Da Vinci Junior Overview from a long term use perspective.
The XYZ Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 is one of the most popular and low priced beginner 3D Printers in today’s market. It sells for around $250. The Da Vinci Jr. is produced by XYZ Printing. XYZ Printing has a wide range of printers. They offer beginner to advanced printers at an affordable cost but some of them come with a catch. Unlike other printers in this price range, the printer comes fully pre-assembled.
Lets start with some Specifications for the Da Vinci Junior
The Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 has many beginner features and makes it easy to use.
- Single Extruder
- LCD Controls
- Fully Enclosed
- 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 Inch Build Area
- Average Print Quality
- No Bed Leveling Required
- Only Uses 75 Watts of Power
- Easy to Use Software
- 100-400 Microns
- PLA Filament
- Pre-Assembled (Plug & Play)
- Wifi (Depending on Model)
- SD Card or USB Connection for Printing
The Da Vinci Junior Software
The printer comes with XYZ Ware which is XYZ Printing’s slicing software. The printer can only print .3w files. This file format is XYZ’s file format they have developed with security to stop you from using 3rd Party options. You can use other slicers only if they can export to .3w. Simplify3D is one software which is capable of exporting to this file format and we highly recommend using Simplify3D instead of XYZ Ware. XYZ Ware if one of the worst slicers and has issues with almost every model. It often crashes while slicing and if it doesn’t crash, slicing can take forever. Simplify3D can slice the model within minutes unlike XYZ Ware. Even if you do decide to use Simplify3D, you still need XYZ Ware to update the printer’s firmware and receive support from XYZ.
Da Vinci Ease of Use
The Da Vinci Junior 1.0 is one of the easiest printers to use. The quick start guide and the manual are very easy to understand. Part of this is because of how the printer is built. The printer requires no bed leveling and has automated filament loading. When you load the filament, it provides you with instructions on the LCD screen. Also, when printing, it will make sure you have a sufficient amount of filament because each spool of filament has an NFC chip that tracks filament use. The NFC chip keeps track of the amount of filament used and how much is remaining. When sliced in the XYZ Ware, the software calculates how much filament is needed and the NFC chip will not let you print without having enough to finish the print. The XYZ Ware is also very easy to use with having minimal settings to change for the printer. XYZ Ware steps you through slicing and chooses the best settings for you. If you are more experienced you can set your own settings. Even though XYZ Ware is easy to use, we still recommend Simplify3D. Simplify3D is easy to use and you will get better print quality and control compared to using XYZ Ware. The worst part about the printer is getting the parts to stick to the build platform. It comes with a sticker to use but the prints usually do not stick to them well. To get the parts to stick, we recommend using a glue stick on the sticker. The glue stick will help get the first layers to stick and keep the rest of the part sticking to the build platform during the print. [you already mentioned this]
The Da Vinci Junior 1.0 has an average print quality for the price range and it being a beginner 3D Printer. You can print from 100-400 microns in PLA only. The printer has a very hard time printing small objects but can print medium to larger objects easily if you can get them to stick to the bed. The printer has a max print speed of 120 mm/s which is great for this kind of printer. Large objects can take awhile but, if you print them overnight, this is not an issue. No bed leveling also helps increase print quality. Many printers require precise bed leveling to get quality results but this print does not require it. Overall the print quality is average and will meet the standards for beginner home users.
The printer has many features which makes it very easy to use as a beginner. It has auto filament feeding and step by step directions on the LCD screen. It keeps track of filament usage and tells you how much filament you have left. Each filament spool comes with a green NFC chip which tells the printer what temperature is needed for printing. You do not need to set the extruder temperature in the settings. The printer only prints PLA from XYZ but XYZ Printing offers many different colors. The printer comes with little metal rings to clean the nozzle if it ever gets clogged. These can become very useful. You can use an SD Card or a USB connection to print from. You can only print through USB if the SD Card is in the printer. Over time the nozzle may jam and the filament load/unload gears will become filled with tiny plastic slivers. You will need to clean both of these things. The extruder also features a click on assembly. It clicks on and you can remove it by pressing a button. This feature makes it easy to change extruders when they clog if you have a spare.
XYZ Printing Customer Support and Part Availability
XYZ customer support is not the greatest in our experience. They may take a while to respond to emails and when you call them, you often can not understand or hear them easily. Once they finally respond, they can be very helpful. On their online store, they sell the parts that are often needed for the repair of the printer such as an extruder. The online store does not sell all of the parts but, if something else does break, you can contact them for the exact part you need. Plastic can be bought through their website or on Amazon.
3rd Party/NFC Trouble
XYZ Printing is known for limiting their users on their printers. This printer has an NFC chip in the spool. This keeps track of material usage and the amount of material left. They also require that you only use XYZ filament in their printer. This may seem great but, XYZ Printing’s material is expensive for the amount and quality you get. It costs approximately $30 per spool for 0.6kg of filament. The printer will not run without a NFC chip. You cannot use 3rd Party material because they do not come with an NFC chip. Many people have tried to find a way around this but, they have not been successful as XYZ Printing constantly does firmware upgrades to stop anything they attempt. This is one of the major issues that stops people from buying this printer.
Overall Pros & Cons
- Pre-Assembled (Plug & Play)
- Ease of Use
- Step by Step Directions
- Not Open Source
- NFC Problem
- Slower Print Speed
- XYZ PLA Only