Getting Started Issues

So I setup my Taz 3 today and wanted to right away test everything out.

First Windows users be aware, that the file you download DO NOT use the SLIC3R program thats located within it.

When i would try uploading any profile i would get errors, I can post a video to demonstrate but I was able to resolve it by downloading SLIC3R seperaretly and then copying and pasting it within the Printrun folder (of course i first renamed the older SLIC3R program to something else).

After doing so profiles would load without issue.

So I tried doing the test print, of course I first needed to load a profile under the SLIC3R settings.

I went here and used the Slow, no support, 0.1mm layers, i didnt use the support because on the Octopus I dont believe its necessary considering there are no over hanging 45 degree angles.

However when it came out i feel its not as good as the Sample print which came with the unit. For those who are owners of the Taz a sample print is included which came from the same machine. The print on the right is the original print which came with the unit. the one on the left is my print.

Also note that the print is PLA, i am not sure what material the Sample was done from (i think PLA as well), Also I am using the filament that I purchased from Lulzbot website.

Any suggestions would be really helpful.

Check out the files under “Getting Started” here:

The “First Print Files” has the octopus.gcode file that was used to print your sample (which is ABS and not PLA). I don’t believe the gcode has the temps set in it, so should be able to manually set your temps for PLA and still use the gcode directly from Lulzbot.

I’m assuming you’ve already taken care of bed leveling. If you haven’t, get the bed leveling gcode (from the same link above) and run through that first (details should be in the manual).

After all of that, I’d suggest slicing at higher layer heights to start with. It’s been much easier (in my experience at least) getting nice results with a layer height of .2 or even .25 - once you have everything tuned just right, you can jump down to lower layer heights.

A few other tips from my experience so far:

You’ll probably want to experiment with the temps for your PLA - you can find a temperature calibration test thing on Thingiverse that’ll help you find the right temp for your specific filament. It’ll help get nicely bonded layers.

Make sure to measure your filament diameter with calipers and put that value into Slic3r. Your 3mm filament is likely 2.8 - 2.9mm - the further the Slic3r value is from the actual filament diameter, the more likely you’ll have issues with getting nice layers. If it’s off, you’ll get layers that have gaps, don’t bond properly, or you’ll get more blobs where you’re extruding too much filament.

I hope that helps get you started. Your print doesn’t look that bad for a first print, but definitely give the pre-sliced gcode from Lulzbot a try just to make sure everything is working properly.

  • Adam

yeah all very helpful, I think the points on measuring for exact size of filament and adjust the layer height.

I think the fact its a different material all together also makes sense my results are different. But btw is it just me or do you ever feel ABS produces smoother results. I dont know but i just feel sometimes by looking at projects printed on ABS that the end results are smoother.

Given the rest of it came out pretty well, (at least i thought so) i am hesitant to touch the bed levels since I am not seeing any inconsistencies through the rest of the part, of course I was not printing beyond that area so I cannot say for sure, but next time around I will print something like a Square covering the same amount of space. I would assume that if there was a bed leveling issue my Cube along top will be on an angle or uneven in some way, is this correct thinking?

Looking at the skirt that is printed around the perimeter of your part, it appears that the bed needs to be leveled better and the nozzle is a bit too high. I believe the printed manual has some examples of what a first layer filament should look like.

If the bed leveling is off too much, the hotend nozzle may press against the bed (stopping extrusion) or it can extrude too high up which will cause your first layer to not adhere to the bed. The bed level print will just make a nice pattern across the bed so you can visually see if the extrusion looks consistent across the bed and whether the extrusion looks like it’s the correct height (the manual has examples of what it should look like). I doubt you’d see much of a problem with the top of your cube if the bed wasn’t level - it’s the first layer or two where you’d likely have the issue.

If the parts are sticking just fine, I wouldn’t worry about the bed leveling just yet, but I pointed it out because my TAZ 1 needed it out of the box when I started going to lower layer heights like .1 (but printing at .2 and up worked fine without any tweaking).

As far as ABS or PLA being smoother, I tend to notice a lot more banding/z wobble (I’m assuming that’s what it is anyway) in my PLA prints. My ABS prints don’t seem to have that issue, although my PLA is blue and my ABS is natural, so perhaps it’s just harder to see on the natural ABS. Even with this light banding, both materials come out pretty smooth to me.

