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Review reloaded: The da Vinci all-in-one 3D printer disappoints

Lucas Mearian | Nov. 6, 2014
A week of use shows that first impressions can be wrong.

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Various objects that I either duplicated or printed from .stl files on the da Vinci 1.0 AiO all-in-one printer.Credit: Lucas Mearian

After spending a week with the new da Vinci 1.0 AiO all-in-one 3D printer, I've decided that first impressions can be deceiving.

This printer, a first in the consumer-grade 3D printing industry, can scan objects up to 6 inches high and use the resulting 3D image to replicate them Like other 3D printers, it can also use downloaded file images to create objects, too.

During my initial review last week, I noted how I was impressed with the design and function of this all-in-one from XYZprinting. It is a sleek-looking printer that's as simple to set up as can be. But after using it for more than a week, I found myself disappointed on several fronts.

First, the accuracy of the printer ranges from very good to poor, depending on the detail you're requiring it to produce. For example, a bust of Stephen Colbert came out good with only minor problems; a model of the Eifel Tower, with all its intricate scaffolding, failed miserably.

Secondly (and perhaps most disappointing), I found the scanning technology to be a blunt instrument often incapable of reproducing objects accurately.

And finally, the software -- while intuitive to use -- tends be a bit kludgey, with some rather annoying processes.

Despite those concerns, I would still recommend this printer to a beginner maker largely based on price. At $799, it goes for well below machines with less functionality. That said, you're not going to be churning out accurate duplicates without a lot of effort.

The printer can create objects that are 7.8-in x 7.8-in by 7.5-in in size. It can scan objects up to 6-in high, but they must be at least 2-in in diameter. Anything smaller isn't picked up by the software.

Caveat emptor
The da Vinci all-in-one printer uses two 2-megapixel cameras and two laser diode modules to scan objects into the XYZware virtual platform. The optics modules, on either side of a round turntable, shoot laser beams at an object as it turns 360 degrees and the cameras capture shapes.

The machine's laser scanner has a resolution of .05mm and its camera's resolution is .25mm, which refers how accuratly is replicates objects.

The basic function of a 3D printer is to be able to take 3D image files (most commonly in .stl or stereolithography file format) and accurately reproduce those images. The da Vinci 1.0 AiO, at times, struggles to do this.

Files I downloaded from Thingaverse.com -- a popular site created by MakerBot for sharing user-created digital design files -- often came out inaccurate. For example, an iPhone sleeve I attempted to print was unusable because of glaring malformations. The problems included round holes that wound up oval shaped and an outer shell that looked more like a spider web than a smooth plastic body.

 

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