Pork Flump Duck LLC

Picked up a Monoprice Select Mini v2 to use while my bigger printer is florpin’ away at long jobs, and damned if the little bastard doesn’t do a tremendous job. I mean for, what, $160 on sale? Nice. The last time I bought a “cheapie second 3d printer” it was the Da Vinci almost three years ago, which I hated for reasons that were mostly, admittedly, ideological. Now I am doing dumb shit with much greater efficiency. Thanks, China!

Moltustulates: A Porcine-Gelatine Love Story

The XYZ Da Vinci 1 annoys me so much. Technically the XYZ hardware is capable (although it came with a misaligned X-axis), but the catch is that the software is slow and terrible. Converting a 3D object into a printable file is a pretty big job, where good control of nozzle temperature, nozzle speed, infill, print head positioning, and so on needs to be taken into account. And the problem with the Da Vinci software is that it just goes “buddy, that shit sounds complicated”, and skips it.

R. Monkeys was okay with it being right next to the bed for some reason?  R. Monkeys was okay with it being right next to the bed for some reason?

You can use your own software, although to do so you have to screw around. Likewise, you can use your own ABS filament, not the XYZ cartridges, but only if you screw around. It’s not difficult screwing around, but that’s beside the point.

I get that at this point consumer 3D printing is a Sisyphean hobby in which one should expect to screw around, but even for $400 it’d be nice if “You have to screw around!” wasn’t essentially written on the box. I’ll give them the cartridge thing, since I never had a problem with ’em and XYZ has to make money some how, but the software is just the worst, with no profitable reason to be that awful. The printer is a nice unit for a good price, but it couldn’t print a single model downloaded straight from XYZ without messing up a part or the whole, using the included software.

It was a fun thing to try, and practically-speaking it probably requires less screwing around than a lot of other 3D printers, but I just didn’t like the fact that what you’re having to fight is a conscious decision on the part of the manufacturer. It’s like if you’re reading a book, and somebody takes it and throws it on the ground. If that person is a toddler, it’s like, hey, that’s toddler stuff. But if that person is 33, they’re just an asshole. And the software makes the Da Vinci an asshole.

The cartridges are proprietary because XYZ is clearly undercutting other manufacturers on the printer’s price, and wants to make money like HP does on printer ink. But I don’t get why they go to such lengths to prevent you from using other software. You’d think if they got a reputation as a good printer where you can bring your own software, that’d be great for them — they get a good reputation and they don’t have to invest in making their awful software anymore. But they insist on trying to lock you out, so they’re getting a bad reputation and they have to invest at least a token non-zero effort in the software. I don’t get it.