Jul 13, 2016 | By Alec
As veteran makers will have doubtlessly noticed, 3D printing is becoming more and more accessible and affordable every year – which is resulting in an influx of new making talent of all ages. Taiwanese 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting, which specializes in low-cost and accessible hardware, is playing a significant role in that process as one of the world leaders in desktop 3D printing sales. And with their two latest releases – the da Vinci 3D pen and the multipurpose da Vinci Jr 1.0 3-in-1 3D printer – the company is clearly seeking to make 3D printing more accessible, affordable and open than ever before.
The Taiwan-based XYZprinting (owned by the Kinpo Group) is of course especially known for their basic 3D printers in the sub $500 range. One of the largest and most successful players in the 3D printing industry, they are especially focused on classrooms and private users around the world. These latest two additions to their product line were first announced back in January at the CES in Las Vegas, where they were part of a huge range of upcoming XYZprinting products. While they were partly overshadowed by more expensive and more capable machines – implying a shift in focus at the XYZprinting HQ – these latest two releases clearly show that at-home desktop making is still top of the agenda.
This is perhaps most clearly emphasized by the new da Vinci 3D Pen, which is now available for just $49.95. While certainly not the only 3D printing pen on the market, the Taiwanese engineers have clearly done everything they can to make freehand creating – anywhere and anytime – as easy as possible. “It enables freehand creations at a low cost without any need for a computer or complex software. Express yourself through borderless creation,” they say.
This should obviously make it appealing to teachers, designers and fans of arts and crafts, rather than to precise engineers, who don’t necessarily have any understanding of 3D printers. To appeal to them, the lightweight pen features a self-feeding filament mechanism, a one-click start and is a completely stand-alone device that relies on a power cord, rather than on batteries. The pen also needs just minutes to heat the filament, and can 3D print eleven differently colored PLA filaments, which are easy to refill.
It thus clearly emphasizes the company’s focus on the non-professional. “The release of the da Vinci 3D Pen has meaningful implications for the future of 3D printing and consumer technology overall,” said Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting and the New Kinpo Group. “3D printing technology is becoming more attainable for the average user who can now access advanced technology at a reasonable price.”
But slightly more experienced users are also in their sights. The da Vinci Jr 1.0 3-in-1 multipurpose 3D printer is clearly aimed at users who are want a little more than a very basic model, but without plundering their savings account. Available for just $549.95, this 3D printer can also act as a 3D scanner and laser engraver – opening up a wider range of making opportunities. It also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and auto-calibration features, to make sure users of all skill levels can easily use it.
But like all XYZprinting units, it is compact and plug-and-play. The 3D printing setup itself is rather basic, featuring a non-heated bed, a press-and-release extruder and an auto-feeding filament system. It only 3D prints 1.75mm PLA through a 0.4mm extruder, though an 0.3 diameter is available as an optional add-on – for a 50 micron resolution. “The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3-in-1 uses an intuitive 9-point calibration detection system that determines the distance between the extruder and the print bed. After it finishes detection, it adjusts the extruder accordingly to ensure that you have the best possible prints,” its designers add.
But much more appealing will be the 3D scanning unit, which features a 360-degree rotating platform for full object scanning. Taking just 5 minutes, it uses a high resolution laser to scan objects of a maximal 4.7×4.7 inch size. “Its built-in laser scanning module and optional laser engraver add-on fulfill the demand for 3D scanning and 3D printing all in one machine. The 3D scanner has a resolution of up to 0.25mm, meaning you can recreate your beloved items digitally in great detail,” they say.
The laser engraving setup, finally, is optional – costing an extra $199. But it’s power of 350mw to 500mw should be more than enough to engrave anything on cardboard, leather, wood, and plastic. Together with the laser scanning function, it should make this a very appealing 3D printer for use in classrooms and for makers with a little experience. XYZprinting will clearly continue to build on its reputation for low-cost, but appealing entry-level making tools in 2016 as well.
Posted in 3D Printer
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