Better print quality

Hello everyone,
Could someone explain how to get better print quality on Taz 4 with the all metal hot end. I’ve come to notice that on certain angles there are “blobs” hanging off the edge. Also what exactly is the diffidence between the .35 and the smaller nozzles? I’m currently looking for/to read/ing up about specific techniques for printing on the lulzbot. I’m an experienced user on 3ds max and do know how to correctly size and import models in slic3r. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks Prime.

In general, we’ve increased temps with the all metal hot end as compared to the Buda. We’re recommending 205C for PLA now, for instance (though I don’t see that on the site atm, hmmm). Increase the temps over what you were using before.



Is the recommended print speed still the same or can it be increased for faster but messier prints?

I will copy this post over here at some point in the next week so I don’t have to direct folks off site but…

Check out strategy #9 in my A Strategy for Successful (and Great) Prints. It really is best to understand the characteristics of the filaments you use, it’s easy to do and you’ll get much better and more consistent results. In the case of PLA, RichRap did some interesting work last year varying the temperature of PLA as he printed. It has a visual effect on the print, hotter PLA resulted in a glossier finish, cooler in a more matte finish. He used this to great effect to produce some stunning vases.

I keep a word document that lists each of the filaments I use and the characteristics for them. I don’t repeat one-for-one, for instance, I have a generic PLA that about 30 of my filaments fit into so I just add the filament vendor and color to that existing entry. Most of the common entries have a matching material configuration in KISSlicer (my slicer of choice) but you can do this in any slicer. This way, when I come back to a filament later I don’t have to start from scratch.

While you are reading my Strategy post, scroll to the bottom and read the section on Layer Tuning. You can use the simple STLs I posted to help tune your filament and understand their temperature to speed characteristics. It really isn’t difficult or time consuming to do and it does result in much improved print quality. Try it!


Hello Michael again!
I’m glad to say I have read your impressive guide, but the question remains is the filament type/properties one of the most important factors in a great print? Like you stated in the guide it is best to measure and record notes about the current used filament. So I guess my question is, if filament is seemingly if not the backbone of a great print are there “superior” brands of filament? Would you say the Lulzbot(or any other) brand will change per package of the filament compared to the last print properties? Would there be an advantage to say running Red filament that produces the same quality prints as Y filament at nearly double the print speed(would this be possible)? Is there a certain filament you prefer over the rest? Also I believe sense this is still all relatively new (1st week printing ever) is there any recommended reading material/guides that deals directly with Lulzbots printers or the basic beginners guide. Would love to contribute to this seemingly fantastic community in the future. Thanks for the great information, Prime.

Sidenote: How often do the properties of the filament change per person? Would there be a benefit if there was a community posted “filament journal” on google docs for quick reference?

Fused filament printing has a lot of variables to master but I do think understanding the filament is close to the top of the list. For example, people tend to compensate for extruder or hot end issues by turning up the temperature. This can make the hot end issue even worse (plugging, etc).

There are brands and even certain colors within a brand that print better than others. But, I haven’t met a filament I can’t print well. Lulzbot’s filament is nice across the board. I think most of the major vendors maintain consistency across batches, that’s part of what you are paying for in a premium filament. It is also true that some filaments print better at higher speeds than others. White filaments tend to be more difficult to print IMO. I have some Ultimachine black that prints like black butter and I love it. I also have some cheap turquoise eBay PLA that prints like a dream. I don’t see you’ll see a difference of a factor of two difference in print speed between a great and average filament, typically it might be 10-15% different.

I have lots of experience with other printers (primarily deltas) and none yet with a TAZ. My KITTAZ is on the way so that will change soon. If everyone had exactly the same setup then a catalogue might make sense. Many of the other printer-specie forums have attempted to have such a guide but they typically falter sooner or later. For one thing, there are just to many filaments & colors out there. Also, it is much better and simpler to just do the quick test yourself on your printer. Even supposed identical printers can have different behaviors and even more importantly, slicing parameters have a huge impact on print quality. And of course, slicing parameters are dependent on the specific hardware too. Many folks tend to make mods to their printers, new hot ends, different nozzle sizes, etc. All of this just results in making a filament journal less practical in practice.


Great info thanks for the help, Prime.

Good comments, this is why being a tool and die machinist is more like being an artist. It takes lots of time to get to know all of the nuances. Here is a thread that I have been referencing lately about this topic. For me I changed the nozzle I was using, upped the temp 10°C and got vastly different print qualities.

I agree Brew4You, I’ve been into machining and learning how to design for manufacturing for my fly fishing reel kit business. It has been an interesting and creative experience. It has given me a much greater appreciation for what is required to produce quality products and the amount of design and creativity that goes into tooling and fixturing.


I’m enjoying the ride this far and decided to invest into a .5mm nozzles. I can honestly assure you that this was just about as difficult as learning modeling. May take a little to learn all the ins and outs but I feel it will be well worth it. Thanks for the help, Jordan.

P.s I made my first filament journal entry!

“P.s I made my first filament journal entry!”