XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer Review

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You know a certain product is making a name for itself when there’s a child friendly version available for purchase. If you’re looking for a 3D printer for kids, then the XYZprinting da Vinci MiniMaker is a perfect match.

High quality, with a good range of possible prints, and easy to use, it has everything you need to get your kids excited about 3d printing. The days where this craft was reserved for large companies and dedicated geeks are over; XYZPrinting has made sure 3D printing has become a family activity.

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But is a printer that’s marketed for kids really up to the task of delivering high-quality prints time after time? Is it actually safe? And what about yourself – will you be able to get any use out of this?

We gathered the details and checked how this printer holds up against the ‘grown up’ versions that are available on the market. The results are favorable, though every appliance has a few cons.

Curious yet? Read on to find out if this is a worthwhile investment or a dud.


XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer: The Details

Specs

  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 15 inches
  • Print Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Filament Types: XYZ Printing Filament (type PLA)
  • Ready to Print?: Comes ready to print
  • Compatibility: Compatible with Windows and Linux
  • Warranty: Limited one-year warranty

How Does it Work

If you’re looking to buy the XYZPrinting da Vinci, you probably have either tons of experience, or you’re just looking for a fun new activity to share with your children. In case you’re the latter, here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

The miniMaker uses its own brand of PLA filament. While this is short for ‘polyactid acid,’ there is no reason for alarm; despite what the name suggests, you’re not actually buying a dangerous chemical to bring into your home.

This material is classified as a biodegradable polyester which has been derived from renewable resources. While some 3D printers accept different brands of PLA, the miniMaker will only work with the house-brand PLA filament.

The workspace is not incredibly large but is big enough for most child-friendly projects. There are several small toys and online animal designs which can be created with this printer, and it’s a good gateway machine to more complex designs.

Because of the range of possible prints, you might even find educational purposes for this unique addition to your home.

And if that isn’t your thing, printing out your own chess set or a cute soap holder is certain to liven things up.

Features

Free Resources

Getting started with 3D printing can be an overwhelming task; just what are you supposed to print first? Poking around on the XYZPrinting site for free designs isn’t a bad first move.

As you get more confident in your machine, you can have a quick glance at other sites that might be more specialized on what the kids or yourself are interested in.

The added modelling software can give older children the chance to bring their own designs to life. With a bit of practice, they’ll see how easy it is to work in 3D.

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In addition to all of this, XYZprinting has an online curriculum program where students can use 3D printing to help them along in subjects including science, arts, and math.

Teachers who wish to use the technology in their classroom will already have a helping hand when it comes to planning.

Mild Customization

While the machine has a tendency to flip your prints backwards, rotating them in any direction is a breeze.

Even turning them upside down poses very few problems, although you should consider the base before doing this.

Multiple Designs at Once

Printing out a chess set or making a replacement for a lost game pawn? As long as the designs fit inside the printing space, you can create multiple pieces at once.

Just keep in mind that, because there are more to print, you’ll have to wait longer for the printing to finish.

On the other hand, once you’re sure the machine is printing fine, you can leave the device to work independently while you go about your day.  Or spend some time watching things be printed out – after all, it is pretty entertaining.

Attractive Color Range

When a manufacturer restricts your resources, they’d better have an attractive base collection of resources for you to use instead.

Luckily XYZPrinting has a nice range of colors available for you to use with the da Vinci MiniMaker. Though the price seems a tad higher than the machine warrants, this filament is high quality and helps give a smooth finish to your projects.

Average to Fast Printing Speed

Kids aren’t exactly known as being extremely patient. For a first demonstration, you’ll be better off choosing a small piece to practice how things work.

Once they know what a 3D printer can do, however, big projects can be tackled.

While the ‘normal’ setting works quite fast, the finish might suffer. The highest settings work slower, but offer finished prints that can rival even the priciest of printers.

