Snapmaker J1s


I really have a workhorse 3D printer in my Snapmaker J1s. It’s an independent dual extruder FDM printer with a build area of 210x324x200 mm. Extruder temp range is up to 300 C and the bed is good to 100 C. That provides the ability to print a wide range of materials. As you can see in the picture, it is also totally enclosed. 

I made a pre-release purchase order because I loved the hardware design features and it was being offered with a good initial discount. The special price details are not now important.

The large back panel fan was not yet available (the “S” version of the J1) but I purchased the fan add-on kit (with discount) when it first became available.

The J1s wasn’t the perfect printer out of the box. Buying a pre-release product version is always with some risk. 

The most serious problem was defective flex ribbon cables between the extruders and the back of the machine. They would develop a “flex crease” near the extruder and the constant bending at that one point would break open the wiring in the flex cable. I suffered two flex cable failures. Snapmaker finally provided re-designed (reinforced) cables and that has solved the issue.

New machines with the updated cables should not have this problem.

The headspace at the top above the extruders is a bit too sparse, in my judgement. More room on top provides for generous free movement of the filament feed tubes when the top is on. This is not super critical. I printed an ASA (plastic) extender rim to raise the top plate 3 cm when printing with the top on. 

This top extension is THE ONLY optional user modification I find useful. Many hobbyist “experts” have come up with many unnecessary hardware modifications and engineering “corrections”. Hobbyist love to “tinker” with hardware design. Me included.

The stock extruder cooling fans are totally adequate. The big back-plate fan is actually overkill but certainly guarantees superior cooling if needed.

The filament feed system is not an issue either, especially with the top open or with the improved (raised) head area. With the top plate on in the stock configuration, the filament guide tubes just rub and drag on the bottom of the top plate.

The filament spools hang on simple posts on the back of the machine in open air. They cross feed to the extruders. Meaning the left spool feeds the right extruder and vice-versa.

Much a-due is made about moisture in filament. Where I live it is pretty much a non-issue, almost a hoax. Placing spools inside the printer can be done, just because it can be done.

I have total success with the stock feed system. I don’t leave spools hanging there for weeks at a time.

Yes, the first few yards of long exposed loose wound filament will “age”  IMHO, water molecules are not “screaming in” like a kamikaze to bury deeply into a full tight wound spool. I do have a heated “dryer” box, I will use with really old filament. Especially if the spool has become loose wound.

In the USA, winter humidity in heated homes is usually quite low. In the summer, most printers are usually run in air cooled spaces. Those are my conditions. But clearly not the same for many other owners. Your experience and conditions may certainly be different.

I know moisture can be a printing problem. It’s just not one with which I have much struggle.

So, Proper ribbon cables and a top 3 cm raise mod is all I need. The J1s IDEX has become a total work horse for me. I use both 0.04 and 0.06 mm nozzle sets. I highly recommend the 0.60 mm for larger prints. Not stating one size is “better” than the other. The J1s just has no problems running a 0.50(H) x 0.75(W) mm bead at proper travel speeds with the 0.60 mm nozzle.

Ah, yes.  The “speed” issue. Don’t believe all the marketing hype that has become rampant in product advertising. Faster 3D printing is seldom “better” when quality is the goal. 

The printers bragging “High Speed” are usually well designed and better value than old slow printers. Only recently have filament makers released filaments designed for those advertised high speeds. 

Enough said here as I have written many posts (elsewhere in this blog) on my thoughts on print speed.

Bottom line, the present version (J1s) gets a high recommendation from me as a real user of this IDEX printer. 


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