Amazon Review by Nora S. Tauke
62 people found the following review helpful
True plug-and-play machine
**Update after 1 week of use**
I am officially upgrading my review to 5 stars. Check out the pictures of my prints after just one week of use. This printer is amazing. I’ve had a few failures, but by and large, this thing just cranks out high quality prints. My longest print so far was about 14 hours, and it came out great. I print multiple things at one time with little fear of failure. I use files both from the XYZ 3D Gallery as well as the Thingiverse. For anyone waiting for an inexpensive printer that JUST WORKS, this is it.
End Update, Begin Pervious Review
First, a little about me. I am not a beta tester. I bought my machine from Amazon. This is a preliminary review after using the printer for a few days with just the included filament. The XYZ Da Vinci Mini is my first and only 3D printer. I have absolutely no 3D printing experience and little technical ability. I also have precious little time for hobbies. For the past few years I’ve been fascinated by the technology, watching from afar until I found a machine that would (hopefully) be extremely user friendly and truly (really really really) out-of-the box plug-and-play ready. I think I found it.
I give the Da Vinci Mini 4 stars rather than 5 because it is not perfect. However, it is excellent and is absolutely meeting and exceeding my expectations.
I found printer set up to be a little more difficult than I had hoped. The instructions included in the box are very low quality, but there are helpful tutorials online. For me it was about 1.5 hours from opening the box to starting my first print. My first print, a VW bug for my son, was a fail. Within the first two layers going down the print completely peeled off the included bed cover. I didn’t have a glue stick at the time, so on the recommendation of other reviewers, I snagged my husband’s blue painter’s tape and put a layer of that down. Worked perfectly (although it did lead to indentations in the plastic on the bottom of the model where the tape layers overlapped slightly). Subsequently I’ve upgraded to wider tape to avoid this issue and will also try the glue stick method with the included bed cover. My first print took about 5 hours on the “good” (medium) resolution setting. I let it go overnight and awoke to a fantastic (if not totally perfect) print in the morning. The wheels, which printed separately, snapped right into place. Amazing.
I did not have such luck that night with my second print attempt. I tried four times to print a “star ball” and got very frustrated with the time it was taking to run the slicer then send the file to the printer each time there was a fail very early in the print. I admit I tried to go big and use the “excellent” resolution setting. I went to bed frustrated and without the promise of a cool little print waiting for me when I woke up.
After chatting with some friendly 3D printing enthusiasts, I figured out that the failures were more than likely user error on my part. My pretty “star ball” probably needed supports, which I didn’t add because I didn’t know how to and I figured, if supports were needed, they would come with the model. Not so. I think I know how to add supports to models, but I’m not sure and I don’t want to waste my little time with the printer on errors until I’ve have had more experience.
This brings me to my biggest gripe about the Da Vinci Mini. The XYZware slicing and printing software is not as intuitive as I would like. I have yet to be able to connect the printer to WiFi. The screen that I see must be an update because it looks nothing like the screen shots included in the in-box instructions and the online tutorials. I’m going to have to call support (annoying) to try to figure it out. Also, I wish there was a startup guide to the software so I had help understanding when to use certain features, such as when to use supports or what all of the advanced printing features mean. I found a YouTube on an older version of the software meant for earlier Da Vinci printers, which helped, but didn’t answer all my questions. XYZ, if you are reading this, can you help?
I’ll end on a positive note. The thing that matters most to me in a 3D printer is that I can get home from work, upload a model, and just GO. I love sitting on my couch while my Mini makes me something fun to find in the morning. I need to have faith that the machine will work as promised most of the time with minimal tinkering. I’m currently sitting on my couch (watching the Cubs) while my Mini hums away (pleasantly, and kind of futuristically) printing me chain links for my son to play with tomorrow. Not perfect, but definitely great. If you are like me, I think you will love this printer.