With a speed that is never considered slow, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

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Works on Most Platforms 

XYZprinting makes it easy for everyone to take advantage of their da Vinci miniMaker as its designed to work on most operating platforms including both PC and Mac iOS.

This saves the frustration for both users as many machines aren’t as accommodating.

XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer Review

The Positives

Relatively Quiet

A 3D printer is never going to run whispery smooth, but there is a notable difference between them nonetheless.

The XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer runs with a calmer hum than most machines, showing that some thought has been put into the comfort of the parents as well.

Great Price

Of course, a 3D printer labelled as ‘for kids’ shouldn’t run you into a mortgage. But considering the solid capacities and great quality of this printer, the current price is a steal.

While you won’t be tackling any big projects, even mom and dad can find a use for this printer. Younger children will delight in seeing their new toys printed out in front of them, while older children will enjoy creating their own prints.

The price makes it easy for everyone to break into a new hobby, and it saves room to purchase more filament for all your new ideas.

Also included with the purchase of this 3D printer is a 1-year limited warranty, set in place to cover any manufacturing or craftsmanship errors.

Self-Leveling

Leveling the printing area is guesswork at best for beginners, and any children attempting it for themselves may run into a nasty surprise.

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With a self-levelling feature, this is one headache that can be saved for a more grown-up machine. Enjoy using the printer without having to worry about the finicky details.

Compact and Lightweight

If you’re tight on space in your crafting or playroom, you won’t have to fret with this 3D printer. The XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker is compact, packing all of its many features into a colorful cube.

You won’t have to clear out a ton of table space to have this set-up and ready to go, which is great for those lacking in workspace.

The miniMaker is also pretty light weight at around 20 pounds so if you need to put this away until it’s time to use it again, it won’t mean hauling, lugging, and grunting.

Here’s a video showing the XYZprinting da Vinci MiniMaker in action.

 

 

 

 

The Negatives

Filament Lock-In

With the argument that a printer aimed at children should use high quality and non-toxic filaments, this 3D printer will only play nice with the XYZPrinting filaments.

Their higher price cost seems like a turn-off at first, but one tube can last you a long time. And well, if you’re going to invest in this hobby, you might as well get it right from the start.

No Luck for Linux

While XYZprinting wants to make sure most people can use this machine, they’ve left out those who use Linux.

Made to work with most Windows and Macintosh platforms, those running their computer with Linux won’t be able to connect.

Lost In Translation 

While this printer is super easy to use, the instructions included can be a little confusing. The guide seems to have scattered directions, and incomplete steps that for some, can be frustrating.

Fortunately, there are a number of video guides to help you along the way, as well as online instructions that are a little clearer on how things should work.

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Overall Verdict

It’s obvious to see why this cheap 3D printer is geared toward children; an easy set-up, versatile printing possibilities, and an easy-to-understand procedure all help in making 3D printing a contemporary hobby.

And since even the grown-ups in the household can find a use for this machine, you can be sure it’ll experience some busy hours every week.

While it is an excellent beginner machine, adults without children might prefer investing in a printer for beginners with customization options down the line.

The da Vinci miniMaker does an excellent job and consistently delivers good quality items, but adults might find themselves wishing for more options.

Younger children should always be accompanied when using machinery, and this printer is no exception. Older children can be trusted to use this printer responsibly and will likely enjoy it even more than their younger siblings.

All in all, the XYZprinting da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer promises and delivers fun for the whole family… of the DIY variety!


Where to Buy the XYZprinting da Vinci MiniMaker 3D Printer

This isn’t XYZprinting’s first go at making an impressive, quality, machine and with their previous models gaining popularity, it’s no surprise hobbyists have their eyes on the da Vinci MiniMaker 3D Printer.

Now with a printer geared towards children, everyone can get in on the action. You can find this 3D printer on the shelves of retail stores and online.

To start, check out the following retailers.

And as always, it’s also available on Amazon.

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That’s it for our review on the XYZprinting da Vinci MiniMaker 3D Printer. Tempted to give it a go?


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