PLA gives me better results when I’m printing smaller more detailed objects or anything with much of an overhang. I think the overhands are better since I’m using a cooling fan with PLA which helps it ooze a little less than ABS. I still like ABS better though since it seems to work better for mechanical parts (PLA is a bit too still and breaks a bit too easily if you have a really tight fit). The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that PLA sticks way more to my TAZ’s bed. ABS sticks great and then just pops off easily when the bed cools down. The PLA takes a pretty good amount of force to free it from the PET tape even after the bed is totally cold.

  • Adam

So first off YIKES, I just did another print. As i mentioned I am using the Filament from Lulzbot

The part I made is looking like this, as you can see its all warped and drooly and basically looks like a complete disaster.

So I went ahead and did the Bed test and this is the result I got


So then I went ahead to measure the edges… I found one to be off a half a millimeter, but could only .5 mm cause such a mess?

Anyway here were the readings, its kinda a hard to do the measurement since when you press down on the Caliper it can wiggle a bit so I had to do this test several times.


I was working in the garage at the time with the heater on, the temperature in the garage was about 56 degrees, but there was in the vacinity of the heater i believe a temperature closer to 65-70 degrees

Anyway, looking at this model and video you think this is all due to a half millimeter or you think there is something more to this?

Oh and something to note, I used for this the profile that is labeled Slow, support, 0.1mm layers, so this had support in it, but i did try what you said and go to .2mm instead of .1mm

Based on that bed leveling video, it looks like you need to lower your z height a moderate amount. The extrusion is way too far off the bed. I think the recommendation in the manual is to use a sheet of paper to set the nozzle height properly. I believe some forum users like to use a business card instead - that may be too high for the stock .35mm nozzle though. I haven’t used a caliper to set my bed level, just the sheet of paper, so I can’t comment on tips for that.

.5mm off is 5 whole layers though when you’re printing at .1mm layer height - so I’d say that’d make a bit of a difference. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget, getting the bed level is one thing, but then you need to use the thumbscrew to adjust your Z height. Your bed may be perfectly level, but the Z height is too high…so the printer starts the nozzle at what it thinks is Z 0, but it might actually be Z .3mm or something like that…which is going to cause that first layer to not adhere (or adhere poorly) to the bed.

I think getting that first layer height right will help your print, but you’re printing a lot of overhangs there. For my TAZ, I had to add a fan to print things like that with PLA. ABS fared a little better (but had more small, random blobs). Support should have helped, but the overhang has to be over 45 degrees I believe (unless you changed the default) for it to kick in…it doesn’t look like support was generated for that object.

  • Adam

Ok so now i think i have a bigger problem, I am sure most of you have seen that when the heating has reached the required temperature that filament oozes out a bit on its own right? Well when i had it lowered down i think i left it for a few minutes on Z and i think it built up a bit, when i press extrude now, hardly anything is coming out.
what do i do now to clear that out?

That’s probably just heat creep (which is why you’ll probably need a fan). When that happened to me, I just heated the hot end up to 180C or so, opened the idler, and pulled the filament out of the extruder. You’ll probably have a notch cut out of your filament where the hobbed bolt chewed it up so you’ll want to cut that part of the filament off & clean out the teeth of the hobbed bolt. After that, you can put the filament back in, close the idler back up, and you’re ready to print. Don’t let the filament sit at temp for very long though or it’ll jam again. I never tried it with the slow profile, but I can get an octopus sized print out of my TAZ using the fast profile with PLA without a fan. Printing anything much bigger would always result in a jam for me an hour or two into the print…the fan cleared that right up though.

You really should add a fan if you’re going to be using PLA.

  • Adam

Is it possible something is different from using the Gcode embedded in the SD card versus the one you download off the website? I ask because I felt i got better results with the SD card version.

It still however bunched up up a bit until it got going, but when it came around the whole thing got messed up. I honestly am not sure what to do, any closer it will be up against the bed, any higher and it will be too far off the bed. The bed has been calibrated. Btw what do most people calibrate the height of the bed at each of the 4 corners? does it matter?

Anyway oddly enough i increased the temperature of the bed to 75 and the nozzle to 195 it seems to be a bit better. Are we certain on the PLA levels to be 185 and 60?

I also went back to try the Octopus again and it beads up as its coming out, do you know what beading does? almost like there isnt a steady flow, but as it goes it gets better.

In any case here is another video after adjusting for z and calibrating bed height

And not to bombard with issues but i dont know if this is related. I went ahead and downloaded an STL model from Thinkgverse, a Yoda figure The beginning (everything from base to waist) was amazing and looked great, and then all of a sudden things started getting out of whack, it looked like the PLA was rising up rather staying in place.

Here is a video of the end result in more detail:

I figure a Video is the easiest way to demonstrate issues.

