Ease into 3D printing with the da Vinci Mini, a device that won’t break the bank

Looking for a 3D printer that won’t break the bank? You ought to be looking at the da Vinci Mini., a 21st century device that costs less than $300.

This slimmed-down version of a 3D printer makes use of fused filament fabrication technology to create small, 3D-printed objects off of 1.75mm filament at up to a 0.1 mm resolution. So if you’re looking to create chess pieces or other items that are around the same size, this may just do the trick.

With a print bed measuring just 5.9-by-5.9-by-5.9 inches, your imagination will be a bit confined, but the printer may be perfect for the home enthusiast who’s just getting into 3D printing. The da Vinci Mini connects wirelessly to your home or office Wi-Fi network for easy 3D printing just about anywhere. And if you use XYZware software from da Vinci maker XYZprinting, you can “experience its updated slicing precision and computing efficiency, shortening the preparation time required before printing.”

XYZprinting has a digital gallery that includes more than 4,500 free 3D models. Nine categories ranging from toys to art pieces to educational items will help hone a first-time printer’s skills, and perhaps catalyze some larger projects in the future.

And if you’re buying a da Vinci Mini for your classroom, XYZprinting is here to help. “Students and teachers get free access to our online curriculum education program, XYZprinting STEAM, which helps K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics educators to incorporate 3D printing into their classroom,” the company says. The da Vinci Mini can also be used to teach young 3D-printing enthusiasts about sustainability. After all, all the filaments used by this printer are made with polylactic acid plastics derived from corn starch, which means they’re biodegradable and nontoxic.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.