Laser cutting and engraving machines used to be expensive and bulky machines that were used for industrial purposes but now these devices are portable and affordable. Thanks to the high-end laser printer manufacturers like Snapmaker and Glowforge, who introduced amazing and friendly machines for engineers, designers, schools, hobbyists, and in fact everyone.
Whether you’re an expert or just stepping in for the first time, it is imperative that you get the right laser cutting and engraving machine that suits your requirements. In this post we’ll do a comparison of Snapmaker 2.0 vs Glowforge– Our recommendation will base on the functionality and use case so that there should be something when you choose one.
Snapmaker 2.0 3-in-1 3D printer
The Snapmaker 2.0 has gained immense popularity among makers because of its excellent quality and user-friendly software. It is a 3-in-1 machine, that is, it has a 3D printer, laser engraver/cutter, and CNC mill. The machine has a modular design which is easy to build; you can use the 3D print tool head for its installation.
The machine has a sturdy ‘H’ frame and every part of it is machined metal. The base of the machine is a solid metal one and all the parts are bolted in it. The software of Snapmaker, Luban, is available for the PC, Mac, and Linux. It has a user-friendly interface and it makes sure that everything runs smoothly. The machine features a 5 inch touch screen which allows you to preview models, select options, and open the stored files.
The laser cutting and engraving is designed for machines with a 1600mW 450 nm diode that comes into the class 4 safety category. The work area of Snapmaker 2.0 for laser cutting and engraving is 320 X 350 mm. The laser is powerful enough to cut and etch into various materials like plastic, wood, leather, paper, non-transparent acrylic, and fabric.
The supported file types are SVG, PNG, and JPEG. The laser cutter tool head features a camera that allows you to have a look at the material’s size which you’re going to use against the design. The auto focus allows you to engrave at various laser heights without repeated checking for the focal point.
Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer
The Glowforge Plus is a professional grade laser cutter and engraving machine. The machine can be used for cutting intricate designs using a laser and can be used for engraving too. The design of this printer is different from Snapmaker 2.0- it looks like a large-format printer with a large slot on the front. The workable area of device is 279 mm deep, 495 mm wide (11 X 19.5 inches). The width of which is greater than that of Snapmaker (350 mm). The Glowforge is also very easy to setup as there is no need to assemble it. You just have to lift the machine (which is heavy), and put it on the desk to get started.
There is a pass-through slot that allows you to have unlimited engraving length. The machine is equipped with a 45W CO2 laser tube that gives immensely high cutting power and accuracy of up to 1/1000 of an inch, whereas the Snapmaker 2.0 features laser module with a power of 1600mW with a wavelength of 450 nm, which is much lesser than 45 Watts.
The Glowforge software is compatible with PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG, and other file formats while the Snapmaker supports SVG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, JPG, DXF, SNAPLZR etc. The supported material types for laser cutting and engraving by Glowforge include wood, fabric, paper, leather, rubber, cardboard, cork, and acrylic similar to the Snapmaker.
The Glowforge camera is equipped with two cameras- a wide angled camera that is mounted on the lid and a macro camera that is mounted on the head. The wide angled camera allows you to view the whole printable area and is accurate within 6 mm, while the macro camera is used for auto-focus and is accurate within 0.1 mm. Whereas the Snapmaker has one built-in camera that automatically takes pictures of the material and sends it to the Luban software as a canvas. The cameras of Glowforge and Snapmaker, both are equipped with autofocus features.
In the comparison of Snapmaker 2.0 vs Glowforge, we have discovered that both of the machines offer accuracy, clean cutting, and precision. These top-notch laser cutting and engraving machines offer endless possibilities for creating a variety of things. However, since we need to pick one, we will point out the main differences that will help you make a decision.
We recommend Glowforge Plus because of its full-powered laser that can smoothly slice through wood in a single pass. The laser engraver can even engrave metal materials such as anodized titanium and aluminum. Also, the pass-through slot offers you to achieve unlimited engraving length. This machine is perfect for small businesses who need a powerful and reliable laser cutter with a wide build area.
The Snapmaker 2.0 has a powerful laser module but it’s not as efficient as the Glowforge. With Snapmaker, you’ll need to struggle to cut through the wood. Snapmaker 2.0 is good for those who are looking forward to use other functions of this machine which are 3D printing and CNC carving.