I only have a TAZ 1 which doesn’t use the SD card, so maybe someone else could confirm whether the SD card octopus is the same as the download version (I assume it is though).

That bed level print should be sticking all across the bed. Did you do level the nozzle with the sheet of paper in all four corners of the bed or just one spot? (Sorry if you mentioned it in the video - I don’t have a way to get the audio at the moment.) You should manually move the head to each corner, home the Z axis, and adjust until you feel the same resistance between the paper and head in each corner. That makes sure the head it at the same level across the bed and then you may need to adjust the thumbscrew a little bit if you still need the head to go up or down to get just the right height.

If the bed actually moves because the head pushes it down, then you’re definitely too far, but that bed leveling video still looks like the nozzle is too high. You aren’t getting very good adhesion at all. Maybe someone else can give you some better guidance on how to fix it, but until that bed leveling print gives you the print you see in Pronterface and the extrusion is stuck to the bed nicely, then you’re probably going to continue to have problems getting a nice print.

Maybe your PLA needs the higher temp you mentioned. I’ve printed with some blue PLA and it only needed about 180C, but different colors and different manufacturers will likely mean slightly different temps.

As far as the yoda, it looks like the overhangs are the main areas with trouble. The PLA is printing, but curling up a little with each layer from what I can see in the video. I don’t think you’re going to be very happy with prints like that without adding a fan for PLA.

  • Adam

I am going to re level everything again, i think what i did for the most part was just adjust the Red knob for the Z level, however I did not align in each of the 4 corners, ill definitely try that.

There were some other questions I had

First I was told by Support that I should change the Vertical dmension setting to 3, now i noticed this setting wasnt in Simple mode. however when I changed over from Simple to expert i had some really crazy issues with the first layer, essentially nothing comes up and when it does start to come out its all messed up.

Here is a video of it. you will see however that changing back and reloading profile but in simple mode is ok. So I am concerned that a setting is being defined in expert mode which is not present in simple mode which is messing things up.

Also i was trying to print an iphone case, and for whatever reason the STL was made where it places the fully printed side on the top, therefore it either needs massive amount of supports otherwise it will break up. I know in Makerbot print interface you can change the orientation. In SLIC3R I see the ability for you to rotate 45 degress or defne, however the rotate is only on one Axis, how do I flip it over so the back side on of the phone case is on the bed as the first layer?

Here is the model i am referring to:

Hmm - I’ve never used the setting support told you about, so no idea there. I’ve been printing in expert mode by loading up the fast no support profile, changing the filament diameter (if needed), enabling the fan (if I’m using PLA), and then slicing. I haven’t noticed anything funky in the default profiles, but I haven’t tried the slow profile yet.

As far as the iPhone case, you’ll have to open the STL in another app, flip it, and save the STL back out. I’ve used Repetier to do this:

I’m sure there is plenty of other software out there that can do it (e.g. OpenSCAD, MeshLab, etc), but Repetier is pretty simple to use for this type of thing. You could even use it to control your TAZ (instead of Pronterface) if you wanted. It has a built in Slic3r version as well if you wanted to use it.

  • Adam

Another useful program for orientation and repair is Blender or Meshlab depending on what you are trying to do.

Happy printing,


So i was going to post this as a seperate topic so other newbies can see, what do you guys think about this method?

Paper Caliber Test is this accurate?

Since I have received my Taz 3.0 I have not had such amazing prints, I had followed the guide book extensively however I want to point out the SUPER importance of Calibrating the bed. While Lulzbot did come with a Caliber and the booklet tells you to use it to measure the corners I want to warn most beginners that its super easy to make a mistake here. The caliber’s stopper can very easily move and give you bad results. Others may think its good enough based on so so measurements. I was positive that with the Caliber I was all set to go, but i was mistaken.

So the Solution (Lulzbot or others please correct me if I am wrong). The paper test which has been floating around is good and YES you want it just above the paper where it doesnt clamp the paper and allows the paper to move freely, but how much? So I call this the PAPER/CALIBER test.

  1. Paper needs to move freely under extruder tip
  2. Then move the Extruder along Axis and make sure paper doesnt move
  3. Now most important, take your caliber (the one which came with your Lulzbot) and see if you can stick it between the bed and extruder. It should NOT be able to go under with gentle force. So in otherwords your paper should be able to go under and move freely, but your Caliber should not be able to. This I found was the perfect balance to the distance between bed and extruder.

