Recently, our Application Engineer, Mark Philipp, had the opportunity to get his hands on XYZPrinting’s latest addition to the 3D printing world – the da Vinci AiO 3D Printer/Scanner. Check out his candid review and discover what this new technology is truly capable of.
Last year, I reviewed the da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer from XYZPrinting, which is a great consumer-priced 3D Printer. The AiO made some improvements on the da Vinci 1.0, and also added a 3D Scanner into the mix. All while maintaining a consumer-friendly price point.
Rating the da Vinci AiO as a 3D Scanner
The biggest new feature on the AiO is the 3D Scanner. 3D Scanners are relatively new technology. Most of them are separate pieces of hardware that cost a decent amount of money. The fact that the AiO is able to implement a 3D Scanner into an all-in-one solution at such a low price point is certainly impressive. So, let’s break it down a bit to see how it works.
How the da Vinci AiO 3D Scanner Works
The scanner utilizes two lasers within the AiO. You put a model on the scanning bed and the scanner takes about 5 – 10 minutes to rotate the bed and scan the entire object using the two lasers. The data is then sent to your computer via XYPrinting’s proprietary software XYZScan.
XYZScan is very basic. It allows you to initiate a scan, save the scan, and send the scan into XYZWare for printing. There are some basic options that allow you to smooth out the model. There are not very many options for manipulating your 3D Model. If you want to manipulate your scan, you will want to use a dedicated 3D modeling program.
AiO 3D Scanner Rating
In my experience, the quality of the scans can vary wildly. In order to ensure the best results, I recommend using models that are not very reflective or shiny, do not have a lot of contrasting colors, and do not have an enormous amount of detail on them. The laser technology does not do well with reflective/glossy surfaces. It will give you less than ideal results. I found that objects with a lot of grooves and finer details on them lost some of those details in the scanning process.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want the scanning bed exposed to direct light during the process. When you initiate a scan, the AiO’s internal lights turn off to ensure a dark environment. As I mentioned earlier, the paneling on the sides of the AiO are also tinted to help keep light out. Exposing the scanning bed to a lot of light will give you undesirable results.
The scan can be saved as an STL or DAS file. This means you can also bring a scan into a 3D Modeling program and make modifications to it. Overall, the scanning technology has its limits, but the accessibility and the common file formats make the da Vinci AiO scanner ideal for any school or home use.
Review of the da Vinci AiO as 3D Printer
I wrote a piece back in December about the da Vinci AiO’s specs. Today, I am going to be talking about my experience with the AiO. The first thing I noticed, right out of the box, is the visual element of the AiO. The machine certainly catches my attention much more than the da Vinci 1.0 did. While this may not be a major selling point on the printer, it’s good to know that XYZPrinting is considering the aesthetics of their printer.
Design Aspects of the da Vinci AiO
Since it is a decently large (46.8 x 51 x 55.8 cm) piece of hardware that sits in my room, I appreciate the fact that they are putting some thought into the appearance of it. The panels on the side of the AiO and the door on the front of it are all a darker/tinted color. This is important to note because the 3D Scanner requires dark lit conditions in order to optimally scan an object. The dark tinting on these panels helps keep a lot of light out of the scan bed. The fact that they also look nice is just an added bonus.
As far as Printing is concerned, the process is still very similar to the da Vinci 1.0 3D printer. The AiO comes with XYZPrinting’s proprietary XYZWare software, which was also used with the da Vinci 1.0. XYZWare is a printer/slicer tool that allows you to import your STL models, prepare them for printing and send them as a job to the printer. The main drawback that I could see with XYZWare is that it only accepts STL and 3W File Formats. Fortunately, STL is the most widely used file format so it shouldn’t be much of an issue. There are also an abundance of third-party slicer programs that are available online for those who may not utilize STL files. Other than that, XYZWare is very simple to use.
AiO 3D Printing Review
The da Vinci AiO system doesn’t include many features to modify your model, but I would consider that task to be better served by software like 3DS Max, Sketchup, Maya, etc. XYZWare contains several options for customizing the quality of your build. You can include rafts and supports and you can modify the settings of your rafts and supports. You can also modify the quality of your 3D model with features such as 3D Density, Shells, Layer Height, and Speed. I only really experimented with the default settings on the “Good” quality.
Regardless, I was rather pleased with the quality of the builds I was getting. They came out relatively smooth with few issues. Any issues I did have were mostly due to me printing a less-than-ideal model and not properly utilizing rafts or supports. XYZWare will show you how much filament you have used and how much you have left in your cartridge before you print. This is thanks to XYZPrinting’s proprietary ABS filament cartridges.
Comparison of da Vinci AiO & da Vinci 1.0 for 3D Printing
The process of printing seems to take about as long as the da Vinci 1.0 did. It’s hard to say exactly how long it takes to build a model because the build time depends on what kind of model you are printing. A model that was roughly 29mm x 48mm x 46mm took about 40 minutes to print.
The AiO uses Fused Filament Fabrication printing technology which is basically a layer-upon-layer approach to 3D Printing. The Extruder lays out filament and builds upon the filament over time.
One thing that stood out on the AiO is the noise that the printer makes seems significantly quieter than the da Vinci 1.0. With the front panel closed on the AiO, the Printer sounded more like a high-end Desktop Computer tower that was running loudly. This is actually a big improvement from the da Vinci 1.0, in my opinion. The 1.0 sounded ridiculously loud and the extruder would make a lot of noise while it moved around. The AiO certainly has a much smoother sound.
3D Printer Extruder
The extruder on the AiO seems to keep itself rather clean. I haven’t had any issues with filament clogging up the extruder. Of course, if your extruder does get clogged or dirty, the AiO comes with a scraping brush as well as some metallic pins that you can use to clean the extruder head.
Remove Your Model with Ease
Lastly, one of my favorite things about the AiO is that it comes with a metallic scraper. This might sound a bit ridiculous, but the da Vinci 1.0 came with a plastic scraper and it was very difficult to get your finished models off of the print bed. The metallic scraper is miles better and allows you to remove your model from the print bed quickly and easily.
Da Vinci AiO: Worth the Price Tag
In conclusion, the da Vinci AiO is a great piece of hardware for the price. The 3D printer alone is very capable and easy to use. Despite how picky the scanner can be, it’s a nice added bonus that hobbyists and students will have fun with. It’s amazing to me that this technology is becoming so cheap. It’s an indicator of things to come. The AiO further establishes XYZPrinting as a company that is at the forefront of consumer-grade 3D Printers alongside MakerBot and 3D Systems.
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