The SNAP 3D Printer
Letting You Easily Build Your Own 3D Printer!
The SNAP 3D Printer focuses on being able to be constructed by those without technical experience as it is completely Modular and is also the first consumer level 3D Printer to be made without the use of Fasteners; even the internal electronics and wires snap together too! Fasteners are simply the connectors most 3D Printers use to secure the Frame of your Printer and sometimes the electronics as well. The SNAP is able to Print with Filaments requiring higher temperatures, the most popular being ABS Filament. It features an SD Card Reader and LCD Display which allow you to Print your already designed and saved projects without having to hook it up to your computer. The LCD Display on the SNAP 3D Printer does more than just show you information; the SNAP’s settings can also be adjusted without the use of a computer or external software with the built in iPod-like knob on the face of the Printer. The SNAP offers an impressive Build Volume of 8 x 8 x 8in, which is larger than many of it’s competitors costing 2 to 3 times the price!
The SNAP 3D Printer is also great for busy people on the go as it weighs only 16 pounds and disassembles to fit into most bags used for carry-on for air travel. It is also capable of up to a 100 micron Print Resolution making it more than adequate for most 3D Printing needs and the built-in LED light makes sure you can see all the fine details as your object is made right in front of your eyes. The SNAP uses 3mm Printer Filament which is often less expensive and always easier to work with than 1.75mm Filament. Even though 1.75mm Filament is growing in popularity, 3mm Filament is still dominant and we don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. During the Kickstarter campaign you can get your SNAP 3D Printer kit for as little as $649 USD! Even though we feel that much of the fun of this Printer is putting it together, you can get an already assembled SNAP for as low as $849 USD. Any way you look at it it’s still a win-win on the time factor as you can most likely disassemble and reassemble the SNAP 3D Printer faster and with more ease than you would assemble most other 3D Printer kits available! Read below for an interview between the Maker of the SNAP and our lead editor!
Interview WIth Luc; The Maker Of The SNAP
It was Christmas Eve when we spoke to Luc, and he was still hard at work, updating the printer’s Kickstarter page. This is just one example of his passion for the Snap 3D Printer.
“If my motivation for this project was the money, I wouldn’t be doing it. I would have been happy working for a big company,” he told me. He doesn’t get paid to manufacture the Snap printer and much of the research, marketing and legwork are done by Luc and any other friends that offer their assistance. Since he came up with the idea in 2011, with the help of a co worker, he has moved across country–from New York to California– to be closer to potential manufacturers.
Luc Nikiema dreams of changing the world, and he’s convinced that he can accomplish this through 3D Printing. The concept of the Snap Printer was born out of a desire to make things easier for the average person. The average 3D printer takes a while to assemble. Wiring needs to be figured out and parts usually need to be soldered together. For a techincally inclined person, this doesn’t present much of a problem. But Luc wanted to also reach those who may be interested in 3D printing, but don’t possess much technological knowledge. The parts literally snap together, hence the name, and takes under two hours to put together.
So why didn’t he make a Plug and Play 3D printer? “Well, I think people should know how to build a 3D printer for their own uses. Which is also why I made it modular. I think users should have that option.” With a modular design, most parts can be switched out to fit the user’s needs, if they’re up for the challenge. He imagines making 3D printing virtually open source for users. Not only would they be able to print almost anything they wanted, but they could make whatever modifications they wanted to their printer. To Luc, it’s all about freedom and independence.
The Snap printer is now in its 3rd generation. The frame for the first two generations was made of wood, which made troubleshooting much easier and much cheaper. This gave him more room to experiment and work out any kinks, since he was not worried about the costs of repairing the prototypes. When he was satisfied, Luc went out in search of a more durable material. ABS was too rigid, and Plexiglass was out of the question. After an intense search, he finally settled on HDPE. It’s the perfect frame for the Snap printer. It’s strong, with a bit of flexibility and it can come in a variety of colors, something that sets the Snap apart from its contenders.
And kids love it. While at Maker Faire 2012 in New York, several children flocked to the Snap printer and just started putting pieces together like Legos. This highlights the printer’s educational potential in the classroom.
If there was one change that Luc could make to the Printer, it would be the manufacturing cost. Luc is constantly on the lookout for a cheaper way to manufacture his printer, without sacrificing its functionality. If he could get that cost down, the he would be able to make it even cheaper for purchase.
Luc describes the entire experience as a ‘great adventure’. He looks forward to many more years of working with the Snap 3D Printer, and making the 3D printing experience available to as many people as possible.
TJIKO Labs Presents The SNAP!