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  1. #1

    Help me with an all-in-one 3D printer, a CNC carver, and a laser engraver.

    So Snapmaker has been constantly bombarding me with ads on Facebook, I was not planning to buy a 3D Printer as of now, but the idea of getting an all-in-one module has intrigued me. I really don't want to spend Snapmaker like money on a not very powerful device. I know they use 1Watt of laser on their machines.I was told Ender was a worthy component, and that I can go up to 10Watts of Laser Engraver.However a couple of youtube videos I see about Ender, I am not very impressed with the clarity or quality of laser engraving. Maybe the folks in the video did a bad job.Hence asking here.. so what do you recommend, i dont mind if the solution is modular, or if i have to attach modules for 3d printing, cnc carving and laser engraving.What are the options available in the market, I am based in the US, so i can use AliExpress, DHGate likewise.. or anyother portal you suggest.My purpose is pure personal and hobby. I'd like to engrage our family name on various things in our house, nice to have a 3d printer, and a nice cnc engraver.I would prefer to add modules as and when I have money to buy better modules. I realize a 10Watt laser engraver the module itself is going to cost around 600 USD, i can add that at a later time, provided the platform supports it.I am ok to add modules as i go, or need them.

  2. #2
    I only know of Snapmaker or Creality CP-01, and no experience with either machine.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    the thing is they ALL use low power diode lasers.
    for a few very good reasons.

    1) all you can do with a diode is mark things, so spending a lot of money on the laser component does not make sense
    2) there is NO shielding on an all-in-one, so you don't want a laser powerful enough to harm a user via a deflection.
    3) you will be used to the speed of a 3d printer, so when the laser runs at the same speed or slower - you won't be disappointed.
    4) it's purely a gimmick not meant for anything other than light hobby work, so again, why waste money.
    5) NOBODY has 10 watt diode lasers. anything listed over 5 watt is a con. They are actually listing the INPUT power NOT the laser output power. A '15 watt' diode runs at about 2.5watts actual laser output.
    6) high wattage diodes run hot and have bugger all cooling, so would not last long enough to do anything at 3d printer speeds.

    All-in-ones look good, but at the end of the day they are gimmicks, well the laser side is anyway.

    The spindle/cnc side will do more or less what a cheap dremel style rotary tool will do, but at a much lower rpm - so slower.
    BUT it will engrave metal, stone, wood, glass - anything you can mark with a diamond basically.
    Not sure what kind of precision you'd get and it would be S-L-O-W and you'd need to add a decent suction system.
    But I can see real use for that aspect.

    The snapmaker is probably the highest quality budget unit around.
    My views on creality quality control are fairly well known.
    That said I have seen their all in one 'in the flesh' as it were, and it LOOKED (lol) like a solid piece of engineering.
    So who knows :-)
    I was contacted by creality and offered one to try - when i said I could compare it to a 40 watt co2 laser, I think I scared them off and that was the last I heard from them.

    My advice. skip diode lasers entirely.
    Get a reasonable 3d printer, add your own spindle and then get yourself a decent K40 co2 laser machine.
    The 18 months and £300 I spent playing with diode lasers, I consider both wasted time and money.
    The k40 on the other hand is an amazing bit of kit: a genuine deathray in a box !
    Tried to cut slate the other day, you can't - because the slots you make fill up with molten slate, in little bubbles - DEATH RAY ! :-)

    There have been a few all-in ones over the years, most fell by the wayside but the Z-Morph is still going.
    Despite the fact that most of the individual tools cost more than a lot of 3d printers.
    And even that only comes with a 2.8watt laser.
    But it does have a paste extruder - Ooooohhhhhh, shiny :-)

    here's a list:
    https://all3dp.com/1/all-in-one-laser-3d-printer-scanner-cutter-engraver-cnc/



    Last edited by curious aardvark; 03-24-2020 at 02:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    If you've got real money to spend - then the hyrule line of machines will do pretty much ANYTHING from cnc, multi head operations, medical biogels and they've even got a chilled liquid extruder !

