The da Vinci Mini is a small, portable 3D printer which aims at school children and 3D printing beginners. But is it the best entry level printer on the market?
Taiwanese based 3D printer manufacturer, XYZprinting has unveiled the 3D printer which they hope will be a good choice for 3D printing beginners. With a price tag of just $290, it is one of the cheapest 3D printers on the market.
Just three months ago, the company released the da Vinci miniMaker, predominantly aimed at school children. It appears the new da Vinci Mini is not just for kids but for beginners also. But, other than WiFi functionality, there have seemingly been no other upgrades. You pretty much get the same basic package: auto-calibration, aluminum print bed for printing with PLA (no ABS, this would require a heated print bed).
One major setback of the printer, however, is the expensive PLA filaments. The 1.74mm eco-friendly PLA plastics derived from corn starch will set you back by a whopping $27.95. To use the da Vinci Maker and still keep your warranty, it’s an expensive yet necessary purchase.
Is the da Vinci Mini the Best Choice for Newbies?
One of the advertised topline features certainly include the printer’s ability to connect to your WiFi network. This allows you to print from anywhere in the house. However, your imagination is likely to be restricted by the print bed measuring just 5.9-by-5.9-by-5.9 inches.
On the software front, the da Vinci Mini boasts XYZware. The company claims this allows you to “experience its updated slicing precision and computing efficiency, shortening the preparation time required before printing.”
If you find your creative juices aren’t flowing, the company also offer their corporate alternative to Thingiverse. With 4,500 free 3D models in their digital gallery, it should be easy to find a new project.
If you’re completely enticed, the da Vinci Mini is available to buy from XYZprinting’s website for just $289.95 plus tax and shipping.
However, if you’re still not convinced, it may be worth checking out alternatives such as the Monoprice MP Select which is also affordable ($200 in the US), while also being hackable. And you don’t have to use proprietary filament cartridges.
License: The text of "XYZprinting Unveils Mini, Another Low-Cost Printer for Beginners" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.