Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Da Vinci Nano 3D Printer from XYZprinting - Review

The Da Vinci Nano is a mini 3D printer from XYZprinting, the makers of the Da Vinci Mini and Mix. This printer has a small footprint and an enclosure for consistent printing. It's a new favourite of ours for beginners and portability.

The Da Vinci Nano uses proprietary filament which may be an issue for more experienced 3D printers but for beginners it does add more consistency to the process.


Unboxing and Setup

The Da Vinci Nano comes with setup instructions and some filament to get you started. There's also a helpful video that shows you what to do:


You need to remove packing tape and attach the extruder module which is straightforward. You also need to insert and attach the filament tube. This all went smoothly for us. 

The printer can be calibrated and set up from the XYZ Maker software which is convenient if you are using that software to create models. 

The calibration is manual and uses physical wheels that you turn. You are guided through this process and it worked well once I paid attention to which way you need to turn the wheels! 

You apply tape (included) to the bed and glue stick is recommended below 25 degreed C (so pretty much always in the UK.)

Loading the filament is straightforward, the software tells you exactly what to do. 

First Print

I first tried printing without using a glue stick and the print didn't stick to the bed. This is pretty typical in my experience, I've always used glue with other 3D printers. When I also added glue I got a good print. 

I loaded a model from Thingiverse into 3D Builder and was able to print straight to the printer which is brilliant. 

You only need the XYZ software for calibration and loading and unloading filament. 

The printer is enclosed with a transparent door. You can watch your model being printed but the door isn't completely clear so you don't get as good a view and with some printers (especially the Da Vinci Mini which is completely open.)

Size and Design

The Da Vinci Nano is roughly a cubic foot in size, a bit more when you add on the filament reel and the domed top. It has a print volume of almost 12cm cubed which is plenty big enough for the things we print. The smaller size of the print area is not an issue for us as we focus on building small items for children and young people that can be printed quickly. 

The enclosed design helps to control the environment to get consistent prints. The Da Vinci Mini has an open design which means that you can easily see what's going on but we've found that it can be affected by draughts and temperature changes. 

I would like physical buttons on the printer for loading and unloading filament, but the software is useful for guiding beginners through the process. 

The size makes the printer very portable. Don't imagine it's very light though, it's still got all the 3D printer parts. But it's easy to put away in a cupboard when you're not using it and easy to transport to different locations.


Filament

The Da Vinci Nano uses proprietary filament controlled by electronic tags. This is definitely a contentious feature. It leads to consistent prints and of course incremental revenue for XYZprinting. 

We don't have a problem with paying a little extra for the filament. For beginners, it's more important to have ease of use than save a few pennies. The things we tend to print in schools and clubs are small and we don't use huge amounts of filament. 

But, we do feel restricted by the range of colours available. XYZprinting favour transparent colours which are very pretty for some projects but many items work better in a solid colour. There are several solid colours available but we'd like to see more. 

Realistically you're only going to buy a few colours anyway and there are some good colours available so this isn't a deal breaker. But if there were more colours available, we'd buy them.

Verdict


The Da Vinci Nano is a fab first 3D printer for a primary school, STEM club, family or teenager. There are some really nice filaments available for this printer but we'd like to see a bigger range of colours, especially more solid colours. 

The price point is low, it doesn't take up too much space and it's straightforward to operate. 

We love that you can use the Microsoft 3D Builder tool with it as we've had a lot of success using this tool to create and repair 3D models. 3D Builder is free with Windows 10. You can view the status of your print in the standard Windows printers utility. 

Other articles about XYZprinting 3D printers:






More from Tech Age Kids:

Comments:

Post a Comment