XYZ Da Vinci 3D Printer

img davinci

XYZ Printing Da Vinci 1.0

I went and bought a 3D Printer last week (July 14) from Kogan and it has some nice things for the price and some not so nice things for the price, the over all thought is the printer is a bargain. Considering how far it had travelled, I was thankfull that there were only a few things that happened to it and that could be attributed as transit damage, the important thing I noticed was the head floating freely. They had managed to break the tape which was suposed to be holding it in position, the device refused to print straight out of the box. I looked through the menu system and saw there was a table calibrate option available so I did it and made some adjustments and then it would allow printing.

The very noticeable thing is the Da Vinci only uses it’s own filament and has it hard coded into a chip at the base of the filament cartridge which tells it how much is left and the temperatures for the extruder and the bed, they do not make it easy to try other filaments out or try other temperature settings. Not sure if everything works in the Mac that works in Windows.

img put test

Da Vinci Filament

The software that it uses to generate print with appears to be somewhat home grown from the slic3r open source family and does not take too kindly to anyone fiddling around with it.

Now what sort of mods can I do to it to make it better?

What I have found out so far:

  1. There is an SD Card inside the printer (4mb) it’s taped over so I can’t be sure of the size.
  2. A Toshiba Air SD Card (8 Mb) can be installed and modified to work with Wireless in place of the standard SD Card.
  3. The board on the filament box can be programmed with a 3rd party programmer that has been developed see
  4. A number of different filament manufacturers can then be used if the filament board has been programmed. I have used the Mankati 1.75 in Blue, Black and Red without problems.
  5. XYZ Printing software uses a slightly different version of Sli3r.
  6. XYZ Printing changes a few gcodes at the beginning of the files and then transfers them to a .3W file and that file is what is printed.
  7. Someone is working on getting the printer to use open software to slice and print a model, then there would be no need to get around it.
  8. Forums for the Da Vinci 3D Printer are and 
  9. A good source of .stl files is
  10. Looks as though someone wanted to tighten up the software with the release of 1.1.J. Could not force a downgrade with my Mac, but I put an older version of the program on my Windows 8.1 system and then forced a downgrade to get it printing on 1.1.G. Now the filament resetter will work properly again.
  11. The lower clip on the front door just broke, the door does not fit properly anyway and I would say that this is just another product of poor design.
  12. Twice today I have seen an error 0010 on the printer. Turned the printer off, exited the XYZ Printing application and then started it again and continued printing. Saw it again today (16 Aug 14).

I have ordered one of the filament cartridge programmers, I have been using Mankato in colours of Black, Blue and Red in a roll of 1Kg and it has been performing very well at the standard Da Vinci ABS temperatures.  I have now got about 40 meters left on this one before I will need to do something, down to none now and the printer knows it has gone. I have not used the cartridge filament (it just thinks I have). Waiting for the mailman to come with a nice little parcel and then my printing media problems will be pretty well sorted.

The filament resetter has arrived and we are now busily printing again :) with 3rd party Mankati filament.

I use slic5r because I have a very fine control over how the job is competed.

3D Drawing

I use OpenSCAD to do my drawings. It’s open source as the name suggests and with a little bit of playing around with the software package and downloading some SCAD files from it is surprising easy to use with the samples that I have collected. One important point is to be sure that objects are in the best orientation for 3D printing, they definitely print better in one way that ensures minimum overhang.


To print a 3D file I get a file in .stl format and load it into slic3r where I can make adjustments (if it is necessary) then export the file as g-code. I then start the program 010 Editor with the 18 line XYZ Print Header file loaded and all of the contents selected (command-C). The new g-code program is selected and loaded and the first 20 lines of the g-code is highlighted, command-V is then pressed and the content is copied from the XYZ Print Header into the g-code file. The g-code is then saved with same name to overwrite the original. I then start the XYZ Printing software and drag and drop the g-code filename into the workspace and select the printing icon and sit back and wait for my 3D object to appear.

The Header That The G-Code File Needs

; filename = composition.3w
; machine = daVinciF10
; material = abs
; layer_height = 0.4
; total_layers = 30
; total_filament = 501.40
; extruder = 1
G21 ; set units to millimeters
M190 S90 ; wait for bed temperature to be reached
M104 S210 ; set temperature
M109 S210 ; wait for temperature to be reached
G90 ; use absolute coordinates
G92 E0
M82 ; use absolute distances for extrusion
G1 F1800.000 E-1.00000
G92 E0

Note: The temperatures are controlled by this header file, so if you want to try some variations this is where they can be set.

Printing Take Two

I can still do a print using the XYZ Printing software and just slic3r to position the print job and add parts etc to .stl filenames and then just drag the .stl file over the workspace and drop it.


The heatbed is not heating and some quick investigation has shown that one of the wires has become disconnected from the base of the heatbed. You cannot print anything if the heatbed does not get warm first. After a few emails and photographs to the supplier they are going to repair the thing under warranty.

Finishing 3D Printed Parts

This takes just a little bit of know how and really does not cost a lot of money to get set up. You will need a rice cooker (anywhere from $12 to $25) or steal the one that your wife uses and some Acetone in really small quantities. Turn the steam cooker on with the warm setting selected, wait for about 5 minutes then place about a tablespoon of Acetone in the rice container put your print jobs on the wire strainer and place it in the rice container for about a minute. You will get a wonderful shiny gloss applied to your printouts, you may have to turn them over to get complete coverage. Thats all you need to do.

Home Made Printer Filament Roller

 bobcrockford at gmail dot com © Bob Crockford 2013