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XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro - Review 2020


Although its $499.95 price tag puts it just within our budget 3D printer category, the XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro has several features that make it more akin to higher-priced, intermediate-level 3D printers. These include a large build area; the ability to go beyond PLA filament and print with ABS, HIPS, and PETG plastics; support for both XYZprinting-branded and third-party filaments, and both Wi-Fi and USB connectivity. These premium features, however, are offset by some hurdles we encountered in our testing. We struggled with a frequently onerous print-bed leveling process, inconsistent print quality, and getting objects printed with ABS filament to remain adhered to the print bed during the printing process.


One Chunky 3D Printer

Unlike many of the sub-$500 3D printers we have reviewed, the XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro is a bruiser. It measures 20 by 18.4 by 22 inches (HWD), weighs 50.7 pounds, and arrives in an enormous box. You will want at least one other person to help you move it into place.

You will not want to share a desk with the da Vinci 1.0 Pro, which would be most at home on a large, sturdy table or a workbench. It comes with a large amount of packing material (plastic bag, styrofoam, tape, cardboard, plastic supports, and cable ties) that must be removed during setup.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

The da Vinci 1.0 Pro goes beyond many budget 3D printers in supporting ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol), and HIPS (high-impact polystyrene) filaments, as well as PLA (polylactic acid), antibacterial PLA, and wood-composite PLA. The printer supports both XYZprinting and third-party filaments; selected XYZprinting spools up to 600g fit into a special cartridge, which in turn fits into a bay on top of the printer. The filament guide tube is already installed and stays firmly in place, which wasn’t the case when I recently reviewed the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

It was easy to load the cartridge of ABS filament that came with my da Vinci 1.0 Pro test unit—once the cartridge is in place, you press a lever and insert the free end of the filament into an opening that leads to the filament guide tube. A chip reader identifies the filament type and characteristics. Then you press the Load command on the LCD, and the printer feeds the filament into the extruder. When the molten filament comes out the nozzle, you press OK and you’re done.

For third-party filaments, you will need to use an external spool holder, which can be bought or constructed—it can even be 3D-printed. For non-XYZprinting filaments, you can adjust the desired extruder, print-bed, and unloading temperatures by hand using the LCD.

As befitting its jumbo size, the da Vinci 1.0 Pro has a large build volume, measuring 7.9 by 7.9 by 7.9 inches (HWD), and has a heated aluminum, non-removable print bed. This is larger than the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro’s bed, which measures 6.9 by 6.9 by 6.9 inches, the Flashforge Finder’s bed (5.5 by 5.5 by 5.5 inches), or the Monoprice Cadet 3D Printer’s bed (a mere 4.1 by 3.9 by 3.9 inches), all of which are unheated. The Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer has a tiny print bed (4.7 by 4.7 by 4.7 inches), but it is heated.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

The fact that the da Vinci 1.0 Pro’s build plate is heated makes it especially suited to printing with ABS filament. A cartridge containing a spool of ABS was included with the printer. With an unheated print bed, the bottom corners of objects printed with ABS tend to curl upward, and frequently the objects come loose from the bed during printing, ruining the prints.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

As it turned out, even the heated print bed, covered with an included tape square, one of the printer’s test objects, named Demo—a rectangular plaque with the words “3D Printer” appearing in relief—pulled off of the build plate the first two times I tried to print it. It was only after I covered the print bed’s tape with glue from a glue stick (not included) that the print stayed put. However, the heated print bed dried the glue, causing the object to adhere too firmly to the tape—to remove the print, I had to remove the tape square and then tear it free of the object, damaging the tape. Fortunately, the printer comes with three tape squares, and when you have run through them, a wide roll of blue painter’s tape or masking tape should work fine as a substitute.


