2015/01/24

3D printers – about time I got one eh?

Since I've been selling a 3D printer program (PhotoToMesh), since 2010, more than 4 years ago, I thought it might be time to get hold of a 3D printer myself, instead of relying on indulgent friends and beta testers. Here in Italy it was cheaper to by from a local distributor than Amazon.it, since if the distributor has a shop nearby, you can save 50 Euros on delivery by going to pick it up yourself. So it cost 599 Euros for my XYZPrinting DaVinci 1 3D Printer.

Foolishly I had not thought to read the measurements of it, and when I saw the box in the shop I thought: Ah, what do I do now? I had to push down the back the seats of my little Kalos car to get the box to fit in it. I found a place for it at home, but with difficulty.

Now when I buy things that cost that much I always feel a bit sick in my stomach. Am I doing the right thing? Will it work? Is it a waste of money?

I decided to set it up the following morning, when I'd be bright and intelligent. Ok, stop smiling wryly, when I'd be brighter and less stupid than I am in the evening.

I carefully unpacked the printer and got the demo print going, for this there was no need of a PC. And imagine my dismay when the big plastic box (full of motors, pulleys, an extruder and a hot print bed) started flashing at me and making an annoyed sound.

"There I told you!" I said to myself. "It was a waste of money! Now look!"

The first ever print with this machine had stopped within 10 minutes and the display panel was telling me:


Ah. Error 0040. Issue 0040. Of course. Now what? None of the XYZPrinting documents were of any help. The XYZPrinting site was not of any help. 

Only when I went to SoliForum  (a 3d printing forum) did I get help from other owners. They told me to take the back off the DaVinci printer and make sure the SD card was in correctly. In pictures:


I imagine that the tape over the SD holder is there to stop the SD card actually falling off the main board. During shipping the box must have got knocked about a bit. The chip felt a bit loose so I took it out and put it back in again, and voila! It works! Thanks SoliForum!

So, like the VEHO USB mircroscope I've posted about here, some decent hardware is let down severely by poor documentation.

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