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    the thing is they ALL use low power diode lasers. for a few very good reasons. 1) all you can do with a diode is mark things, so spending a lot of money on the laser component does not make sense2) there is NO shielding on an all-in-one, so you don't want a laser powerful enough to harm a user via a deflection. 3) you will be used to the speed of a 3d printer, so when the laser runs at the same speed or slower - you won't be disappointed.4) it's purely a gimmick not meant for anything other than light hobby work, so again, why waste money. 5) NOBODY has 10 watt diode lasers. anything listed over 5 watt is a con. They are actually listing the INPUT power NOT the laser output power. A '15 watt' diode runs at about 2.5watts actual laser output.6) high wattage diodes run hot and have bugger all cooling, so would not last long enough to do anything at 3d printer speeds.All-in-ones look good, but at the end of the day they are gimmicks, well the laser side is anyway. The spindle/cnc side will do more or less what a cheap dremel style rotary tool will do, but at a much lower rpm - so slower. BUT it will engrave metal, stone, wood, glass - anything you can mark with a diamond basically. Not sure what kind of precision you'd get and it would be S-L-O-W and you'd need to add a decent suction system. But I can see real use for that aspect.The snapmaker is probably the highest quality budget unit around. My views on creality quality control are fairly well known.That said I have seen their all in one 'in the flesh' as it were, and it LOOKED (lol) like a solid piece of engineering. So who knows :-)I was contacted by creality and offered one to try - when i said I could compare it to a 40 watt co2 laser, I think I scared them off and that was the last I heard from them.My advice. skip diode lasers entirely. Get a reasonable 3d printer, add your own spindle and then get yourself a decent K40 co2 laser machine. The 18 months and £300 I spent playing with diode lasers, I consider both wasted time and money. The k40 on the other hand is an amazing bit of kit: a genuine deathray in a box !Tried to cut slate the other day, you can't - because the slots you make fill up with molten slate, in little bubbles - DEATH RAY ! :-) There have been a few all-in ones over the years, most fell by the wayside but the Z-Morph is still going. Despite the fact that most of the individual tools cost more than a lot of 3d printers. And even that only comes with a 2.8watt laser. But it does have a paste extruder - Ooooohhhhhh, shiny :-)here's a list: https://all3dp.com/1/all-in-one-lase...-engraver-cnc/
    This is such a nice and genuine advice. Thank you so much!!You remind me of a moderator on another tech forum when I was inquiring for an all-in-one printer, lots of members had various opinions, but the moderator posted something that is still with me today, and I have followed his advice without regrets. He told me that an all-in-one printer will never be as good, and economical as compared to a regular inkjet black printer, he told me to get an inkjet printer with jut black colour, and buy original cartridges. buy a cheap copier and a fax machine if you need.I had used several all-in-one printers years back, and most printers died within a year or so, and even so, the prints were never good, and cartridges were expensive because I had to buy all colour cartridges.With the black inkjet printer, every single print is awesome, and the ink is cheap too.If i ever need to print something colourful, i will drop by the nearest library, and they print it for me for 50 cents per page.The advice you gave me is legit and I agree to it.Do you mind me pointing to a great 3d printer, something that has the least amount of distortions and lines in (that rough scaley) finish? Ideally if the printer can print in multiple colors?This is truly for hobby, I really do not have a use for the 3d printer, but I would like to buy that is good.As for the CO2 laser engraver.. what is the best price offered and where? On ebay i see price ranging from 360 to 800 or even 1200. Not sure what additional components are not offered in the lower price range?I would love it if you can post a link for a great CNC engraver as well. My 8 year old kid is pretty excited about the CNC engraver, she has a laundry list of toy like objects she has given me a list of.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    cnc engravers - I admit I know absolutely nothing about. One of our members has built his own recently, look for that thread.

    Printer wise - have a look at the prusa mini and also at the qidi x-maker: https://www.amazon.com/QIDI-Technolo...5759228&sr=8-4

    Now as for k40's.
    Yeah, I spent about 12 mths researching those.
    I ended up with a ridgeyard model.
    It's still a bog standard k40 - BUT, the mirrors & water pump are better than most and the wiring was top notch.
    If I hadn't dismantled and rebuilt it before powering up I'm pretty asure the mirrors would have been properly aligned as well.
    As it was took my about 5 minutes and has stayed solid since.

    If you can find one and have some extra money then you want a k40d or a k40e - basically already has all the basic upgrades you'll want to do.
    They seem to only appear on chinese sites like aliexpress.
    But are worth looking for.

    To mine I've added air assist (blows air at part being cut) and laser marking - the laser beam is invisible, so adding a couple of low power line lasers to mark where the beam hits is a good idea.
    Added better duct tubing and made a really low tech height adjustable bed.
    Oh yeah and a analogue ammeter. Not essential, or necessary in any way - but cost a £5 so why not :-).
    I figure I'm into it for about another £100 - cost just over £300.
    But it is a proper, serious laser cutter and engraver.

    Oh and you REALLY DO have uses for a 3d printer - you just haven't realised it yet :-)


    As far as the inkjet printers go.
    It was all down to ink. If you could get cheap, quality compatible inks - then an all-in-one was absolutely the right thing to buy.
    These days even more so.
    I've always liked hp printers. They use less ink and have better print quality than anyone else.
    I did go through a phase of recommending and installing brother machines when the hp ink's went up to £20,000 a litre.

    But now - the hp instant ink scheme, makes them the best value on the market.
    Hell if you print less than 15 pages a month - they'll give you free ink. No catch. And the cost of the printers has dropped through the floor.

    So there's that lol

    Okay here's the cnc build thread: https://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?41430-Mpcnc

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