Check out the video which showed the process

Video Instruction Part 1:

Video Instruction Part 2:

Thing is since i have done this I am still getting this issue where the PLA is drying too quickly, im considering increasing the temperature. any thoughts on this? Seeing how its layed out its definitely appearing as its supposed to on the bed (pressed down, not semi or a full strand, but actually flattened along the bed as illustrated in the manuals picture). I am starting to really hate PLA, i am thinking of giving up and going with ABS. Just annoying because i just bought two spools from Lulzbot at 40.00 each.

regarding increasing the nozzle temperature, PLA is apparently really susceptible to heat and overheating, and will apparently expand and create crystals if it goes over a certain temperature, blocking your nozzle. I’ve never actually tried printing it yet. It also experiences “heat creep” where heat from the melt end travels very far up the filament, causing messes, which makes an extruder fan almost a requirement for printing PLA. In theory anyways.

I always liked ABS better because it’s lego plastic!

Yeah this material is driving me CRAZY!!! I am trying to print ONE thing which doesnt go Hairy, I now can at least confirm the bed is ok, so the only thing i am missing is the Fan, but what i dont understand is why sell this Product without one if clearly this is a requirement, I just dont see it possible making a good print without one.

Anyway im willing to try pretty much anything as you can tell, is there a printable fan holder or kit or part number for which i should buy? So what is recommended? pictures or videos would be helpful as well

Regarding print speeds, i was told to do 30mm/s however the profiles are set to 80mm for perimeters, and 100 for infill and 120 for Travel, when i tried 30mm the results were MUCH worse in that it really dragged the material with it and created more heat creep.

Meantime here are more SAD results of more prints I tried to make. I actually upon recommendation of Lulzbot support team set to create two prints giving time for one layer to dry before returning, however i dont think thats the problem, just very simply, sometimes the PLA coming out of the Extruder just dries right away and doesnt stick or drags it.

Below is another attempt this time trying to print a Galaxy Case :frowning: :frowning: going back to tearing my hair out…
Please lord, let ONE print come out of this machine.
This one was coming out really well, the first layer was looking pretty good, but then this garbage started building up along the sides.

Oh Fyi Netfab worked great in rotating the case:

So I tried the case again this time with no supports, when i removed the settings for supports it started looking better, but then of course something weird happened, in two areas and what seems consistent it would simply not extrude in some areas of the print, so forget hardening fast or heat creep, this seems to be a total different issue.

Then as it went up a few layers the extruder would resume again in pushing out filament over those areas. Whats odd is that when looking close you literally just see no filament or the filament coming out in beads, however they were coming out over and over in the same place, and then of course it eventually stopped.

Here are pictures and videos and my settings… I am going to buy some ABS as well, and still interested in learning what i need and how to install the fan

Again to all i appreciate all the help, I really hope i can get this working. I am willing to try anything and of course as always ill provide videos and pictures to demonstrate that I am taking your advice

There are several of them out there, do a search for “taz fan” on thingiverse. I recall a few others floating around the forum here as well. That should work. As far as connecting it, that I can’t really help with because the Taz uses a different control board than my old AO-100 (well it started out an AO-100 anyways heh) Basically what you are going to need is a 12v 40mm computer fan, which you can aquire from or or whichever store you prefer for hardware. You then take that and either wire it directly into where you would add a second extruder, or somehow use one of the board auxiliary ports. Again, I only know how to set it up for the RAMPS 1.4 board. You most likely have a Rambo board or something like that. It’s going to be a fairly simple process. The worst part is running the wire up to the nozzle. About the worst you can do to the electronics is melt the fan if you install it backwards, but they are cheap and the polarity is marked. Hopefully someone will be able to help you further than that if you need it.

The voids in that last picture look like intermittent nozzle clogging to me, or possibly filliament feed issues. I really don’t know PLA well though so it could very well be something else. I really need to get some to play with one of these days.

edit: can you link to the STL file for that thing as well? could be a problem with the file.

Being a fellow newbie, here are a few tips.

  1. Don’t use the raft setting or the support setting for right now. We don’t need the raft on our heated bed and the current version of Slicer messes up with support setting. (Or so I have been reading and seeing in my prints.

  2. Calibrating the nozzle and bed when there hot versus calibrating them when they are cold will give you different results due to thermal expansion. Along those line once you get it calibrated use the bedcalib.gco and finely turn the knob in between run till you get the extrusion the way it looks in the manual.

  3. Start with smaller simpler print and work you way up as you understand the setting, material and the printer. I am still printing basic stuff but it is lot less frustrating to have a 10 minute calibration cube fail that only uses a few CM of material then a four hour complicated print.

Just my two cents. Take it or leave it