My first Printer was the DaVinci 1.0 3d printer from XYZ, which is still a model that is available two years later. Overall, it is a decent completely built printer for the cost but it is far from a great machine. My purchase was made without doing much of any research two years ago because a buddy of mine had and I thought it would be perfect having the same machine so that we could help each other.
The first semi big print was an Nintendo 64 shrine file that I had found on Thingiverse. I believe I printed it in abs (whatever filament they had given me) and I could not tell you the settings I used for the temperature. I definitely should have done some homework because it ended up being over a 24 hour print. This was not from it truly being that large of a print but me being stupid and using 100% infill on an item that did not need to be sturdy at all.
Well 24 hours passes by and I go to remove the print… it’s stuck. I pry, nothing. I ended up taking the whole glass platform out and I believe it came down to a hammer and a flat head to get the thing off. The print was “okay” not great. I again, not knowing what I was doing, did not see after being sliced it removed part of the N in the model. On top of that, there went most of my filament from that one dumb print.
After that I did some more digging, and began to get my temps dialed in while practicing on really small prints. Once my spool ran out, I went online to order another for my DaVinci 1.0 when I found out that this printer used a proprietary filament that had to be purchased from XYZ at quite a mark-up. Me being the type of person I am I knew that was not going to fly so I began to search for alternate methods to bypass this.
This is when I discovered the ability to flash Repetier Host firmware onto the 3d printer overwriting the stock firmware. I was a bit scared I was going to end up with a giant paperweight but I proceeded. Luckily, all went well and my machine was now free from the chains that XYZ had kept it under. I was thrilled and ordered a few spools online.
DaVinci 1.0 Problems
Fast forward a month or two and the printer starts giving me errors. Every time the machine is heating up I get a temp sense error. After digging through some forums I found out that this is a pretty common error with this printer and was relieved to know I was not alone. I tried just about everything over the next 3-4 weeks and nothing worked even contacting XYZ that did very little to help.
I put this printer in my closet and there it sat for months, I was reminded of it every time I would grab a shirt, sitting there collecting dust in the corner of my closet. This whole time I was still following 3d printing videos, forums, Reddit, and learning more and more although I was not printing myself. I then decided to do something I thought was pretty crazy but I was desperate and people do crazy things when they are desperate.
My Frankenstein Davinci Printer
I decided as a last ditch effort I would completely convert the machine’s electronics. Basically I would unplug and cut every cable and swap the machine out to a different board. So I began, ramps board and arduino in hand, following a few photos I found buried deep in a forum post. I cannot lie, it was difficult, very difficult for me. Mostly because I did not really know much about the printer or how it all worked.
I believe once I went at it I was able to complete it in a week or two of working on it a couple hours here and there. Configuring the marlin firmware manually for the first time was interesting to but exciting at the same time. Moment of truth, I fired it up and boom no errors and after a bit of calibration it was printing better than ever. Fitted with its new Pico hotend I was back in business.
I still have this machine, two years later. It prints extremely well it really does, but as you can tell it was a hell of a journey getting it to this point. I don’t think this would be my first recommendation to someone looking to get into 3d printers with the various other all in one prebuilt printers available on the market in this budget range. All insanity aside, this printer will always be special to me because it is the printer that got me into 3d printing, and boy have I enjoyed the ride.