Kittaz Build Issues

I would like to first start off with the good…it appears nothing was damaged in shipping, and the organization of parts was overall good. I was happy with the electrical setup and overall I’m glad that i did this build.

With that said, i was surprised at how involved the build was, and it took much longer than i had expected. The overall construction took about 15 hours for me and that was probably due to a number of reasons. It is still not complete, but just about.

Step one of part one took me about an hour. If that’s not discouraging, i don’t know what is. I think the instructions should read, “Step one, acquire the force of God. Step two, apply the force acquired in step one to rod and bearing.” The fact that it says this may require force is a drastic understatement. I later had the advice to heat the bearing, but that was after i had jammed them together with everything i could think of.

This isn’t the only place that had ridiculously tight fitting parts. I feel like the holes for the metal rods should be a millimeter larger. I spent a good amount of time trying to jam these rods in the holes (I’m not bad at sticking rods in holes too). After i was done with a couple rods i learned that the inset nuts for the set screws had extra plastic around the inside of the hole which needed to be cleaned out better. This would be worth mentioning in the instructions. Additionally, one of the set screw nuts was protruding into the hole, making it impossible to insert the rod.
I ended up putting in an m3x12 into the set screw nut and pulled it up with pliers…as a result it broke free of the plastic and became worthless…however i am not worried considering how hard i had to force the rod in, i don’t think it is moving.

One area that concerns me is the double bearing holder below.
If you can see, the top hole barely aligns with the hole it needs to go into…as a result, there is no play at all…it looks like this part was not printed at the right temperature since it warped at the base.
This causes more friction than necessary and ultimately might be the reason my z access skips steps.

Another area where the plastic parts weren’t quite right was in the alignment of the inset nuts:

So as I’m sure you guys are aware, nothing is more frustrating than when you are at the final steps and you find you are missing pieces. This happened to me twice…when mounting the electrical box, i find that i don’t have enough m5x14 bolts…so i thought eh, maybe they changed their design and want too use the m5x10 bolts without the spacers…so that’s what i do. Then when i gettin the stage when we attach the y axis, i don’t have enough m5x14 thumb screws. So i find my packing list and compare it to my bags only to discover that despite a checkbox on those screws the quantities don’t align…see image below.

So i took off the thumb screw on the spool holder(put there initially since I didn’t have any m5x14 bolts), and put the two i had in diagonally just to move forward. Still need to fix this issue.

Another quality control issue was the labeling of the switches. It was a minor issue, but should be noted so that it can be fixed:
As you can see, I have two E2 bags, and they have different contents…it’s easy to figure out which is correct but when I was getting my parts for the Y axis build, I did spend some time trying to figure out how to use the power switch as a limit switch…

After everything was tightened up and squared away, i started my testing…low and behold my z axis is just too hard to move…it works near the top of the frame more so than the bottom, but even at the top there are issues. After taking off the couplers moving the axis to the stage, adjusting the lead screws and trying everything i could think of, the motors would still skip. This is super frustrating. I feel like maybe that double bearing could be the issue, or it could be the rods have a slight bend or something due to the tightness of the fit in the plastic, or the alignment of the motors with the lead rod isn’t perfect, it is hard to say. I can tell you that with measuring with calipers, the difference between the distance of the lead screw and the smooth rod at the top and bottom is around .5mm. Is that enough to cause a problem? If it is, how should i fix it?

I just built mine and had the some problems you had. I got this printer because the Taz 4 is highly regarded in a lot of reviews I saw but was out of budget (hell i stretched the budget for the KITTAZ) and the “Award winning documentation.” Dont know what awards they won but it wasnt that good. Typos all over the place. A couple missing steps or details (which m3 screws to put in the RAMBO board for example.And pictures that while often were good I was left figuring things out a lot and having frustrations.

