The World’s First Snap Together 3D Printer

Designed in 2011 at a local machine shop in Fullerton, California, the modular Snap 3D printer has come a long way in the past few years.

Originally constructed from wood and held together with store bought components, today’s Snap 3D has become a fully functional 3D printer capable of servicing the prototyping needs of anyone from students to startups.

Build around a colorful, precision milled HDPE frame, the Snap features a 203 x 203 x 203 mm (8 x 8 x 8 in) build volume and can print at a 0.1 mm (100 micron) resolution, exactly the same as its $2,000 counterpart the Replicator 2.

Building models using PLA plastic, the Snap 3D weighs a scant 7.25 kg (16 lbs) and features both USB and micro SD connectivity.  With a heated Helios print bed, the Snap is novel not only for its technology but for its construction method as well.

Easy to build, the Snap 3D comes unassembled for the bargain basement price of $699. Consisting of a number of precision-cut pieces, the printer clips together and holds strong even against the jerking motion of a 3D print head.

Using completely open-source electronics, the Snap 3D features an easy to use LCD interface that will flatten the 3D printing learning curve for beginners while also providing experienced printers the controls they require.

With 6 days left in their Kickstarter campaign, producer TJIKO Labs has been able to raise over $7K of its $25K goal. If the printer can meet its funding mark, TJIKO Labs plans to have the first batch of machines shipped between March and April of this year.

While the market for 3D printers has become quite saturated in the last year, printers like the Snap 3D stand out because of their ingenuity and their ability to envelope 3D printing’s DIY-spirit into their own creation. Only time will tell if the modular Snap will meet its funding goals, but given its origins and the remarkable progress it has already made I wouldn’t count this machine out.

Images and Video Courtesy of TJIKO Labs