Thursday, May 25, 2023

Niimbot D110

What is a Niimbot D110? It is nót a kind of robot. It is not related to a Nimbus 2000 from Harry Potters magical world. It is small, light, not to expensive and it can help in organizing things. It is a relative cheap thermal label printer. When i did see the price i knew this is not something to put my whish list and wait.  This is something i need to buy now especially as i am reorganizing my workshop.
However before placing the order i did watch several Youtube videos and i also installed the Niimbot app to test the software. 
One day after placing my order the playstore requested me to update the software and a short time later a second update for the app.. After this two updates i did try the software again and at that moment i had doubts if i was happy with my order. This as the software did not work anymore. I didn't know if this was due to the fact that i had no Niimbot connected or if the software had a bug. I could till cancel my order easy as it was not shipped yet, however i decided to wait. This as i probably would not be the only one with this problem and if the printer did not work at arrival i could return it anyway. The printer arrived relative fast and luckely another app update came before the printer arrived and it worked all fine.
The Niimbot D110, a small thermal label printer can only print black and the current price is just above 20 euro's including one label roll I think the low price if for two main reasons: 
1) Only Niimbot thermal labels can be used. The labels on the roll are not cut by the label printer and have fixed sizes. There are many different labels available, different sizes and also labels with colors and printed colored figures. 
2) The device itself has not much controls, only one switch with an led and you need to control it via a smartphone app using bluetooth. 
The app if free and in several app-stores. It contains a label editor and it is possible to print barcodes, QRcodes, using several fonts and font sizes, change direction or the content, and a use library with pictures and icons. You can also take pictures with your smartphone or use images to put on your label (no colors, only black). Importing a (small) Excel file to print a series of labels is also possible however i didn't try this yet.
More fonts and icons are in the payed VIP version of the app for a monthly. I found the VIP functionalities not sufficient interesting for its price and for normal use this is not needed.
When writing this review I already started labeling my inventory. The app to design the labels and the printer work very wel and i am happy with my Niimbot D110. I did buy a set that came with more rolls of labels. Also i did buy some transparent labels. (I did pay it for myself so this is not an advertorial or sponsored message!)
It is possible to buy labels in packs of 3 5 or 6 to get a better pice. I did not yet buy or tried other kind of labels. The label roll contains an RFID chip so the printer (and your app) knows which labels are currently in the printer. I already have an empty label roll and kept it to perhaps play with it using an RFID reader.
Changing labels is relative simple. However the first label after changing will probably not be alligned correct. Do not open the printer to fix this. The second label will be correct automatic. 
I will mention now some little things that could be improved / added to the app to make it even more usefull:
1) Exporting the print history is not possible. When you could export the print history e.g. to Excel you could get a complete list of your inventory after labeling. (You can import excel to make labels, however when inventarizing it is more easy to be on location, create a label on your phone, print it and stick it immediate on the item that to create a list in excel, print labels and match label per label with the item.)
2) Missing icons. There are several nice icons already in the app and een more in the payed VIP version.  However i do miss icons for standard hardware (diffent kind of bolts and nuts, flat/round top, to be used with normal, phillips screwdriver or special bits) that you can find in almost every home. Also icons for electronic components would be a nice addition. (Diodes, transistors, ICs, resistors, capacitors, leds etc.). I know the last set (electronic components) is perhaps somewhat specialistic. Standard hardware (nuts and bolts) is relative general. This would for me be more usefull than e.g. the icons for gardening.
It is possible to make this images yourself and use them with the printer, however i did not do this (yet). It would be nice if this where standard included icons. I did take some photo's of items to put it on a label. As far as i could see, even in the payed VIP version electronic of nuts and bolt icons are not available.

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