Are your kids interested in STEM projects? Check out our review of the da Vinci miniMaker 3D printer, and see why your home needs this awesome teaching tool!
STEM education is all the rage around the world. Oftentimes students are so focused on test taking strategies that they lose sight of thinking outside of the box. With the growing job market in science, technology, engineering, and math it is vital to make sure that our children are ready for careers in these fields. According to one study, STEM related jobs are predicted to grow exceptionally in the next 4 years compared to all other occupations.
The Minimaker 3D Printer
With that said, what better way to expand the minds of our youth then through 3D printing. Students can create a model and then develop it through a 3D printer. With the XYZprinting Mini da Vinci 3D printer this is now possible at a reasonable cost.
This is a partnered post. All opinions are my own.
Parents and teachers can use this printer to help their children develop working prototypes of cars, bridges, figurines, and much more. It is so neat to see your creation come to life as the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini works. It’s educational and fun to follow the steps the printer takes as your creation becomes a reality.
Our thoughts on the da Vinci miniMaker
The miniMaker printer is a beginner model, so it is much simpler to use. XYZprinting offers really thorough tutorial videos to help make the set-up process a breeze. I highly recommend watching the unboxing video to follow the steps on setting up the printer, then watch the first-time printing video for your next steps. Before printing, you will need to download their software from the site so that you can print the models.
Now you are ready to print! Explore the 3D gallery at xyzprinting.com to select from thousands of models ranging in categories from art to gadgets to toys. Once you’ve chosen a model, download it for free to your computer and upload it to the XYZ software. We first attempted to print a rocket. The base of the rocket was 4 skinny legs and after a short time the legs would give out and not hold the weight of the model, but with the support of XYZprinting you can learn different techniques to make your models work. There’s also a helpful extended video that can walk you through the entire program.
In the end, I chose to make a business card holder for my desk. I just ordered new business cards, and thought that would be a neat first item to create. The filament used to make the 3D models is pretty cool. It’s actually eco-friendly and non-toxic, which is a plus since families and children will be using the product.
The process does take quite some time, depending on the model you choose to build. It can take anywhere from minutes to hours. We are pretty impressed by this beginner 3D printer and think it would make a great teaching tool and weekend project for any family. As a word of caution, the printer extruder does get hot, so please make sure little hands stay off the printer as it’s working.
We are really looking forward to making future models once our calendar frees up a bit. October has been a pretty busy month for us. We are also interested in using the XYZmaker software where we can create our own designs too.
da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer Features:
- Compact and Productive: the da Vinci Mini is 30 % smaller than the da Vinci Jr. 1.0, but is still retains the same build size of 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9”
- Eco-friendly and Safe: the da Vinci miniMaker only prints with XYZprinting’s biodegradable, non-toxic PLA filament. This filament has gone through various tests to ensure that it is DEHP-free and Heavy Metal-free for your safety.
- Auto-calibration Function: utilizes a new 9-point calibration detection that adjusts the print bed level along the Z-axis. Just run the calibration test and watch the printer adjust itself.
- Comes will a protective case to ensure the printing area is safe for everyone.
What 3D model would you make with the da Vinci miniMaker?