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Print quality evolution
#1
Ok, so I have checked most of the reported software and hardware tweaks on my new Da Vinci 1.0 and this is the result. Surprisingly, external cooling has the biggest impact! I have used the "Calibration Cube V2" for all the prints: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:363275 . The cube is pretty small, only 1.5 cm in size.

Here's how the prints evolved, according to the numbers in the first image:

Printer in stock condition, downgraded firmware to 1.1.J and then recalibrated. Printed using XYZware with default print parameters
1 = "Normal" setting
2 = "Good" setting
3 = "Excellent" setting

Heavy multilayer banding and heavy sagging at unsupported overhangs.

4 = "Excellent" setting, with the printer tweaked mechanically and electrically: Unfastened lead screw and both slide rods and ensured tension-free operation upon reattachment, fixed wiggly bushing on right slide rod, increased extruder belt tension, connected to 500W ATX power supply. Surprisingly, no significant improvement.

5 = "Excellent" setting, with a low power 100mm fan directed at print surface, switched on after the first couple of layers, everything else unchanged.
Significant improvement: No repetitive banding, still heavy sagging.

6= "Excellent" setting with the original 200W power supply and a more powerful fan.
Some banding reappeared but affecting only singly layers, sagging reduced.

7 = Installed firmware Repetier 0.92, recalibrated, slic3r with 0.1 layer height and slighty slower than default printing speed.
Excellent surfaces everywhere, even less sagging (see also the second image)

Here are the links to the high-res images I am refering to:

http://imgur.com/2n52KN5
http://imgur.com/zBXj2A1
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#2
I don't think there's any question that your prints are far better with Repetier.
I haven't made the jump yet. I bought Simplify3d recently and have been quite pleased with the results.
It would be interesting to see how S3D prints on stock firmware compare to Repetier.
Davinci 1.0 with repetier 0.92 & E3D hotend
Slicer - Simplify3d 


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#3
That's right, I just wanted to point out, how the different things contribute to the overall improvement of the print quality - and what in fact does not Smile
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#4
I also improved my 1.0.
As i see, i had the same evolution as you, (but a little bit more...)
Z axe banding was the worst problem, involves removing all the play in the Z carriage, and aligning the stepper motor with the rod, and alingning the rod with the screw in the carriage.
Then ofcourse, once you did repetier, you are now free in sourcing better ABS filament (my white XYZ ABS was horrible), and if you do the next step, a better extruder / hotend with material cooling, you are set to go.
To get rid of the sagging, which is just always present after 45 degrees overhang, consider Simmplify3D, in my case not plug and play, but now i start to like it, especially for the easy removable supports, which makes overhangs so much easier, and sagging under control ;-)
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#5
That doesn't seem like a good choice of object for this kind of test. Being such a small printed object it'll definitely benefit significantly from simply reducing the temps and/or the printing speed, and definitely also from extra ventilation. You won't see as much difference with larger objects.
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