Small businesses and hobbyists on a budget have a new, relatively affordable 3D printing option with XYZprinting's da Vinci Mini 3D printer.
Announced today (Sept. 15) after a preview at CES earlier this year, the $290 da Vinci Mini costs a fraction of what full-sized 3D printers will set you back. The printer comes with XYZprinting's proprietary software that lets users design their own projects or send an existing XYZprinting design from the company's database to the printer.
The da Vinci Mini's compact size and price tag makes it a natural fit for classrooms, where it's used to teach science and math, XYZprinting says. But the company also touts it as a home printer for making toys, art projects or household items like a vase. The da Vinci Mini connects to a Mac or PC over Wi-Fi.
The da Vinci Mini has an open, aluminum printing area, which XYZprinting says disperses heat. The printer can build objects measuring up to 5.9 inches squared.
The BPA-free, PLA plastic filament that the printer uses is made from sugar cane, corn starch and other natural ingredients, eliminating that burnt-plastic smell you may associate with 3D printing, XYZ spokesman Ash Marin told Tom's Guide. In addition to having a sweeter smell, the printing materials are also non-toxic.
Other 3D printers look sleeker and can handle more elaborate print jobs, but they also cost upward of $1,000. For classrooms and homes, the da Vinci Mini may be a more appropriate choice for handling smaller projects.