Factor Reviews: XYZ Printing’s da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D printer

XYZ Printing’s higher-end family 3D printer is a richly featured, robust machine at a reasonable price, although there are a few flaws that stop it from being truly perfect. Some good design features make it generally easy to use, and with both WiFi and cabled connectivity it’s suitable for almost any situation.

The da Vinci 1.1 Plus does not lead in print quality – there are better print results out there – but in general we were very happy with the results, and the majority of users would be unlikely to think the machine was lacking in this area.

The touchscreen interface is generally easy to use, and it’s not hard to get going on your own print, which should make it an appealing option for families and less techy types.

The machine also features a built-in gallery of downloadable designs to print, and comes with software to allow you to sculpt your own designs. This makes it a great option for newcomers to 3D printing and families looking to get their kids involved in the whole process.

The price is also very reasonable given the features, at €799 or $699.

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However, the machine could come with better arranged guides; these are hidden away on a memory stick, in a mixture of pdfs and videos, making it sometimes difficult to locate a specific issue.  There are also some rather poor translations on the printer’s touch screen interface, which don’t help the problem.

The da Vinci 1.1 Plus is a excellent, if a little flawed 3D printer, and well worth considering if you’re looking for a capable first machine.

Factor reviews: Elliot Brown’s Canford watch

Elliot Brown describes its Canford watch as “quietly handsome, for those who don’t want their watch to shout too loudly” and as having “the elegance of a classic pilot’s watch but with broader shoulders”.

I would describe the Canford as a watch on steroids, or a watch for people who think a Hummer truck is a practical city car.

It’s big, brash and brutish, and I have to say I’m a fan.

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Images courtesy of Elliot Brown

Like anyone or anything on steroids, the Canford is overly concerned with strength.

For instance, the watch’s case is made from solid marine grade stainless steel that’s pressure tested twice during construction, then placed in a water-filled pressure vessel at 200m. Both of the watch’s crowns have triple seals and aggressive knurling for maximum grip, but Elliot Brown insist their smoothed edges  “won’t wreck the cuff of your favourite shirt or wetsuit”. The Canford’s case is bolted down, not threaded, for maximum shock absorption.

Perhaps the best way I can describe the Canford is to say that it’s essentially the Land Rover of watches. While you might see a Land Rover on suburban roads, really it wants to be roaming in the wilderness. The Canford is the same.

While Elliot Brown wants you to believe that this can be worn to the office and on your weekend rock-climbing expedition; the simple truth is it can’t. It’s heavy and slightly cumbersome, so it makes typing a more difficult task than it needs to be.

Image courtesy of Elliot Brown

Image courtesy of Elliot Brown

But why would you want to wear the Canford to the office anyway? Considering the watch was put through as stringent a training program as an actual marine, it was made with the adventurer and the adrenaline junkie in mind. And if you don’t feel that you fit into those categories then the Canford is big and tough enough to demand that you change to suit its needs.

There are a lot of things to dislike about the Canford, it’s big, it’s cumbersome and priced between £350 and £500 it’s not exactly cheap, but it is a watch that demands attention and will make even the smallest wearer feel like a powerlifter.

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