I am in the market for a 3d printer and am close to pulling the trigger for a Mini, but the product was released almost a year ago and I’m afraid of jumping in just before a new model is released. Does Lulzbot have anything else on the horizon in the near term in the same price range as the Mini?
There hasn’t been much in the way of nes about the Mini recently. The Taz 6 is taking up most of the development time. There is a new folder under devel.lulzbot.com at http://devel.lulzbot.com/mini/Gladiola/ which is the “The fourth production batch of machines, currently in development” according to the folder description, started on 8/25/2015. I’d suspect that is an incremental upgrade, not a full rebuild or follow on design, but thats just speculation on my part.
Thanks Piercet, that’s what it seemed like to me as well. I wonder if improvements made to the Taz 6 will then trickle down into the next version of the Mini? If so, I assume that’s probably many months away.
I’d expect the toolhead improvements to make it for sure. The extra filliament cooling fan and bigger 40mm barrel cooling fan really do help. I’m not sure the rod upsize would make it. The mini has a short enough span that the 12mm rods would be overkill. I could see them upsizing to 10mm if the Mini is using 8mm though, or something along those lines. The mini already has the auto leveling piece.
I use my Mini a lot. The only things I would change are the larger hot end cooling fan and add a left side extrusion fan. The 8 mm rods are good. I have no issues with the mechanics of the Mini… at all! It produces fantastic prints.
Did you already make those mods nopick?
Nope! It is bone stock.
May I ask how you think those fans would help make the printer better? Seems like that should be a pretty cheap/simple mod?
The little 5v squirrel cage fan doesn’t move enough air. A larger fan improves barrel cooling which helps print speeds and pla especially. Having a left and a right filliament cooling fan helps solidify pla prints and helps improve bridging and overhangs with other filliament.
Ahh I see, that makes sense. Is there such thing as “too much cooling” as far as external fans go? Or do you always want the extruded plastic to cool down as fast as possible as soon as it’s left the nozzle?
Yep, what piercet said.
The amount of cooling required depends on the plastic being extruded. I have the plastic cooling fan on 80% after the first layer for PLA but only run it for bridging or very small parts when printing ABS. I am sure other plastics have other requirements.
I’ve seen some designs for a fan duct that allows the use of a larger fan on the heatsink for the Taz. I’m sure it could be adapted to the mini. I’m a bit of a design noob, but it’s something I thought I might try if I can get other projects cleared out.
I also like the idea of either a duct that gives more even part cooling or another fan on the other side. That one I’m not sure is needed, but my sense of symmetry really wants it.