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Hey Sewing friends!
I am Stephany with Ellie & Mac. Today I am going to tell you all about a projector for sewing, the VANKYO Leisure D30T. I received this projector to give you my full and honest review of the product.
I've been sewing for a little over eight years now and have been projecting patterns for about two years. So, I am not new at projecting patterns. There is a small learning curve to sewing with projectors, but it is very easy to get over. Just as long as you don't give up and you keep trying.
The biggest learning curve is calibrating the projector for the first time. Just because the middle inch marker is correct…how are the outer lines? Are they wonky? Do they slightly curve out? That is what the focus and keystone buttons are for. You will have to use both.
But with this projector, it will be such a breeze to get it right. Remember, you don't need to have the calibration 100% correct, just close to it!
What's in the Box
The VANKYO Leisure D30T is not the first projector I have tried, but it definitely is my favorite one.
I really like the way that it is packaged, how it is sealed, and all the components inside. It comes in a nice and soft, but sturdy case, with a lens cap over the lens. It has a remote, HMDI cable, power cable (that comes in 2 parts), and the user manual.
It not only is packaged well, it also has everything you need to have the best setup to project just how you need it. It even comes with a quick start manual for screen mirroring. I am going to have to check this out still as I usually only use the HDMI cable.It also has a WIFI option, which is great if you have reliable WIFI - you don’t need to buy an extra cord.
The VANKYO company has thought of everything with this machine. It even has long qtips to clean the lens. I've never seen one come with qtips! The cap over the lens keeps the glass protected and clean. Plus, it comes with all the cables you need. The only issue I found was that the HDMI cable was not long enough to reach my computer, but that was a very easy problem to solve! I went and bought a longer cord.
Projector Look and Details
Let's start with the look of the Leisure D30T. It is white and very sleek. The unit itself is not bulky or heavy. The buttons are not bulky either, blending in with the machine. Every button has a label on it that is easy to read. Best of all, focus and keystone are easy to dial in, and bonus, it has a good speaker!
Mounting the Projector for Sewing
Now, on mounting the projector to the ceiling. SUPER SUPER SUPER EASY! My spouse hung it up for me, which only took about three minutes. I think it took longer to find the drill than to hang it up, haha.
The hole on the back of the projector fits perfectly for the mount. It doesn't wiggle or move around and is very sturdy. I love how the cord goes through the mount so that you don't have it hanging down in the way. You don’t want to bump the cord and then have the projector move around (ask me how I know).
One more thing I am ecstatic about is that the mount is adjustable. It has a knob on the side that moves the projector closer and further away from your cutting surface. This is a great feature to have as it allows you to make small adjustments so that the projector projects at the exact right size. In turn, your clothing patterns come out fitting just perfectly!
Connecting to the Computer
I did have a little trouble when setting the projector up with my computer. It was mostly on my computer's end as I had to ensure all the settings were correct. I couldn't figure out how to zoom into the pattern. I tried and tried, and it just kept bringing me back to a full pattern on the screen.
So, I went to investigate, and I figured out you can zoom with CTRL+Y. A small window will pop up, and you will type in the zoom percentage that you need. I find 27.4% works for mine, but that number will be different for everyone because it depends on how far away your projector is from the cutting surface.
Each time you open a pattern, you will type in the zoom percentage for your calibration. Always double-check by measuring the projected test square or grid just to ensure nothing has changed with the calibration or the file.
Calibrating the Projector
While setting everything up, these are a few items you will want to make sure you have:
- Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (you can download it free HERE)
- A fully flat surface to project onto (floor or table)
- A measuring tape
- Self-healing cutting mat
- Rotary cutter and/or scissors
While setting the VANKYO Leisure D30T up, you will want to make sure the projected lines from the sewing pattern are dark so you can see the pattern and measurement marks clearly.
I found the best way to get the darkest lines and the best projection, along with using the focus, is when the room you are projecting in is dark. Some light is alright, but the darker, the better. I will tell you, though, I had the curtains slightly open one time while using it, and I could still see the lines, but they were not as dark.
When I use it in the dark, I find that the projector has enough light that I don't even need extra light to ensure my fabric is lined up correctly.
To calibrate, you can use a calibration PDF file (Click for Metric or Imperial grid from Sasha Sewist). The lines on the calibration file need to be straight with your cutting mat. Square up the image so that the corners of the image and of the projected rectangles are 90 degrees in all corners. This is where the keystone dial will help you.
You also want to make sure that the unit is not tilted. Even if you use the keystone dial, it could still not be lined up. So making sure the unit is straight up and down and not tilted at all is the way to ensure you are projecting best.
When putting the projector on the mount, that might be the best time to ensure it isn't tilted. Just be careful while tilting the unit either way on the mount that you don't strip the screw or the inside.
The projector itself was super easy to use. Having the mount that doesn't move is definitely important for using the focus and keystone. So, I recommend buying the mount for the projector as well.
To sum up the VANKYO Leisure D30T - It is a must-have projector for patterns.
Not only have they made a great item, they’ve also made sure it fits everyone's needs. VANKYO has put effort into ensuring people who use these for sewing have the best experience and keep coming back for more.
Just opening the package feels like it’s your birthday. And then, being able to sew fantastic items with it… is totally priceless and something that will have a customer out of me for a very long time!
Thank you so much for letting me tell you all the amazing things about this projector and for getting to know me a bit. I look forward to seeing all your amazing creations with your projector!
(Written by: Stephany Monroe)