Getting the perfect TAZ 6 level every time... the ghetto way!

Well, I’ve had my TAZ6 for a couple years now, and have honestly used it very little since unboxing it and setting it up due to the miserable excuse for self levelling they put on that printer.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Lulzbot printers, have six of them in fact… but this TAZ6, it’s the one printer from them that I truly regret having bought. I’ve been relying on my TAZ5 printers exclusively since these past years… but recently, all but one of them have dropped off due to board failures. So, I’ve had to go back to my miserable TAZ6.

I’ve come up with a ghetto way of getting the perfect level every time. Now, I’m sure there are ways of disposing of the conductive levelling that plagues this printer from being anything but a paperweight.

Not having the time to mess around with re-building what should be a reliable printer, I came up with a quick and dirty solution that’s giving me perfect levels every time…

To do this, what you need are some good magnifiers (if your eyesight is anything less than perfect… like mine are), an IC clip soldered to a short run of wire (about 1.5’ will do) and the other end goes to a probe (like you’d find on a multimeter). I used silicone jacketed wire as it’s very light and flexible.

Clip the IC clip to a washer (I used the front left). Then let it go through the motions of trying to find level… except, don’t rely on the conduction between the nozzle and the washer as it goes through the four points.

Keep your eye on when the nozzle touches the washer (this is where the magnifiers come in to play), then tap the print head with the probe. Do that on all four corners (every time you print… GAWD) and your prints will work out fine every time.

Lulzbot has certainly guaranteed the resale value of the older printers I tell you. Unless they come up with a better (and actually reliable) solution for leveling, I’m going to stick to buying old TAZ5 printers for my needs.

Hope this helps some of you who still put up with the TAZ6’s miserable levelling.

If you have time look into the starting gcode and what it does to the leveling mesh. That might help you considering the starting gcode resets the mesh. Hope that helps.

I find it amusing that my TAZ 6 has auto-leveled for 95+% of the jobs I’ve printed. When it fails, I wipe the washers with some IPA, carefully clean the (hot) nozzle with some Scotch Brite, and it succeeds on the next attempt.


I have a few complaints about the TAZ6 that I bought new 2 years ago and have used extensively. But the autoleveling feature is not one of them. I did have some problems with autoleveling initially but determined that the device wasn’t completely plumb and square because the metro rack shelf it was sitting on wasn’t completely level. That was quickly solved with a shim and haven’t had a problem since.

Dido for me - I was using my Taz6 as a door stop because of the total unreliability of auto leveling. But recently, I needed the machine for a bunch of larger projects. My workaround has been to clean and buff the nozzle with a polishing wheel on a dremel and carefully clean the washers. Doing so gets me through a single leveling routine where there is absolutely no vertical displacement of the print bed by the nozzle during leveling. Then I just leave the printer on all day and use a startup script that doesn’t include leveling (or the near useless wiping).

I also have trouble with Z-height referencing. Sometimes the nozzle hits the button at the left rear of the bed dead-on in the middle but more often is a little off center which pushes it down at an angle which results in the Z-height reference varying between prints. I chase after this by tuning the Z-height manually as the skirt is being laid down. I haven’t eliminated this from the startup script yet.

The Lulzbot guys have been great - a couple years ago they spent many hours with me on the phone trying to get my Taz6 running but they just couldn’t figure it out. The only place they fell short was refusing to admit that the auto-leveling couldn’t possibly work reliably.

The other thing I did was to buy a Prusa - its inexpensive has a leveling system that works everytime. Its a brilliant, inexpensive machine that addresses the issue that these printers are effectively consumables.


I don’t run mine a lot, but aside from when I forget to clean the nozzles, I don’t generally have leveling problems. Things I do:
Make sure the frame is setting on a level surface and square it. (
Level the Z axis- that is the biggest issue I have seen.
Get the bed as level as possible, the Y axis mounts have a small amount of movement available.
Scotch-brite the nozzles before each use.
Make sure the corner washers are clean.

I have four Taz 6’s… (and others) i’ve never had a problem with Taz bed leveling… that hasn’t been fixed by a bit of Scotch Brite & Isopropyl. It’s quick & easy, it’s just a simple electrical contact… Even if my printer didn’t use that system, I’d still have a squeeky clean nozzle. Any problems I’ve had are usually down to my lazy-ness, or haste! My main criticism i have of my Taz’s, is the initial cost… I think that’s actually what most owners recent … It’s made in the USA, unfortunatly that costs big money!