In terms of qualities of parts they REALLY need to work on their tolerance stack ups and account for the fact that a number of the parts dont fit right. I had to file a lot of parts and holes. The rods were ridiculous. I had to resort to a hammer for crying out loud. I was not happy about that and was worried about damaging the rod but had no other choice. And I had the same problem with the nut protruding into the rod hole. Again, hammer time.

I also had the same problem with not enough M5x14 bolts and missing M5 thumb screws. I dont know maybe I shouldnt say missing because the right number was there according to the bill of materials and the label on the bag but in order to complete the build I had to run to the hardware store and pay $5 for a few bolts to build it which was annoying.

Also the complete lack of screen shots for instructions on software was very annoying and the lack of instructions to actually get a print going (using slicer software and than pronterface) took time to figure out.

I didnt mind the huge numbe of parts to assemble - I would have enjoyed it minus the fact that a lot of them just didnt fit together very well.

I am still having too much friction on my Z axis, I wish there was an easy way to measure this to see just how far off my build is from the norm. Any tips on how to reduce this friction?

I had issues with my Z axis making a terrible grinding noise and getting out of alignment. After a whole day of tinkering with loosening various parts, I stumbled upon the solution which was to loosen the M3x12 screws holding the X end sub assemblies to the Z nuts ever so slightly. Apparently I tightened down the screws too hard which makes it so that the Z nuts would get out of alignment for some reason. This should be a definite note to be added to the assembly instructions.

Thanks for the warnings. I just got my kit a few days ago and was ready to attack part 1 step 1 last night. So that is all I will comment on. For anyone finds this and needs more advice on this step here we go:

"Step one of part one took me about an hour. If that’s not discouraging, i don’t know what is. I think the instructions should read, “Step one, acquire the force of God. Step two, apply the force acquired in step one to rod and bearing.” The fact that it says this may require force is a drastic understatement. I later had the advice to heat the bearing, but that was after i had jammed them together with everything i could think of. "

So there are kind of two parts to this step, and they both require force. The part you need to put the shaft on the bearing, and then the part where you need to get that sub assembly into the printed idler part.

I happen to have experience putting shafts onto bearings and they are meant to be a very tight interference-type-fit. The easiest way to put the shaft on the bearing, is to lay the bearing flat on a work surface push the bearing in with your hands (it wont get far). Dont worry about it not being perfectly straight, but make it as decently straight up and down as possible. Then tap it in with a small hammer, while holding the bearing down on the work surface. This wont be very gentle, but just keep an eye on the shaft as you hammer it in to try and aim your hammering in order to level it out as it goes into the bearing. You will be able to hammer to where it approximately flush with the bottom end of the bearing (when both the shaft end and the bearing are against the work surface ). If you are lucky and your parts are properly sized, at some point you will hammer the shaft perfectly aligned and all the way in, which when I did, the bearing was able to slide along the shaft easily after that point (dont slide the bearing off the shaft once its on). You obviously want to slide the shaft through the bearing so that the bearing is half way --equal on both sides of the bearing. (It doesnt have to be exact). If your shaft isn’t that loose once its on, and you still require force in order to get it to half way, then find something cylindrical that you can hammer against that will fit over the shaft but not the bearing. Then you use this object to hammer the bearing down the shaft to correct half way placement. Just dont hammer the bearing directly-you could damage it!

So now you should have a shaft on a bearing. Now you need to shove it in to the slot of the printed part called the idler. The lulzbot picture shows it all the way in. Either intentionally or unintentionally, this is a tight fit as well. So this requires force too. I sorted just pushed the bearing in slightly with my hands, then worked it in with a channel lock pliers, going sort of left side/right side alternating. At first I was pushing on the shaft part of the shaft/sub assembly and the bottom of the printed piece, then as the part got almost into place I was pushing on the bearing itself against the printed piece. Use something soft in between your pliers and the pieces in order to not cause surface damage. Note that its generally okay to mar the surface of the shaft out near the two ends. The bearing is the part that spins on the middle of the shaft, so the ends of the shaft never really do anything other than are held in place. When its fully in place, make sure the bearing is able to be spun without too much resistance.

