In this article, I will introduce the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer to you. With the development of 3D printers, people began to pursue the possibility of two-color printing or even multi-color printing to make their works more vivid. What makes the Snapmaker J1S stand out from the crowd of 3D printers and successfully catch my attention is that it is a unique independent dual extruder (IDEX) 3D printer.
The Snapmaker J1S features a unique 3-point leveling system. The wizard on the touch screen allows the user to perform heated bed leveling, Z offset calibration, XY offset calibration, and vibration compensation at any time. Users can use the dual extruder to print in different modes, such as duplicate mode, mirror mode, and backup mode.
I was really surprised with the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer, as the two extruders can be used at the same time, which not only improves the printing efficiency but also makes it easy to set up dual-color printing. This article is a record of my usage test of the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer, where I performed some essential performance tests on it before making it my dual extruder 3D printing guru. If you’re interested, then let’s immerse ourselves in it!
Snapmaker J1S specification
|Independent Dual Extruders (IDEX)
|Default Mode, Backup Mode, Copy Mode, and Mirror Mode
(W × D × H)
|Default Mode and Backup Mode: 300 mm × 200 mm × 200 mm
Copy Mode: 160 mm × 200 mm × 200 mm
Mirror Mode: 150 mm × 200 mm × 200 mm
(with 0.4 mm nozzle)
|0.05 mm–0.3 mm
|PEI glass plate
|Max. Nozzle Temperature
|PLA, ABS, HIPS, PC, TPU (Hardness > 90 Shore A), TPE, PETG, ASA, PP, PVA, PA, PA-GF, PA-CF
|Data Transmission Methods
|Wi-Fi, USB cable, and USB flash drive
|539 mm × 401 mm × 464 mm
|Luban (third-party software supported)
|Supported File Formats
|STL, OBJ, 3MF
|Output File Formats
What’s in the box?
I received only one large package containing two parts, one for the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer and the other for the boxes of other accessories. As you can see in the picture below, the Snapmaker J1S is close to ready to use right out of the box.
The accessory box contains only the necessary accessories, such as a cooling fan, two rolls of PLA filament, a PEI glass plate, filament holders, connecting cables, USB, and other clearance tools.
The design of Snapmaker J1S: a stylish IDEX 3D printer
The Snapmaker J1S is a Cartesian type 3D printer, but the most unique design of the Snapmaker J1S is the use of two extruders that can each work independently. This clever design satisfies my need for two-color printing and duplicate mode printing, thus saving me a great deal of time. The frame of the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer is made of aluminum alloy and the overall look is white and clean, which I like.
The wire management inside the Snapmaker J1S is very well done, the internal structure is neatly organized and looks quite comfortable. The whole assembly process is very simple and it took me less than 10 minutes to assemble it as it only needed to be fitted with the cooling fan and filament holders.
Snapmaker J1S setup: finish calibrations following the wizard
The Snapmaker J1S comes with a calibration wizard that is displayed on the touchscreen when I first turn it on, and the wizard guides me through the various calibrations in great detail without confusion. There are 5 calibrations in total, such as heated bed leveling, Z offset calibration, XY Offset calibration, Offset calibration check, and Vibration compensation calibration. It takes about 30 minutes to complete these calibration operations. To obtain the best printing results, it is recommended to do calibration frequently.
Next, let’s take a look at the process for each calibration so you can get a preview of what this IDEX 3D printer has to offer.
Heated bed leveling
The Snapmaker J1S uses a unique leveling method, which utilizes the principle of three points forming a plane to level the heated bed. The left extruder will touch with three metal sheets respectively on the hotbed, and then through on-screen prompts, I was required to manually rotate the knob underneath the hotbed for calibrating the Z-axis offset. It was a simple operation, once the heated bed was leveled, and reinstalled the PEI glass plate on the heated bed.