Alas, Calibration Issues

When I had pulled the tape off, I became concerned that I had misaligned the print bed, so I used the LCD’s controls to launch the da Vinci 1.0 Pro’s calibration routine. Next to the extruder nozzle is a height sensor; the extruder assembly navigates to each of the build plate’s four corners and descends until the sensor touches a small metal plate.

If the print bed is properly aligned, the words “Perfect Level” appear onscreen, and you are ready to go. If not, the words “Unlevel Bed. Adjust now?” appear. There are three knobs or screws—one in front of the print bed, and one to each side—for adjusting the bed’s height, and you are instructed onscreen how far to turn each knob, and in which direction. When you have adjusted all three, the printer will recheck the calibration.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

Sometimes this method worked well, but in several cases I would get the “Unlevel Bed” message 10 or more times in a row, and the onscreen instruction were confusing. For example, I might be instructed to turn the right-hand knob 8.7 steps (with each step being a quarter turn) to the right, and on the next attempt, to turn the same knob 6.3 steps to the left, so it didn’t seem to be zeroing in on good calibration.

The first time this happened, I contacted an XYZprinting rep, who told me that this was a known issue, that a quick trick was to home the axes (using another routine accessible through the LCD), and that I could also try turning the knobs while a job was printing, eyeballing the print bed to see if my actions improved the calibration.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

Homing the axes seemed the simpler method, and indeed it worked of the time (once the axes were homed, I would run the calibration routine and get “Perfect Level”), but there were times when I kept getting the “Unlevel Bed” message, and I would spend well over an hour in turning the knobs to try to level the bed before it finally worked. The process is convoluted, and we live in an age now when even many entry-level 3D printers have automatic print-bed leveling that seldom requires manual intervention. My best advice with the da Vinci 1.0 Pro is to be very gentle in removing printed objects from the bed to avoid having to recalibrate.


Connectivity and Software

Connectivity is via a USB or Wi-Fi connection to a computer. I did all of my printing over a USB connection, first loading a file in the XYZware for Pro software, processing (resizing, and so on) the object to be printed, which you can monitor on a representation of the build plate onscreen (see below).

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

You then set a resolution. Supported resolutions range from 20 to 400 microns; I printed all the test objects at 0.2mm, or 200 microns. You then slice the file (the software breaks it into layers for printing) and launch the print. XYZware for Pro seems more versatile than the basic XYZprint, with a wider range of settings, though you can also use the Cura open-source platform if you prefer.

I printed 10 test objects, in addition to three misprints (the two Demo objects that pulled free of the print bed, plus our geometric test object, which pulled free of the print bed when the print was nearly complete). Here’s a few of them…

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro

Print quality was a mixed bag—some objects turned out well, but the da Vinci 1.0 Pro had problems with others. I noticed it had some trouble printing overhangs. Our jack o’lantern test object lost much of its upper lip, and in another print, a jack o’lantern held by a Baby Yoda was mangled, although the Yoda itself turned out fine. In our geometric object, although the print wasn’t quite complete, the shapes it did print out were well formed.

Note that all my testing was with the ABS cartridge that XYZprinting provided with the printer, and ABS is trickier to work with than the PLA we use in most of our testing. (PLA is less likely to pull off the build plate, for one thing.)


Conclusion: Patience Is a (Printing) Virtue

With a modest price, a large build volume, the ability to print with multiple filament types as well as third-party filaments, and Wi-Fi as well as USB connectivity, the XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro is for people looking to upgrade from an entry-level 3D printer to an intermediate model. Although it is capable of high-quality printing, in our testing its print quality proved inconsistent, and the oft-onerous calibration process was a frequent source of frustration.

Although the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro has a smaller build area than the da Vinci 1.0 Pro, can’t print with ABS filament, and had some operational issues of its own in our testing (with a guide tube that pulled loose on several occasions), all in all it was a more pleasant and hassle-free experience. We would recommend that model over this one, or one of the other budget units in our roundup of the best budget 3D printers, notably the da Vinci Mini, if you can tolerate its smaller build area.

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