On the hunt for a noobie friendly 3D printer to level up your cosplay game with? I tried making accessories for my cosplay projects using the NEVA from Dagoma- which is sold as an easy to use, beginner friendly 3D printer. Just how easy can it be? Read on to find out!
While I’ve bought 3D printed cosplay items from etsy, I’ve never 3D printed anything before. With work and a constant series of projects, I rarely have the time or energy to stop and fiddle with new tech. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m at a stage in my life where I value simplicity & ease of use so highly that if I need to read a long manual to use something, I’m over it. When Dagoma approached me about trying the NEVA, a one button 3D printer that supposedly a kid could use I was cautiously optimistic. 3D printers as far as I’ve heard are fiddly, temperamental machines. The NEVA is sold for less than the price of my sewing machine and has a pretty decent sized print area of 7”x8”. Was this really going to earn that ‘easy’ label? Worth giving it a shot!
The NEVA arrived fully assembled aside from the arms and printer head, which magnet in place in less than a minute. The IKEA-like instruction guides walked me through the basics of prep and calibration. Okay, good start. Cura, the software bundled with the NEVA was free to download. I imported a file I made in a few minutes via Tinkercad. The Cura options are pretty straightforward. Select the material you are using and it will auto-set the temperature for the machine to print with. You set the density of the print, print quality, and other options like print supports, color changes or enhanced adhesion. It gives you a time estimate for how long your print should take to complete. Great, now what? You save the file Cura creates to a memory card. KEEP THE DEFAULT NAME! This was the one mistake I made. I named it something cute and nothing happened when I put it in the printer. Google-sensei told me what I did wrong. After renaming it to the default file name Cura exports with, I was ready to start printing.
I didn’t have a spool holder for the PLA material yet so there was some improvising done with a toilet paper holder. (It actually worked really well…)
Put the memory card in and press the one button this machine has. Pray a little.
Then it prints!
My very first 3D print, ladies and gents! It’s the belt buckle for Zelda’s winter coat in Breath of the Wild. At this point I was so ecstatic that I had something that looked like the file. Not only that, the print quality was really nice. It wasn’t going to take a million years to get a smooth surface for the print using the Thin (0.1) quality setting in Cura.
It seemed too good to be true that I had something so nice with so little effort, so I printed a few more things to see if my usual bad luck with electronics would kick in. After 3 successful prints with no problems I was ready to say it wasn’t just good luck. This fun little spider-like robot was making me excellent quality, drama-free 3D prints! I dubbed my NEVA ‘Charlotte’, after the spider in Charlotte’s Web because it was doing all the work to make me look good. Above are the settings I used for the majority of my prints, in case you are curious. After making Zelda’s belt buckle and Sailor Moon’s first season brooch, I decided to give it a bit more of a complicated project. I had been wanting to remake the necklace Zelda wears with her ceremonial dress that I’d rushed out months before with craft foam and worbla.
I wasn’t sure if ‘Charlotte’ could handle the tiny loops I modeled into the 3D design, but IT DID IT! After a few days of on and off modeling and printing, I had made all the accessories I needed for Zelda’s winter coat. This cosplay is still a work in progress but here’s how the prints look straight from the NEVA and after some resin coating & paint-
I can’t thank Dagoma enough for providing me with this truly fun machine. This has been my favorite product review to date and I’m hyped to make more with ‘Charlotte’ in the coming months. I have SO MANY PLANS. If you’d like to see more of my future NEVA printed projects, follow me on Twitter. I’ll be posting more there as I make them. Want to see me use the NEVA on my livestream? Leave me a comment here or tweet me about it! Get your own one button 3D printing magical robot spider here! Thanks for reading!
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