Hello everyone! I’ve been playing with an XYZ Printing Da Vinci Mini w 3d printer and want to tell you about it. To let you know, I am not endorsed by XYZ Printing, and was ready to not like this machine. But I did like it.

 

The Da Vinci Mini w 3d Printer is an easy to use 3d printer that requires pretty much no experience. There is a small amount of assembly involved but the most effort is removing all the shipping tape holding it together.

I’m using the software from XYZ Printing. If you are considering buying a 3d printer from XYZ, go ahead and download XYZ Maker from their website, xyzprinting.com. You need to create an account but it is free and does not require that you own one of their printers yet. This will let you know if the software works for you and if you like it.

I did this before buying to make sure it would work with my Mac. And it did.

The Da Vinci Mini w has lots of features. Such as being really inexpensive. It is also wireless so after initial setup with usb, you can use it without a usb cable.

Printing has had a few issues.

One is that some prints come out a bit warped. This seemed to be a common problem on large flat items. The Da Vinci Mini w does not have a heated bed. The surface is metal with large masking tape pads. If you print something less dense, such as a poodle, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

Using a glue stick on the bed prior to printing has helped the warping issue a little bit.

Another problem was printer feed jamming. The printer would be happily humming away then start making loud clicking and grinding noises. The nozzle had jammed and the feeder was struggling. Each print required cleaning the nozzle. I found turning up the nozzle temperature stopped the problem. So far plus three works well.

On my first prints the filament didn’t bond to itself very well. But turning up the temperature seemed to solve this problem as well.

The automatic supports, raft, and brim put in by the XYZ software, even when minimal, are excessive. Many 3d poodles suffered before I finally added my own supports in my 3d editor Cheetah 3d.

You can see the print difference between my red poodle and blue poodle. These excessive supports use too much material and are difficult to remove, and may result in poodle breakage.


I used a 3d test print from thingiverse.com to see how well the machine might perform. It actually did remarkably well, and better than I expected. The smaller details did not come out at all, such as the writing on the base. It struggled a little on the overhang test. However the model was printed small so the tiny details were unlikely to work. But the bridge test worked perfectly. Some day when I don’t mind letting the 3d printer run for forty five hours I’ll set it at slow with one millimeter depth and expand the model to the full 6×6. But for now I’ll call this printer test a win and just print more poodles.

There have been some complaints about the cost of filament from XYZ Printing. Each spool of 200 meters comes with a chip that identifies the type of filament and the amount remaining. When the chip reports empty, the printer will not feed. Which means if you buy third party filament, the printer won’t recognize there is any filament at all. So you have to buy authorized filament.

The printer uses about fifty cents of filament per hour to run. It doesn’t eat up a lot. Perhaps the higher end XYZ printers are faster so you might use more, but you won’t go broke using official filament. Watch my build videos which tell about how much each model costs.

If you are looking to print quality prototype parts with tight engineering tolerances, this is not your product. If you want multi color quality figurines, there are other printers. Plan to spend more money according to what you want to build. XYZ Printing and other manufacturers sell higher end machines.

The Da Vinci Mini w 3d printer is a good casual hobbyist 3d printer. It is low cost to buy and not too expensive to run. This is a good machine to get for your child who wants to try printing in 3d for fun. It works well if you wish to put together some high tolerance prototype models on a budget. And you can print poodles.

I am happy to have bought it, and even if I purchase a higher end device later, I will continue to use the Da Vinci Mini w.