Z offset calibration
The two extruders will touch the heated bed in sequence, and then I need to calibrate the Z offset of the right extruder to ensure that the two extruders work at the right and same height. According to the wizard, before performing the Z offset calibration, I needed to loosen two screws on the right extruder and tighten them after the Z offset calibration.
XY offset calibration
The Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer also offers XY offset calibration. The two extruders will touch the heated bed in sequence to obtain and calibrate their offset in the X and Y orientations automatically, to ensure perfect print quality.
Offset calibration check
The Offset Calibration Check, as the name implies, is where Snapmaker J1S provides a print model to check that the previous calibration steps are working effectively. The machine will print a built-in model with both extruders, After printing, if each part separates cleanly, the offset calibrations are successful.
Vibration compensation calibration
The last correction is the vibration compensation correction, which also requires printing the built-in model. After printing, I look at the model in the Y-direction and select the best print on the screen, and in the X-direction as well, selecting the area with the most unapparent vertical ripples. Vibration compensation can effectively eliminate the impact of machine vibration on the XY direction during the printing process, to obtain good printing results.
Snapmaker J1S performance testing
Dual extruder printing: double printing efficiency
The most striking feature of the Snapmaker J1S as an IDEX 3D printer is that it has dual extruders that work independently of each other. This dual extruder design can greatly improve printing efficiency. I used fast print, with a maximum print speed of 200mm/s, to print two benches in duplication mode to test the results of a series of calibrations that I had just made.
This benchy model has a dimension of 60mmx30mmx50mm and takes 24 minutes to print in fast mode, which is very efficient. You should know that you can get two pieces of work in 24 minutes, which is the advantage of the IDEX 3D printers.
The print quality of the dual extruder has also been shown to be quite good! Whether it’s the smoothness of the surface, or the slope prints, bridge prints, or overhang prints, it’s all pretty good. But, admittedly, the benchy printed on the left extruder has a little bit of string left in it. This may be related to the extruder’s retraction performance and will require me to reset the extruder’s retraction parameters to eliminate string residue. This issue will be discussed later.
First layer consistency testing: perfect first layer printing
I know the importance of the first layer of printing, and a lot of the print quality issues I usually have with 3D printers have to do with the first layer of printing. Ideally, the thickness of the first layer should remain the same in every position, but in reality, there will be tolerances. However, a good 3D printer should have very little variation in the thickness of each position.
So I tested the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer for first layer consistency. Since the default setting of the Luban software for the first layer thickness is 0.28mm, I directly chose 0.28mm as the thickness of the first layer, and printed the first layer at 25 locations across the entire heated bed, and measured the thickness of each piece with a micrometer. In addition to this, I also set the first layer thickness to 0.2mm in Luban software for comparison to see how different layer thicknesses affect consistency.
The actual printout will be thicker than the thickness set by the software. The Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer proved to have very good first-layer consistency! However, the consistency of the first layer at 0.28mm is better than 0.20mm because it has a range of only 0.06mm and a standard deviation of only 0.0175.
You should know that even a 3D printer with 7×7 auto-leveling like the AnkerMake M5 has a range of only 0.05mm in the first layer consistency test. So the Snapmaker J1S is already quite good at first-layer consistency, and having a perfect first-layer print is a guarantee for the entire printing process.
Clearance testing and noisy testing
I would like to see the clearance or tolerance of the Snapmaker J1S with the default parameter settings. This model has 7 rotors with clearances from 0.1mm to 0.5mm. Without any parameter modifications, and using only the Luban default parameter settings, I printed it out with the J1S to test its allowable clearance to evaluate the out-of-the-box usability of the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer.
It showed that it was easy to turn the rotor with a clearance of 0.30mm, 0.35mm, and 0.5mm, whereas it could not be turned with clearances less than 0.25mm.
During the printing process, I do a noise test on the Snapmaker J1S. With the door closed and at a distance of 50cm from the machine, the working noise was about 56.1 dB, but with the door open, the noise rose to 59.2 dB. Overall, the noise is not too loud for me and is perfectly acceptable.
