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Review: The new Da Vinci all-in-one 3D scanner/printer

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 29, 2014
Even without the 3D scanner, this printer is impressive.

Start-up XYZPrinting today released its first all-in-one 3D printer, which uses a 3D laser scanner to replicate objects placed inside the machine.

While other 3D printing companies sell handheld scanners or separate scanning tables, XYZPrinting is the first to incorporate scanning into a consumer-grade product.

The da Vinci 1.0 AiO all-in-one 3D printer plus scanner ships today for $799, setting this multi-featured printer virtually alone in a marketplace where even the most basic 3D printers can run over $1,000.

That's Taiwan-based XYZPrinting's business model -- low priced, yet sophisticated, consumer-grade printers. For example, its first 3D printer released in April, the da Vinci 1.0, retailed for just $499. That compares to a MakerBot's Replicator 3D printer, which retails for $2,899 and has roughly the same build capability.

A more moderately priced 3D printer, the Solidoodle Workbench Apprentice retails for $799, but it can't print objects as large as the da Vinci, nor does it have a 3D scanner.

Right away, the AiO 3D printer grabs your eye with its refined appearance. The mechanics -- the printing head, two laser scanning/camera pods and turntable, and the motorized print table -- are fully enclosed in a sleek-looking blue and white cube with a large transparent, hinged-front door.

The advantage of a fully enclosed 3D printer is three-fold: it reduces noise created by the robotic print head moving back and forth, it protects the machinery inside and it can reduce the smell when using thermoplastics such as ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), which is notorious for its bad odor.

The printer is about 18-in. x 20-in. x 22-in. in size and weighs 60.6 lbs. While this is a desktop printer, it takes up a sizeable amount of room on your desk.

The da Vinci 1.0 AiO can print only one color at a time, but it can use either ABS or PLA (Polylactic acid), which is a plastic derived from organic products, such as cornstarch and sugar cane; PLA is cheaper, but less durable than ABS. ABS and PLA are the two most popular thermoplastics on the market today.

Like other consumer-grade 3D printers in the $500 to $2,000 price range, the da Vinci 1.0 AiO builds objects using fused filament fabrication, where layer upon layer of thermoplastic is extruded from a heated nozzle. The build platform is also heated, ensuring the bottom of a printed object remains attached and doesn't become deformed.

The printer offers multiple resolutions in which to print (resolution refers to the thickness of the layers used to construct an object). Those resolutions include .1mm, .2mm, .3mm and .4mm.

The da Vinci has the ability to print objects as large as 7.8-in. x 7.8-in. x 7.8-in. in size, which compares favorably with other consumer machines both in its price range and far above it.

 

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