The Creality CP-01 looks a bit like the Snapmaker, but can it really compete? Read on as we review the specs of this machine.
Snapmaker made a strong first impression on the hobbyist 3D printing community when it debuted the original Snapmaker on Kickstarter several years ago. The modular, sturdy machine promised three functions in one frame, all for a reasonable price. Aiming to extend its legacy, Snapmaker recently completed funding for the Snapmaker 2, annihilated its funding target and becoming the most successful technology campaign on the platform in the process.
And Creality apparently couldn’t contain itself from joining the party. Responsible for massively-popular budget FDM machines such as the Ender 3 and CR-10 before it, Creality seems poised to challenge Snapmaker’s domination of the hybrid machine niche.
And Creality’s contestant in the ring is the CP-01, a modular machine with “exchangeable head attachments for 3D printing, laser engraving, and CNC engraving.” It takes some design cues from the Snapmaker for sure, but how does it stack up? Read on to find out as we review its specs.
To achieve 3D printing, laser engraving, and CNC milling with the same frame, the CP-01 has several toolhead options, one for each of its functions. Each module has a universal connector and is easy to swap out, so reconfiguring the machine to switch between different functions regularly shouldn’t be much of a hassle.
The FDM capabilities of this machine are relatively ordinary in 2019: 200 mm cubed of print volume, a heated bed capped at 100 °C, and a maximum printing resolution of 0.1 mm. Although, if Creality has shown us anything, it’s that their machines can do “ordinary” well and consistently.
It appears that the build platform needs to be manually-leveled, as well. But since the bed is made of glass, warping won’t be an issue. Manual leveling should suffice.
The materials this machine is explicitly stated to be compatible with are PLA, ABS, and TPU. We assume this means that you can print with a variety of exotic filaments, excluding materials that require extreme temperatures (i.e., polycarbonate) and abrasive materials (i.e., chopped carbon fiber-filled).
As a CNC machine, the CP-01 can sink its bit into plastic, wood, paper, and PCB. Compatibility with soft metals like aluminum isn’t explicitly mentioned, but with a frame and spindle like this one, we wouldn’t bet on it. Nevertheless, you’ve got a 200 mm square area to machine other materials with the 4,800-rpm spindle.
With a laser rated at less than 0.5W and an engraving area of 100 x 190 mm, this is a standard entry-level laser engraver. Don’t expect it to match a dedicated laser engraver in terms of performance (or safety, for that matter), but it’s still sufficient for the occasional coaster or desktop ornament. The laser engraving module can work with wood, paper, plastic, and more, according to Creality.
Since we don’t have any verified printing/CNC/engraving results from this machine, yet, we can only guess at the stability of its motion system. Constructed primarily from industrial aluminum extrusions, the CP-01 is likely to be a rigid machine. The fact that the CNC module isn’t super powerful, and that the 3D printing speed is capped at 80 mm/s further reinforces this guess.
In the event of power loss, the CP-01 has your back, since it provides the option to continue where you stopped. This feature is standard in FDM 3D printers by now, but it’s nice to see it in an all-in-one, too.
Will it successfully challenge the Snapmaker as the affordable all-in-one? Will it go on to nibble at the toes of more premium options such as the ZMorph VX? It’s too early to tell, but we will be watching.
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The Creality CP-01 currently isn’t available for purchase just yet. Preorder listings put the price at $599, but we’d wouldn’t count on this being a fixed number. We’ll update this section as soon as we know more.
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