The XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 is a complete 3D printer priced at $499 for personal, home use, small business and the education market. It offers high-quality build design at a modest price, with an impressive feature set for all but hardcore users. It was voted the 2014 CES Editors’ Choice Award Winner – The Most Affordable 3D Printer.
The Da Vinci 1.0 is a plug-and-play out-of-the-box personal printer, with no assembly or equipment adjustments needed. It has a large enclosed build area of 7.8 x 7.8 x 7.8 inches or 20x20x20 cm. The build area is surrounded by double-paned transparent walls that allow users to view the objects while they are printing. The full enclosure protects users from the high temperature at the printing nozzle and ensures that printing by-products are kept within the build area. As a safety measure, the door locks once printing has started.
The front panel has a green LCD that displays the time elapsed and estimated time remaining while printing. The 7.8 x 7.8 inch build plate has an assisted leveling function and is heated. The heating element ensures that the first layer deposited sticks well and the finished object releases cleanly. The plate leveling function (calibration) is done by turning one of three spring-loaded leveling screws. The Da Vinci tells you which of the three x,y,z screws to turn and how much; the process then repeats until the adjustment is complete.
The Da Vinci ships with a demonstration model, ABS filament and XYZWare software to easily print a model of a miniature birdbath. An open-source database of 3D object files allows users to also download and customize 3D models for their own projects.
The Da Vinci features a three-step EZ Mode designed to make 3D printing simple and painless for non-experienced users. The software allows users to resize and rotate and print objects but lacks drawing capabilities. The Da Vinci however does work with many separate 3D modeling, solid modeling and 3D scanning software programs that will generate compatible output files. These software vendors include Siemens PLM, Autodesk, Pixologic, SolidWorks, MS Kinect, 3D Systems.
The fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology uses single-use filament cartridges with 600 gram or 240 m length. It will not accept substitute cartridges or refillable cartridges. These filament cartridges however offer the following advantages:
- The cartridges feed easily into the nozzle, avoiding problems that can happen with spools.
- The cartridges keep the filament dry for better builds.
- The printer automatically knows what temperature setting to use at the nozzle.
- The printer tracks the amount of filament used by meters.
- The printer automatically knows how much filament material remains, so it won’t run out in the middle of a run.
It’s advisable to level the build platform before large or multiple print jobs, and the calibration procedure can easily be done while waiting for the platform to warm up to temperature. The print speed is slower than that of many other printers, but that modest inconvenience is more than offset by the price.
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XYZ Printing Da Vinci is a nearly fool-proof 3D printer that just works. It balances affordability, high build quality design and usability to appeal strongly to all but hard-core 3D modelers.