February 28, 2022

Snapmaker 2.0 vs Glowforge

Features and Characteristics of the Snapmaker 2.0

Snapmaker 2.0 has a modular 3 in 1 design with various upgrade options. It offers a faster and quieter printing experience, and the product includes everything you need to start your operation. It comes with a built-in camera. The aluminum grid table for the laser is for engraving and cutting.

The Snapmaker 2.0 features linear construction modules. This means rotation motions of the machine are converted into linear movement along the X, Y, and Z axes to build up and work with 3D objects.

The main body of the machine contains space for all three processes. Each of the three process elements plus the design screen plugs into a central connector that tells the printer what you want to do.



The Snapmaker’s frame is made from aluminum alloys, which means other metals are added to aluminum to enhance its properties. This gives the Snapmaker a solid base that keeps the tools on track with minimum slipping out of place while creating.


The Snapmaker comes with a slow 3D printing speed. This does not detract from the quality of the finished objects, but it does make them more tedious to build. If you are looking for a faster 3D print, the 2.0 might not be the tool.


The Snapmaker comes loaded with the control software called Luban. It handles design and control for all three aspects of the Snapmaker. Many users have found it less robust than they need for design and confusing to navigate for module control.

Bed leveling process

It can be adjusted in intervals as fine as 0.05mm but is not helpful in automatic leveling. You can turn off the automatic process and level your printing bed manually for a better result. You still need to be extra watchful of your print’s first layer so that it does not go wobbly.

WiFi connectivity

The Snapmaker 2.0 has a WiFi connectivity feature and a USB port to upload designs, update the firmware or control the operations. These allow you to connect your Snapmaker 2.0 to any configuration for your convenience. You can upload designs via Wi-Fi or USB flash drive and print with the touch of a button.

Smart touch screen

The Snapmaker 2.0  comes with a 5-inch touchscreen equipped with a Quad-Core A7 CPU @1.1GHz, running under Android OS, providing a smooth and fast interface.


  • Multiple upgrades
  • Fast
  • Adjustable
  • Powerful
  • Quick switching


  • Makes noise
  • Limited Software

Features and Characteristics of the Glowforge

A Glowforge is a laser cutter, also known as a 3D Laser printer. That is why some people confuse the laser cutter for a 3D printer. It uses filament and makes little plastic things. It is for cutting and engraving surfaces using a laser.

You have the chance to explore the variety of materials you can print with Glowforge. It is on a laser cutter and engraver technology that uses a beam of light. It has the width of hair to cut, engrave and shape designs from multiple materials.

Glowforge cuts:

  • wood,
  • fabric,
  • leather,
  • paper,
  • Plexiglas (acrylic),
  • Delrin (acetal),
  • mylar,
  • rubber,
  • Corian,
  • foods,
  • and other materials.

It can also engrave the above materials and glass, coated metal, marble, anodized aluminum, titanium, phones, tablets, and laptops.

Glowforge uses subtractive manufacturing, unlike traditional 3D printers that use additive manufacturing. A 3D printer builds using material like plastic filament. It does so layer by layer, whereas with Glowforge, you put a piece of leather, wood, or acrylic in the machine, and it carves out your product using laser light. The Glowforge tool is a CNC laser cutter engraver, but you can still call it a 3D laser printer.


Features of Glowforge

Live Camera Preview

The live camera preview features allow you to see your design take shape before you start printing. That is an onboard camera that shows you a preview of the design on any material of your choice. Use your finger or mouse to place your design where you want it to be.

3D Autofocus

It is an automated focusing system that cuts and engraves thick and thin materials. Before printing a design, you are allowed to measure the height for precision and accuracy in printing.

3D High Res engraving

A Glowforge offers a three-dimensional curve with 1,000 DPI resolution. It pays attention to detail and sculpts with real depth. As a result, you have impressive cuts leading to precise carving.

Laser precision

Glowforge features motors that control the movement of your materials during operation. The laser focuses on any size of the width of your work material. A combination of motor and the laser creates prints with detail and precision without hiccups.


Print a design using a pen as you draw directly on the material. Pay attention to the way your designs transform into items. The onboard camera scans the Glowforge design and turns it into a product. You are allowed to resize, copy and personalize. That does not take time, but it takes a single button to transform.


You can control the Glowforge without installing software on a computer. Drag and drop your designs on your materials. Upgrade effortlessly.

Automatic setup

Materials are recognized automatically by your device, and settings are configured. That allows you to shift all your attention to your project.


  • Easy to use
  • Can scan drawings into the cut
  • Proofgrade materials are quality
  • Great design catalog available
  • Precise


  • Software needs internet to use
  • No LCD screen on the device

Price Comparison

The Snapmaker’s first model costs under 500, while its 2.0 version costs under 1600. The Glowforge costs from just under 2,000 to just under 6,000 depending on the model you choose. It is now up to your budget and the features you are looking forward to. With Snapmaker 2.0, you can get three extensive maker processes for the price of a fraction of one.

Use Comparison

The Snapmaker is a multi-purpose machine. It can 3D print, laser engrave, and CNC carve. Whereas the Glowforge is a single-purpose machine that only performs laser engraving.

How long does Glowforge laser last?

The Glowforge has an average lifespan of 5 years. This can be enhanced is the machine is well cared for.

How many hours will a Glowforge last?

The average lifetime of a laser tube is about 80 to 1500 hours under standard operating conditions. It wears out faster with cutting than engraving. That means that you are likely to need to change it every couple of years.

Can you cut metal with a Glowforge?

Yes, you can cut metal with a Glowforge. Glowforge can etch some metals, like anodized aluminum, directly. Other metals, like stainless steel, work best if you spray them first with a product such as Cermark. 

Glowforge is not for cutting or engraving copper, silver, brass, or gold. Glowforge performs well with many materials 1/4″ and less on a single pass. It handles material as thick as 1/2inches but may need many passes or flipping the material over.

David D. Hughes

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