da Vinci 1.0a Test Print

XYZPrinting da Vinci 1.0a

da Vinci 1.0aI was very excited to get this printer when I saw it on letgo.  The price was negotiable and I was able to pick it up for $200.00.  It had only been used a grand total of 2 hours according to the Stats. It was one of those, “I have to have” Christmas gifts for their son, whom after getting it, barley touched it.

What I really wanted was the ability to print ABS without building my own enclosure for the Ender 3, and this thing fit that description perfectly.

I started doing my research and found out that it has a proprietary Cartridge that requires you to purchase from them at about double the cost of normal material.  Thankfully there are a couple work arounds for that.  I’ll get to that in a bit. da Vinci 1.0a Test Print

I know the big question is how does it print.  It did Great!!  I was very happy with how the test print turned out and I printed a Va E-ZPass Flex Holder I modeled after another great design from Thingieverse.com.



Va E-ZPass Flex HolderBut, it wasn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows… When I tried to print something that had a bigger foot print, the extruder was making this terrible clicking noise when it would get to the left rear of the print bed.  I noticed that it was extruding any filament and thought the line was getting caught on something, but nothing was interfering with it.

Turing to google I found others with the same issue and the solution seamed to be very simple.  The Print head was to close to the Print Bed, not allowing plastic to extrude from the end causing it to backup, causing the horrible clicking noise.  The Solution… The Print Bed needed to be calibrated.  I’m thinking, OK I have 2 other printers, I know how to level a Print Bed.  HA…  The calibration method on this thing SUCKS!  You can follow a YouTube video, and at least it tells you how to do it, but man is it hard.  After about 1 1/2 hours  of fiddling and making adjustments, I finally got the “Success” on the screen.

But wait… I started the job and again, I heard the clicking noise.  So I decided to make the adjustments as it was printing :-).  Why didn’t I think of this the first time (slaps hand to forehead)?  The clicking noise stopped, the extruder laid down the plastic and off it went.  REAL SUCCESS!!

I know I bought this used and I knew it may not be perfect, but the process in which you calibrate this thing, still falls on XYZPrinting.  It goes through so many gyrations before it actually starts to calibrate and then when you think it’s done, it gyrates some more and then it shows you the results.  What a pain in the butt!

Now for that proprietary cartridge, make sure you read all the way through everything below before you start….  XYZPrinting is trying to follow the the Printer model of Sell the printer cheap and rake you over the coals for the coast of the ink, toner or plastic in this case.  This is extortion in my opinion and this should be outlawed.  Luckily for us noobs, some ingenuous folks over at instructables.com have figured out how to “reset” the cartridge.

The Filament hack…

Start with watching this video, it has great information and also shows you how to actually watch it program the chip so you can see if it was a good flash or not.

You will need the Arduino Software, an Arduino and some wire.  You can also print a holder for the chip from thingiverse that helps in resetting it that works great.  Be sure to use the _240_Filament.ino file.  I tried the other 2 files and I think they are missing a line of code around line 344 (the bold section below) which is right after it sets the bed temp.  Looking through things, I noticed this extra line of code is in the _240_Filament.ino file and it works every time.

void setup() {
pinMode(13, OUTPUT);

FYI, My printer is the da Vinci 1.0a with Firmware 2.1.4 and a  serial number starting with 3F1***… and this reset method still works great.

The other option is to flash open source firmware.  Things that I have read, make it sound like that option was no longer available for my version of the printer as XYZPrinting closed that hole and may be preventing the firmware from being flashed and if I messed up, there was no going back.  So, the first options works great for me, so why mess with success :-).

1 last thing I will mention, the XYZware slicing software that comes with it is terrible.  It is far to basic.  From what I could see you can not edit the supports which I think is a must.  That alone, I am so glad I purchased Simplify3d when I got my Ender 3.  Getting it to communicate over the USB is sometimes a pain, but once you have the profile setup, you can just click the Tools… Machine Control Panel and “Connect”.  99% of the time that works great.  Once in a while I need to turn the printer off and on again bu it’s normally good to go after that.

Overall, for $200 bucks I can’t complain.  If I had spent the original $500 when this thing first came out, I probably would have returned it.

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