DaVinci 3D Printer

Da Vinci 3D Printer: A Renaissance For High Quality but Low Cost

By December 20, 2013. 3D Printers, Featured, News

Da Vinci, renaissance man. From new painting materials to mirror writing to helicopters to parachutes to planes to submarines to… you name it, this profound genius could produce a strong attempt at a solution 500 years ahead of his time. 3D printers also have a knack for producing a vast array of futuristic seeming output. Now, the da Vinci 3D Printer may give you a Mona Lisa smile for its beauty and innovation…

XYZprinting, the developer and manufactuers of this 3D printer, says that: ‘The da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer will revolutionise the way you live. da Vinci allows you to create and customise your home with the push of a button.’

Promises, promises. The modern consumer, accustomed to a daily barrage of products and services from advertising everywhere — from the sides of buses to the sides of buildings, their shopping bags and their glossy mags — is a refined cynic, honed at parting the wheat from the chaff. It takes a lot to impress adults accustomed to the endless promises that Product X is going to make them happy and Produce Y defines them.

However, this little beauty of a printer certainly has the looks to grab our attention — but is fighting in a growing crowd.

DaVinci 3D PrinterOnce she has our attention we feel may inclined to dote upon her for a while. Then we ask ourselves: ‘She may be beautiful, but is there any substance behind that smile?’ Let’s have a look at that substance, before we get to the absolutely stunning price of this 3D printer.

A host of refined, attractive looking 3D printers are emerging at the moment. Ion Core’s Zinter glows with radiance. The BeeTheFirst holds our gaze with the use of externals coyly accentuating her curves. My beloved Rapide One and Radipe S are a duo of temptresses that enamour my thoughts beyond rationality. And many more besides. So, what is the da Vinci going to do to stand out of the crowd of pretty young things?

A) Easy to install printing filament.

XYZprinting says that its filament has been designed to be easy to install and replace, including on-board notifications when the filament is running low. There are a number of other easy-to-install cartridges such as corporate monolith 3D Systems’ Cube and even the promise of such in full colour by the bewildering BotObjects, which has unfortunately earned cynicism for the many no-shows with a working version of it proposed ‘full-colour’ plastic 3D printer. But here, judging by images, a genuinely robust system appears to be ready for use.

XYZ Printing Filament CartridgeI’ll look forward to finding users of this system to update readers on the reliability when the printer has had more time in the marketplace to pick up purchasers, as the da Vinci 1.0 has yet to be released en mass. It will be displayed in Kinpo / Vibo Telecom stores in Taiwan shortly. XYZprinting will begin the delivery of domestic pre-orders for more than 1,000 “da Vinci” units on Dec. 24, 2013. The company will ship to China in January, Japan and the US in February, and the EU in March, according to chairman Simon Shen.

B) A cloud based input system.

XYZ Cloud is designed to find a design or upload an .stl, G Code or XYZ file of your intended output. A drag and drop control panel allows the users to drop files right onto the virtual build space. Then, XYZprinting says the design can be used to scale, move or rotate individual models or groups of models at once. After choosing your design, material and colour the system then prints. Simple.

C) ‘A large auto-adjusting build plate’

What I’m gong to take this as being, as I have not yet had a chance to chat with the company, is a reference to motion in the Z axis. I cannot find clarification on this however but I’ll list it here as a feature until more news may emerge.

In summary, the da Vinci has the looks and ease of use potential for moderate traction in the broader market. Whilst cynics abound as to whether the home 3D printer market will ever ‘take off,’ I see this as little more than primary variables of healthy consumer cynicism in a culture constantly barraging people with ‘must buys’ and unhealthy overly-empirical thinking.

Trend extrapolation points to continuing growth, and the endless comments sections of mass media publications that I have read daily for a few years now points to a lot of people waiting for a wider range of materials (albeit because most, busy, none-specialist journalists are completely unaware of the breadth of materials that already exist) and larger build areas.

This leads me to my final point, that the build area is 20 x 20 x 20 cm (7.8 x 7.8 x 7.8 inches). Whilst this is okay for what I call ‘repairables,’ prints to replace broken parts on your household objects, and a reasonable range of extant final products, it is unlikely to fulfil XYZprinter’s stated aim of selling 100,000 units.

Ultimately, the da Vinci 3D printer does have the makings of making makers consider making her part of their home making machine collection, especially given the price, an astonishingly low USD$500.

Those specifications in full:

DaVinci 3D Printer Specs

  • leo

    The biggest problem I see for this machine that it can only print ABS. However, its client software is very user-friendly, quit similar to Makerware.

  • William Lue

    The announced 1st delivery on Christmas eve is in less than a week, and I will monitor more closely the remainder of the shipping list for offshore market. Kinpo’s da Vinci will face an uphill battle on the home-front already: office automation/furniture biggie Aurora has launched own branded 3D printers as a co-op project with a local quango body ITRI (Industrial Technologies Research Institute), while signing up a partnership pact with Stratasys to go after the China market. Even the price point at US$500 does not sound particularly attractive – steep competitions on the pricing front simply cannot be avoided at home, as well as outside of Taiwan. Quite an impressive line-up of lower-priced offerings come from China’s Shenzhen region, which should not surprise. Shane Taylor is all too kind-hearted to be downright outspoken about competitions that will only become more fierce, and was polite to imply that ‘only time will tell’. That point in time, however, can be sooner than thought – just like the ill-timed implementation from naming to pricing. I will be eagerly waiting for Shane’s follow-up report.

  • jdm8

    I don’t know what to make of the build area complaint. In the open hardware arena, that build area is relatively standard. Affordable closed hardware designs can have build areas as small as 4″ / 100mm for the Replicator mini, and 5″ for Up/Afinia/old Cube. New Cube has a 6″ square build platform.

    I think going beyond 8″ square might even be bad for a “beginner” machine.

  • Cut

    Just received mine. Surprised how easily everything worked and operated, but now problems persist with the extruder nozzle dragging the filament everywhere ruining the part. The measuring tab catches all high standing filament then drags it everywhere.