Snapmaker 7th Anniversary Column | Letter from Randy Springer

Hi Makers,

Snapmaker is celebrating our 7th Anniversary this month! It’s also a good time for us to take a moment and have a talk with our users about their thoughts on Snapmaker and their progress in the maker journey. Our first talk was with Randy Springer, who is a user of Snapmaker Original, Snapmaker 2.0, and Snapmaker J1. Randy is a plastic product/injection mold designer. Besides his job, he is also a grandpa and a community contributor.

Now, let’s meet Randy!

When did you become a Snapmaker User?

I am an original Kickstarter backer. I started using my Snapmaker hours after it was received in early 2018. We arrived home from a trip to Mexico and the box was waiting at my front door, I was so excited that I set it up in my kitchen before I unpacked from our vacation. I created a calendar ring and started printing. I am a big fan of Kickstarter and have supported many projects, some successful, some not. I am very happy that this was a successful project.

Randy’s first print

Why did you choose Snapmaker?

I like innovative products that are designed well. I decided to back the Snapmaker project because it seemed to be well thought out. I am a plastic product/injection mold designer, so I was familiar with 3D printing, but never had my own printer. I am also familiar with CNC milling and laser cutting. This product was a way to enter all three worlds with a relatively small investment.

Custom-made buttons by Randy

What is the most memorable project you have done with Snapmaker?

Having a tool like this in my home has opened a lot of options. Besides the ability to print replacement parts for broken items around the house, I could also make gifts for friends and family. I am also an inventor, so I always have ideas swimming around in my head and I am now able to hold them in my hand. The greatest thing that I’ve done with the Snapmaker was to design, print and test a replacement lid for travel mugs that I was able to bring to market. I am now selling my own products online.

Randy’s invention: The Tip-Top

Since becoming a Snapmaker user, what have you gained in your maker journey? 

I had never owned any equipment like this before, so I started with familiarity with the concepts but no knowledge of how they really work. The Snapmaker software helped get me started and the internet was a great resource for fine-tuning my skills. I have been able to create so many things that I would not have been able to do otherwise and there is not enough room here to discuss them all. On the 3D printing side, I know a lot more about materials and what to expect when printing, so I have fewer failures. I use the laser quite a bit and have gotten better with that. With more experience, I may be able to produce a cleaner product, but the laser does well for its type. I don’t use the CNC very much, but I want to do more with it when I have time. Since receiving the SM1 I have added two more machines, the A350 and the J1 and I converted a storage area in my basement into a workspace. I considered buying the Artisan but I would have to lose the 350 since I have run out of room. I have always tried to make my hobbies pay for themselves and I have done that many times over with Snapmaker products. Either through making prototypes and products for others or creating and selling my own products. My journey has certainly progressed and continues to do so.

The Robot Sweatshop

From your perspective, what progress has Snapmaker made over these years? 

I backed the original project because of its innovation and the promise of future expansion, I was disappointed when that didn’t happen, but it was made up for with the SM2. I backed the J1 even though it was not a Snapmaker product at the start because I had built trust in Jade through our communication with Snapmaker. I was happy when she returned to the Snapmaker team. I know that starting a company is tough, especially with this type of technology and things don’t always go as planned. I had faith in the Kickstarter projects and Snapmaker has proven to be a successful group dedicated to providing a quality product. For me, customer service has always been great and lately, communication has improved. Seeing quick responses to issues on Facebook groups is very encouraging to the user. Snapmaker has kept up innovation with the product lines and the software that supports them, and I am sure that there are more upgrades to come.

What do you want to say to the Snapmaker team? 

I would like to say Congratulations on 7 years and thank you to the entire team. There are a lot of products available that can do what your product does. But it’s not just the product, it’s the people behind it that make the difference. Keep moving forward with new innovations and push the limits of your machines. You can only discover what will work by finding out what will not.

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