The Silicon Review
“With interchangeable modules, Snapmaker is a highly expandable modular platform whose functionality can be changed quickly, just like changing lenses on a camera.”
The year 2021 is exciting for the industry despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to move towards Industry 4.0, and the 3D printing technology is increasingly becoming part of the broader manufacturing ecosystem. Making or Do-It-Yourself is much more pervasive now than 10 years ago because such fabrication tools as 3D printers, laser engravers, and CNC carvers have been popularized lately. But an ordinary consumer can also make good use of these tools in their daily lives. Therefore, Snapmaker is determined to make these tools even more accessible for regular consumers. The company has broken fresh ground through its latest exciting 3D printing innovation—Snapmaker 2.0.
Snapmaker began as a team of four people and grew rapidly into a company with more than 150 members within five years. “I would say the most notable highlights were the fulfillment of two successful crowdfunding projects. We were unprepared for the popularity of Snapmaker 2.0, but eventually, we conquered all the difficulties in supply chains and the unexpected delivery delays during the pandemic last year,” said Daniel Chen, Founder and CEO of Snapmaker.
Snapmaker was founded in 2016 and is based in Shenzhen, P. R. China.
Daniel Chen Spoke Exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an Excerpt
Origin and Growth
Daniel Chen initially gained inspiration for making modular 3-in-1 3D printers from Legos. The visionary had always been enthusiastic about mechanical engineering, which led him to spend hours in the labs during his junior high school summer holidays to build an underwater robot. The effort won him first place in the National Robot Competition and many more contests. He eventually took his talent to the global stage and, in 2016, established Snapmaker to bring the magic of 3D printing to consumers everywhere. Half a year later, the company successfully launched its first project on Kickstarter, which raised $2.2 million. In June 2019, the company’s second product was successfully funded on Kickstarter, raising $7.85 million in 30 days—becoming the most funded technology project on the platform.
Even though showing promising growth within a short period, the company has a long way to go. “We are on a mission to bring industrial experiences of digital manufacturing to consumers, and by consumers—we mean everyone.”
With interchangeable modules, Snapmaker is a highly expandable modular platform whose functionality can be changed quickly, just like changing lenses on a camera. People can use it to unlock their full creative potential through its capabilities that range from 3D printing to laser engraving, cutting, and CNC carving to make many kinds of beautiful and artistic creations. This innovation from Snapmaker has served as a central hub for creation for many of its clients, who are hobbyists, makers, and small business owners. “We are releasing the Snapmaker 2.0 Rotary Module (already available for pre-order), air purifier, high power laser module, and dual-extruder module.”
“A certain percentage of our users are small business owners. What they are looking for in Snapmaker is to create economic values—for example, laser engraving lather or acrylics to make jewelry, prototyping products in the early stage to test the ideas and make improvement before moving further.”
“Once they purchase our products, we will provide basic and upgrade user manual for them to get started and learn during the process.”
“Other than that, we cherish the power of community. Our online community has over 40K members in forum and Facebook groups, where users can share their experiences with Snapmaker and help each other. We also have over 100k social media followers, including users and people interested in our products and content. We will post the technical tips and UGC and PGC content to showcase what Snapmaker can make.”
“By sparking interesting conversations and starting competitions like Upcycling Snapmaking Contest, we were able to engage with our users at the deeper level.”
“As our periodical event, Snapmaking Contest was aimed at uniting the Snapmaker owners, and the theme of the contest was focused on—reduce, reuse, and recycle. The upcoming contest will focus on reversing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Children.”
Moreover, Snapmaker is partnering with channel marketing partners to provide more accessible local after-sale services to its users in the U.S. (established), U.K., France, Germany, etc. The company plans to expand this service to many more destinations in the upcoming years.
Revolutionizing the 3D Printing Industry
According to a study, the 3D printing market was valued at $13.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of $63.46 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 29.48 percent over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). By bringing more and more people into the innovation process, digital manufacturing such as 3D printing could usher in a new generation of builders, designers, and tinkerers, just as Legos and Erector Sets turned previous generations into amateur engineers and architects.
That said, Snapmaker is slowly turning its attention to the 3D printing industry, having thus far mainly focused on the digital manufacturing industry. “In general, we are targeting the digital manufacturing industry, but our focus will lean into the 3D printing industry in the future—as it has the biggest potential in terms of market size.”
Just in its fifth year, Snapmaker has done some trailblazing work in the digital manufacturing industry. “This year, we welcome our 5th anniversary in August. It will be a milestone for us to celebrate and, more importantly, a significant moment to refresh, refocus, and express our gratitude to our supporters, partners, and users.”
3D printing will undoubtedly be as common as PCs at homes in the near future, and Snapmaker is definitely the company that is closest to delivering the 3D printing technology to the ordinary consumer today.
The Leader Upfront
Daniel Chen, founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Snapmaker. He gained the inspiration of making modular 3-in-1 3D printers from Legos. As the company’s CEO, he is responsible for setting strategic goals and establishing the company structure, making critical decisions in developing the product roadmap and hardware development. Besides, he oversees operations, sales and services, supply chains, and the recruitment process of Snapmaker