Want a deal on a 3D Printer to get your feet wet in 3D Printing in 2015, the year analyst Gartner predicts (Deer, 2015, January 3) will be the Year of the 3D Printer?
Costing a mere US$349, the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer (Ngo, 2015, April 23) from XYZ Printing might just be up your alley! This is by far the cheapest 3D Printer in a market where the typical price can range from US$1000 to as high as US$5000 to print with more exotic materials.
Basically a mini-me version of the XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 AiO (Ngo, 2014, October 31), thus super-compact 3D Printer does have one advantage of its bigger brother; it can print directly from SD Card instead of through a computer. It’s also easier to use, requiring a minimum of setup, though you might have to tweak it a bit to get it to print at an acceptable rate.
The XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer has a 2.6-inch, four-line resolution LCD screen with six (6) navigation buttons to control the machine.
Measuring 420 by 380 by 430mm (16.5x15x17 inches), it can make 3D objects with a volume of 150mm cubed (5.9 inches cubed) using its small Printer build-bed. It weighs in at 12 kg (26 pounds), a pretty hefty weight despite being so diminutive in size when compared to its bigger brother, the XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 AiO.
Calibration the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer – All you need is Paper Glue
The Printer build-bed is covered by form-fitting bed tapes, three (3) of which are included with the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer at the time of purchase. The idea is that these tapes prevent the object from shifting as the Printer-heads pastes on layer after layer to build up the object, but if you run out you can always use painter’s tape.
Hint: Tape won’t hold your printed object in place; best to use Paper Glue plaster on the platform that’s allowed to dry a bit for a better grip.
Calibration is also easy with the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer, requiring that the print platform’s entire surface is at a consistent and perfect distance from the print-head’s nozzle so as to get accurately reproduced 3D Models. Many 3D Printers require manual calibration and is the first hurdle you must cross before you can use any 3D Printer.
Surprisingly the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer is ready-to-use out of the box, with proprietary filaments spooled into a small chip that communicates via NFC (Near Field Communication) to inform the Printer of the type, colour and file level of the spool inside the chip.
This easy-to-melt plastic filament is fed into the Printer -head nozzles during a print job and the fact that it is proprietary may be an issue for some more experience users. Also another troubling issue is that it can only print in open filament colour at a time, but also, you get what you pay for at US$349.
Printing from the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer – The SD Card makes Printing
As mentioned before, the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer can print directly from a SD Card and fortunately, the maker of the Printer ship a 4 GB SD Card with the Printer for the use to take advantage of this feature.
This 4 GB SD Card contains the instruction manual in *.pdf format and a test 3D Model, making printing directly from 3D Printer files a snap.
If you are not comfortable with printing from a SD Card and rather prefer to have the editing power of a PC or a Laptop, then you can connect your XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer to you computer via its USB Port by using the included USB 2.0 cable.
Then once you’re online, you can download and register your copy of the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer software from their website.
Once launched, the software, which is compatible with Windows OS or Apple Mac OS appears to be very user friendly, with self-explanatory buttons for importing, manipulating and editing 3D object files in the following ways:
- Scaling, which involves changing the size of the 3D object
- Setting the print quality between of normal, good or excellent
- Adjusting the level of filling
Fine adjustments to 3D Printing – Tips and Tricks to print within 30 minutes to 10 hours
Once you’ve finished your customizations, you can then save to an SD Card and then print directly from the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer, which seems to be the reason why the 4 GB SD Card was included in the first place. You can still send the 3D file to be printed directly from the computer, but the software takes a few seconds to a few minutes to upload to the Printer.
After that, once it starts printing you can disconnect the USB Cable; eventually you’ll fall into the routine of printing from the SD Card, as it’s a lot easier to just edit and print that way instead of your Laptop being constantly tethered to the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer.
Good to note here you can print a 3D Model made up of multiple 3D objects, so long as you do not exceed the maximum print volume. Also, you might have a few failed prints initially due to the object shifting on the form-fitting bed tapes; use paper Glue to hold your 3D Object in place as it prints.
Also to make higher print quality items, you have to set the level of filling above the default 10%. This translates to more filament being used per project and if the object is very complex and uses up the maximum print volume of the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer, expect print times as long as ten (10) hours!
To speed thing up as bit, you can break up complex print jobs into separate parts and print them separately so that they print faster. Then after they printed, you can assemble them, making it possible to print whole sets of 3D Objects that exceed the maximum print volume of the XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer.
So what are you waiting for?!
Purchase a US$349 XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer from XYZ Printing and try printing readymade items from the Thingiverse website or design your own using SketchUp or Autodesk 123D. The XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer comes with a set of 3D Model files on the SD Card.
This little but Tallawah 3D Printer will allow you to ride the revolutionary 3D Printing wave sweeping the 3D Modeling World since the invention of the Gutenberg Press.
Here’s the link:
Deer, L. (2015, January 3). Gartner predicts US$13.5 billion 3D Printing Global Market in 2018 – Why Hoover and Makerbot Deal indicates 3D Printing by DIY is on the rise in 2015. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/01/gartner-predicts-us135-billion-global.html
Ngo, D. (2014, October 31). XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 AiO 3D Printer review: The most affordable way to enjoy 3D printing. Retrieved from https://ssl-fly.cnet.com/products/xyzprinting-da-vinci-1-0-aio-3d-Printer/
Ngo, D. (2015, April 23). XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 3D Printer review: Low-priced, reliable and easy to use. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/xyzprinting-da-vinci-jr-3d-Printer/