Extruder retraction testing
So far, I’m happy with the Snapmaker J1S. I then ran the Snapmaker J1S through the extruder retraction test to see if there was any filament/string residue on the printed object while the extruder was constantly retracting and moving. First of all, the default settings of the Luban software are 1.0mm retraction distance and 30mm/s retraction retract speed. So I directly use this parameter to print a honeycomb cylinder to see the overall printing effect.
As shown in the picture below, under Luban’s default retraction distance and retraction retract speed settings, the printed honeycomb cylinder is good overall, but there will be a little filament residue.
In order to verify the effect of changing the extruder retraction distance and retraction speed on the improvement of filament residue, I reset the retraction distance from 1.0mm to 1.3mm and the retraction speed from 30mm/s to 35mm/s in the Luban software.
Fortunately, after setting the new retraction parameters, the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer printed the same honeycomb cylinder, the filament/string residue did improve and the surface became cleaner.
Snapmaker J1S dual-color printing
One of the things I like about the IDEX 3D printer is that it allows me to print in two colors, thus making my prints more colorful. Two-color printing is a fun process and easy to set up on the Luban software. It took me about an hour to print the two-color shark. If it is other 3D printers with a single extruder, it would have taken much longer, or even impossible, because you need to keep changing the PLA filament. Thanks to the dual extruder design of the Snapmaker J1S, it was easy for me to print in two colors.
Printing the rabbit model below took more time, a total of 4 hours and 36 minutes, because it’s much bigger at 67.67mm x 59.85mm x 94.72mm!
Notes for printing with dual extruder
When printing in two colors, we need to be careful to address the issue of adhesion. This is because a transition model(cylinder) needs to be printed to give the extruder a filament wipe when the two extruders are constantly exchanging prints. If the adhesion of this transition model is not set well, it is easy for the extruder to knock it down during the printing process, resulting in printing failure and wasting a lot of time.
I encountered this problem when I was printing this rabbit model. When I set up dual color printing in the Luban software, the software automatically generates a cylinder model for the extruder to wipe the PLA filament. However, during the printing process, this cylinder model fell over because the two extruders kept touching, causing the print to fail.
After checking, I found that the size of the cylinder model automatically generated by Luban software for wiping the PLA filament was too small, with a cross-sectional area of only 20 mm x 20 mm, resulting in insufficient adhesion. So I manually set the scale size of the cylinder to 35mm x 35mm and selected the “Raft” adhesion type to enhance the adhesion, and reprinted. The final print went very well and the quality was impeccable.
What would I like Snapmaker J1S to improve?
As for the Snapmaker J1S itself, I’m very happy with it so far, it’s the best IDEX 3D printer I’ve come across. Based on my experience, I would recommend improvements to the Luban software.
First of all, it would be nice if the Luban software would display a preview of both objects when I set the print mode to Copy or Mirror.
Secondly, the size of the cylinder model automatically generated by Luban software for the two extruders to wipe the filament should not be too small, as it can easily lead to weak adhesion and thus failure of the print.
After testing and experience, I recommend the Snapmaker J1S IDEX 3D printer. Its dual extruder printing makes it stand out from the crowd of 3D printers. The J1S has a variety of built-in calibration features that allow the user to easily make corrections at any time, thus enabling the best possible print results.
The benefits of dual-extruder printing include not only dual-color printing but also the ability to print support materials individually, such as easily peelable support materials or water-soluble support materials, thus compensating for the difficulty of peeling support materials in 3D printers with a single extruder.
Anyway, based on my personal opinion, I love this IDEX 3D printer so much that I may not be able to use my other single-extruder 3D printers at home. Since I got the Snapmaker J1S, I’ve done so many things with it, whether it’s duplicate mode printing or two-color printing, I’ve dived into it.