FDM printers like Snapmaker Vs Ender 3 are great for beginners and people interested in the printing process. They are suitable for general printing purposes like most FDM machines and in the learning process at home and in classes. However, these machines are also quite different in price, so you may want to check our comparison below to see which option is worth buying.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What is the Best 3D Printer
- What are Snapmaker and Ender 3
- How is the Printer of Snapmaker and Ender 3
- How is the Capacity of Snapmaker and Ender 3
- How is the Building Bed in Snapmaker and Ender 3
- What else Snapmaker and Ender 3 can offer
- How is the Performance of Snapmaker and Ender 3
- Snapmaker Vs Ender 3
Buying a 3D Printer
The best 3D printer is the one that caters to your need and budget. With the technology becoming mainstream and more companies can offer affordable machines, it is easy to see why 3D printing will become the next big thing, especially in hardware productions. They can be user-friendly and operate in homes, schools, and even hospitals. The primary mechanism is the same, while the machine varies depending on what the company offers and the product’s targeting. The first step in a 3D printer is deciding the machine’s purpose.
In general, there are two types of users. The first user type plans to use the printer as a tool, like a paper printer where you want to print documents and photos but don’t want to know how they do it or how you can make them work better. The second type is interested in the machine’s mechanism and wants to improve their machine and work on it manually as a hobbyist. The best 3D printers for these users will vary as they have different goals.
The users who plan to utilize the printer as a tool want something they can operate without much fuss. We want a machine that works well out of the box so we can spend more time printing than finding methods to improve your prints. On the other hand, the users interested in the printing process enjoy tweaking their machines, from putting every part together, manually adjusting the distance of everything, to choosing after-market spare parts to upgrade the printer to produce better items.
|22.25 x 21 x 12.5 inches
|8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches
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About Snapmaker and Ender 3
The enthusiasts and experienced users may have specific preferences according to their needs or the items they want to make. For example, Cartesian printers usually have a relatively short height, making some people choose a Delta model like FLSUN SR Vs QQ-S Pro to improve the capacity. Like most products, the more the machine can offer, the more we have to pay. The main difference between cheap and expensive 3D printers is capacity and feature.
If this is your first 3D printer, we recommend spending on the budget range because you may lose interest later or prefer different machine types, like resin printers. FDM printers are suitable for new users because they are easier to start with, such as the printer from Snapmaker and Ender 3, which are equally famous but for different reasons. Ender 3 is a best-selling 3D printer because it is affordable and relatively easy to use. The best part of it for the enthusiast is the printer being fully open source.
In fact, the Ender 3 is the first fully open-source printer in China, so it is a huge start that inspired other companies. However, this machine is not the most convenient, and it better suits users who are willing to learn to tweak the printer, find solutions to printing issues and manually assemble the machine. The printer quality of Ender 3 is good, and they can make some beautiful prints with the ideal settings. On the other hand, the Snapmaker machine we are talking about here is the best tool.
The model we chose today is Snapmaker A250T which costs more than 5x Ender 3. The reason why this printer is so expensive is that it is not just a 3D printer. This printer is a 3-in-1 solution for people working in the creative industry or artists who want a convenient machine for all of their typical projects. The name 3-in-1 should give you an idea that it is not just a 3D printer as A250T also engrave and carve.
Snapmaker and Ender 3 Printers
Like most FDM printers, both Snapmaker and Ender 3 require assembly upon arrival. These printers come in several different parts that you need to put together. The Snapmaker A250T is already looking expensive from the material and finish. The base is interestingly thin and wide, like a table that will support the build plate. The Ender 3 already has the base assembled, so you are left to attach the upper frame. Both printers’ construction is metal, but the Snapmaker looks more heavy-duty.
The overall footprint of Snapmaker is also bigger than Ender 3 despite a similarly decent build volume. You can follow the manual, but we recommend watching the assembly video because they will be easier to follow, and you can find some valuable tips from other users. We find the Snapmaker slightly easier to assemble than Ender 3 because it is more straightforward. The interface is also more modern and easy to read because the screen is wider. We love the cable management of Snapmaker.
Snapmaker and Ender 3 Capacity
The building capacity or volume is crucial to consider before buying a 3D printer, regardless of the user type and purpose. Some people may only work on small items or parts of more significant things, but some people want to build a whole finished product with the machine. We recommend considering the biggest item you plan to make and shopping accordingly. The Snapmaker and Ender 3 have decent build volume at 230 x 250 x 235mm and 220 x 220 x 250mm.
What’s unique about the Ender series, including the Ender 3, is that you can purchase an Extender kit to increase the build volume. This feature allows you to stick with the same printer when planning to create bigger items. You can find several different kits for different sizes, such as the Extender 400, which expands the X and Y axes from 220 to 400mm for $179. You can also extend the Z-axis only up to 500mm with Extender 500 Z for $79.
Snapmaker and Ender 3 Print Bed
The print bed of this Snapmaker printer is massive, but it doesn’t mean better. Both print beds seem to work well in keeping the first layer to stick and stay there until we decide to scrap it off. The issue with Ender 3 is the lack of automation for leveling, which means you will have to do it every time needed manually. If you can spend more, we can upgrade the printer with a BL Touch sensor which seems to work well according to other users.
Manual leveling can be tedious, but you will get used to it as it is pretty straightforward. On the other hand, this Snapmaker A250T has an auto-leveling system but is not the best. The menu provides automatic 9-point mesh bed-leveling, which in most cases doesn’t level the bed and produce perfect first layers. Users can manually set the Z offset to as fine as 0.05mm, but this feature doesn’t help much in some early machines. Thankfully Snapmaker seems to address this issue with their newer printers already.
Snapmaker and Ender 3 Features
Now let’s see what makes Snapmaker cost much more than Ender 3. The best reason to buy this machine is that you want to use the additional features because the A250T can offer more than just 3D printing. The first feature is laser engraving with four laser modes to cover the basics necessary for engraving various arts and on various materials, including leather and wood. The laser power is sufficient and effectively burns materials quickly and safely.
Second, this machine can do CNC engraving, so you can install a drill bit on where the nozzle is usually at and work on the piece. This feature offers four three-position clamps placed along with the M4 bolts and wing nuts. What to note when changing this Snapmaker functionality is to always recalibrate the machine before starting your new projects.
Snapmaker and Ender 3 Performance
Both printers work well once you set up the proper settings. The print quality is not the best, but Snapmaker can create beautiful prints at a very thin layer and very slow print setting. If you are not in a hurry, this setting will produce stunning results. Using the Snapmaker and Ender 3 is not straightforward, and chances are you will meet some issues later. These printers have lively online communities, so you can quickly find the solutions. Overall we are satisfied with the print results from these machines.
Snapmaker Vs Ender 3
Both Snapmaker and Ender 3 are promising options for users who want to buy a new FDM printer. But, they are for different user types. The Ender 3 is best for people interested in the machine and who plan on doing modifications because it is open-source, and you can find many upgrades to try. The Snapmaker is not a casual or enthusiast tool but an artist’s tool because the machine offers more than just one essential 3D printing function.
There is no bad option, but you have to choose wisely. We recommend Ender 3 for most people who want to try 3D printing at home or new enthusiasts because it has all of the basic features and performs well in producing good prints. It is also cheap, so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of losing interest later.