The XYZPrinting Da Vinci is an affordable 3D printer that does a decent enough job for beginners, but unfortunately not adequate enough for serious enthusiasts.
PLA/ Tough PLA/ PETG
5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9”
Every time I come across a consumer-grade 3D printer, I usually cross my fingers with the hope that it will be a top-quality machine in spite of its relatively affordable price. Knowing how far 3D technology has come, I tend to keep an optimistic mind.
Unfortunately, I usually get disappointed more often than not!
In this preview, we look at the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini. It is an affordable machine that any new entrant into the 3D printing world will be glad to have. But what exactly does it have to offer?
We’ll answer this question by considering its strong features and overall functionality, then weigh them against its weaknesses to see if it is suitable for you.
The XYZ da Vinci Mini comes in a charming pumpkin orange plastic case that stands out from the crowd and it is a little smaller than its predecessor, the da Vinci Mini Junior.
The case covers the working components of the device except for the hot extruder and heating bed which remain out in the open.
You’ll notice a fold-out hook on the left side of the device that holds the filament reel and contains an NFC card reader to identify the filament to the printer.
This way, the printer can determine the color of the filament, as well as how much of it is remaining on the reel.
At the base of the printer’s open space is a print bed with an aluminum slab measuring 6*6 inches that the PLA filament sticks to. The slab is covered with a sheet of tape that can be replaced in case of damages when removing the print.
The print bed allows the da Vinci Mini to build models measuring up to 5.9*5.9*5.9 inches, which is a decent size for a printer as small as this one.
Unfortunately, it is not a heated print bead so larger items may have a problem remaining stuck to the bed.
It is always advisable to apply a layer of white glue on the bed prior to starting the print process. The extruder assembly is positioned above the print bed and hidden in a black enclosure that snaps when you assemble the printer.
The print bed shifts right to left and up and down whereas the print bed moves backward and forward as the device is printing.
A single button on the right lowers the bed sensor and the PLA filament is fed from the top in a plastic tube and through to the extruder.
The first time I experimented on this printer with my test models (six objects), it successfully completed all the prints without any operational setbacks during the process.
The quality of prints is actually better than in the da Vinci Jr but generally average compared to other 3D printers I’ve used.
There are a number of comparably priced printers out there, such as the New Matter MOD-t that will offer you higher quality prints.
Only a few can combine solid print quality and no misprint consistency like the da Vinci Mini does. Although, I kept on having issues with prints that wouldn’t stick to the print bed.
This was even after using the white glue that XYZprinting recommends. However, I later on realized that laying a raft-latticework of printed material- underneath the print helps to solve this issue.
The da Vinci Mini can work at low or high speed depending on the settings. At normal print quality preset, I printed the Thinker model (4.5inch high) in just close to four hours.
This is significantly faster than many 3D printers in this price range.
This printer uses the XYZware software to set up and print models. The only issue I had with the software is that when trying to launch the print process, I received a message that the device was busy, on more than one occasion.
So if you ever experience this problem, just switch off and turn back on the device then unplug and re-plug the USB cable to fix it.
The da Vinci Mini only supports the proprietary PLA filament from XYZ. Try installing a third-party filament reel with an NFC tag and the printer will automatically reject it. The PLA filaments used are eco-friendly and contain biodegradable and non-toxic materials.
This ensures that you will not be polluting the ecosystem when you use this printer, which is an attractive feature for any environmentally conscious 3D enthusiast who believes in clean technology.
This printer features just a single button that you use for the operations.
There are no display menus or codes on the printer; you just get this one button and a status LED. This makes the printer user-friendly, although some people may find it to be limiting.
Every other function is controlled by a computer or any other device you may be using.
The printer simply performs the task of printing models. The single button design would be perfect for beginners who have little clue of how to operate 3D printers.
One exciting feature on this printer is that it can connect wirelessly, therefore, allowing you to control and print using it from anywhere using your home network.
This enables you to monitor the print work remotely, especially those that take many hours to print.
The printer can also connect to WiFi and using the XYZware, you are able to set up, control, and print from any device.
The XYZ software suite provides you with a library on how to do everything from slicing to modeling, and there’s a 3D modeling software that makes 3D models called XYZmaker.
The XYZprinting da Vinci Mini has an affordable price tag! Retailing for just less than $300, it provides entry-level users with a great opportunity to get their hands on this functional product.
Although there are a variety of affordable 3D Printers that cost under $300 in today's market, so you might want to take a look before settling.
Besides, the cost of running and maintaining the printer is also minimal. PLA is the least expensive filament material you can use. A large spool of PLA will cost you less than $20, which I can’t say will adversely affect your monthly budget.
XYZprinting has a support section on their website where you can access phone numbers for at least 10 different countries. The operator will converse with you in either English or your native language, which is almost unheard of!
You also get a limited warranty period when you buy the printer that covers factory defects for a period leading up to two years. This is if you acquired the device from any of the company’s recommended sellers.
Clients are also free to check with model-specific tutorials and FAQS to find technical help. And you can find various models of the software and documentation for every XYZ printer model included.
I must say this one of the highest-ranking support packages I have come across. You rarely get such an impressive mix from a 3D manufacturer.
If you are an experienced 3D printing enthusiast looking for a printer to take your models to the next level, you might want to take a look at printers in the under $500 range.
However, for a new entrant looking for their first 3D printer experience, this would be a great choice to get started with. It is an affordable machine with a user-friendly interface that you’ll enjoy working with.