d printer prototype was made by a local machine shop in Fullerton,California in December 2011. The top face and the Y braces were all in one piece. There was not yet a design solution for the X axis and the Extruder. There was no bottom face.
Manufacturing process: Laser cut.
We had a solution for the X carriage. The electronics and power supply were not integrated in the design. We didn't have a design for the end stops. We were using Wildseyed simple hot end as extruder. This 3d printer prototype was functional and we started printing with it.
Material: HDPE high-density polyethylene
Manufacturing process: CNC router
We learned a lot with the wood frame. It was inexpensive and quick to make prototypes but it was not the right material for the clips and assembling process. So we started working with our local plastics suppliers and asking friends for an alternative material.
Electronics and power supply are integrated. New design for the end stops, the bed doesn't required fasteners for leveling, bottom face, wires management.
The Snap 3D printer
We are using the J head nozzle now. The printer is bigger than the previous 3d printer prototype. We added the Viki LCD, the spool holders, the LED light, the Helios bed. We redesigned the end stops, front, back and bottom faces. Finally we designed couple packaging for the fully assembled printers. The user can carry the printer inside a strong and safe package. The top of the package serves as a table for the printer in case the user doesn't have a place to put the printer.
Electronics: Open Source
From our local supplier Panucatt Devices
Cutting the frame
We used to cut our frame in house or from a friend's shop.
We have two shops ready to cut our printer's frame. We work with them because of their capacity to handle large volume (hundreds of cutting parts) and for the quality of our finish product. We care a lot about the printer's frame and how it is manufactured.
Another local shop R&D Engineering is also ready to cut our parts if we need more units.
Stepper Motors: we have our local suppliers in Southern California ready with hundreds of stepper motors. Otherwise the lead time is 2 weeks from our other suppliers.
Our Plastic Extruder and end stops holders don't required lot of plastic. We will be printing hundreds of them with our printers. We'll have control over the quality of the parts.
Electronics: Panucatt Devices is one of our supplier. The lead time is 4 weeks. We can of course run our printer with Sanguinololu the lead time will be 3 to 4 weeks.
Threaded rods and other components (end stops, LED, belt, bearings: We have them from our local machine shops, Orvac Electronics, Home depot, Fry's Electronics. Power supply (3 to 4 weeks).
We have our HDPE plastic sheets from 5 local retailers in Orange County, California. They have them in store for pick up. Otherwise the lead time is 3 weeks.
Risks and challenges
Even though we are confident users will be able to assemble the printer in less than 2 hours, we are editing a couple videos and interactive 3D step-by-step instructions that will be uploaded to the website.
We have been designing 3D printers for more than one year. We have built 3 generation of prototypes and a small production run for more testing with our users.
We have two manufacturing shops ready to cut all the printer frames. We are working with the best manufacturing shops in Southern California.
Our main suppliers are well recognized and located in Southern California. While we have commitment from them, we can't predict every situation (missed parts or unexpected shortage) that might introduce shipment delay from their side.
Our printer doesn't need a calibration for the bed. We've designed it to overcome this hard task. This was one main reason we didn't want fasteners.
User will just have to tunethe z end stop for the z axis level.
The electronics come ready and the only thing the user will have to do is to install the software package and start printing.