The DaVinci 1.0 Pro is a really good looking printer for the price tag. The specification shows ABS, PLA, PETG and wood to be printed with some interesting accuracy. One of my neighbor was selling a bright new one he won in a waffle and I got it for a good price, could not say no.
Unpacking the printer is a bit of a job, it is really well packed ! There is foam and polystyrene everywhere so the printer is not damaged during transportation. The printer is delivered with a cartridge of filament ABS, an extra PLA refill and some handy tools to clean the nozzle, extruder and filament problems.
The setup is fairly easy, even if the documentation is not that great. If you know a bit your way around a 3d printer, it is fairly easy, if not it could be challenging. However, as it is a “pro” printer, most of the operation can be done using the screen instructions and buttons. The first thing the printer should do is to level the bed and it dos it fairly well and without any issues. After following the instruction to load the filament, you are pretty reading to go.
The bed surface is an aluminum plate and will not allow to print on it, nothing sticks ! Fortunately, with the printer is 3 printing surface delivered with it. The surface are simply a large tape type like the blue tape. Easy to install and easy to remove. However, it is really difficult to get the tape surface on the heated bed without any wrinkle and it shows on the prints. For a “pro” printer, I would have expected some more professional printing surface that could be removed and put back in like the magnetic printing surface.
The connection to the printer can be made using the USB cable or using WIFI. To set up the WIFI, you will have to use the XYZ software with the USB cable first to setup the WIFI connection. After that you can connect to the printer using the WIFI.
The software is unfortunately a proprietary software and this is pretty much the only option you have to print. Simplify3D also works but only when connected with the printer using the USB cable. The software is really basic and offer almost not possibilities to change any parameters, it might be really nice for beginner for not for a “pro” printer.
The filament is stored in a proprietary cartridge with a microchip at the bottom, defining the type and quality left in the cartridge. You can by refill or new cartridge from XYZ printing but they are quite expensive, making this solution really nice but not really interesting if you are going to print a lot. The refill supplied is delivered with a new microchip so you can swap the filament in the cartridge. There is also an entry at the back of the printer to allow the usage of third party filament making the printer interesting if you do not want to get stuck with the printer filament. You will need a spool holder as the standard spool do not fit the cartridge compartment and required to be located outside the printer ( would have been nice !)
Using the ABS supplied with the printer, I printed a Benchy and a Voron Cube, the results are really descent and surprising to me. I decided to try the PLA filament delivered with the printer. The results were definitely not as good as the ABS and some part of the Benchy were showing cooling issues as the hotend do not have part cooling fan ! Both materials were making trouble at the first 2 or 3 layers as you could hear the extruder having issue with pushing the filament through.
After deciding to try the PLA filament I have from another supplier, the problems started. The PLA material delivered with the printer is really brittle. During the unloading process, the filament broke inside the extruder, blocking the printer. There is no option to set manually the temperature to try to remove the filament, I decided to simply push the filament inside the tube and hotend using my filament by starting a new loading procedure. It worked with not without having to push by end and using tricks.
Printing with the PLA I have a Benchy and Voron cube, the parts came out absolutely horrible. The filament was over extruded and the extruder was clicking all the time. I tried to see in the software what I could change to make it better but except changing the printing temperature and the extrusion ratio, it did not improve the parts. The extrusion ratio can only change by max +/- 20% and to be honest, it did not really improved the clicking problem or part quality.
Using simpify3D to connect to the printer and try to improve the printing issue, I manage to get some of the clicking away but still the parts were not acceptable. It is definitely not due to the filament as I am printing a my Sapphire Pro with it and everything is fine. I tried to change the acceleration, pressure advance and many other things but the firmware is refusing any commands other than the one from the software. Th software is generating a special file format making using G code from other slicer impossible as you can not put is on an SDcard, it has to go through the software !
To summarize, the printer has some great potential as it is nicely build with a full enclosure. However, the usage of the proprietary filament and software makes life really hard on you if you want o deviate from the XYZ Printing ecosystem. Even with the software supplied, the print quality is average and can definitely improved. If you are looking for a first printer with a pro feeling and nothing to tweak, this could be your pick, keeping in mind it is still a cheap printer in price and in print quality, but might be a good start if you are ok with the supplied ecosystem.
Personally, I do not see the results as acceptable for this kind of printer. I will definitely improve the printer to make it way better, the first step will be to replace the main board to a more general board to allow usage of open source slicer software and allow the operation remotely and be able to store the GCode files on the printer.