I did this process in about 10-15 minutes. All that for step 1 part 1!!! I hope this helps somebody, and maybe lulzbot can increase their documentation in this first step. I will try to update this thread with my experience on your other problem areas too.

Thank you all for the feedback! If you encounter parts that you are not comfortable working with or think are out of spec, send an email to with your order number, shipping address, contact information and a description of what you are encountering/photo and we’ll be happy to do what we can to help.

We’ll be adding your feedback to our guides to further improve things.


Yea, ultimately I did hammer the rod in the bearing, and used pliers as my ‘spacer’. It would be great if there was a plastic spacer with a washer on it or something that would go around the bearing that you could hammer against. This would be a good addition to the kit.

I will send an e-mail with my order number etc, to send those missing parts, cause I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for locally.

For those wondering, ultimately I loosened up pretty much every screw on that Z-axis assembly in order to have enough play in the parts that the friction was low enough to move without skipping. I am going to continue calibrating and tighten things as I go, hopefully they will be aligned with one another when I tighten them back down.

I am having some issues that when I home all 3 axes the nozzle will hit the plastic corner of the bed…but I haven’t dug deep enough into calibration to determine if I am missing something, so I will keep you posted.

Turn the bed finger/clip on the front left-hand corner of the bed clockwise, so that the finger sits half on/half off the bed.

I’m glad there was an official response to this thread! I’m looking to buy my 2nd 3D printer and I’m seriously looking at the KITTAZ, but after reading this build report I’m having 2nd thoughts. I hope changes can be made to the kit by Jan/Feb as this is when I’ll be purchasing.

Pretty much had all the same issues as everyone else, but even at that, it’s a kit, you can’t expect everything to go perfectly, that’s why you’re saving that much money. All the issues I had, I was able to find fixes for. It’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of how a 3D printer works also.

One thing though, is that I had severe binding issues with the right z-axis and I know alot of other people had this issue also. I finally figured out that the 3D printed part that bolts onto the leadscrew nut wasn’t square with the x end mount plate, so when you tighten all the bolts down, it “pulls” on the z axis causeing binding. I fixed this by completely removing the two bottom screws and loosening and just putting snug the two top screws on that part (3d printed part that bolts onto the lead screw nut). Seems to do the trick, and I can’t see how it would affect performance. I’m sure I will probably end up printing a better fitted replacement part later on.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the kit, I looked at their BOM to see if they were overcharging for parts and it’s quite the opposite, if you were to source and order all the parts, it would be more expensive for most parts because they order in large quantities so it comes out to being a good value. If you need any help with setup, just let me know.

So did you remove and loosen these same screws on the Left side Z axis, or JUST the right side?

Kosmo…SOOOOOO sorry for the late reply. I had totally forgot about this thread. No, I only loosened the screws on the side that was binding. The 3D printed part that bolts(Mates) onto the “lead screw nut” has a flat surface that then bolts onto the x motor carriage (the plate that is CNC’d). Well the surface that’s supposed to bolt onto that Xmotor carriage wasn’t flat, it was off by a few degrees, so therefore anytime you would try to tighten down all the screws to bring it “flush” or “flat” to the xmotor plate, it would then consequently pull on the lead screw and cause binding. It was so bad actually that the lead screw actually jams and just doesn’t turn if they are all tightened down. The left side didn’t have that issue to I left it alone.

So on that right side, I just have the two top screws screwed in, but even then, they are just at the point of being loose, if I tighten them just slightly, then I get a bit of noise and slight binding. Basically I need to reprint that part, but the shitty part is, it’s a part that’s sort of deep in there, and you have to dissmantle half the printer to get at it…sorta sucks, have been trying to avoid it. LOl. But good news is, the printer seems to work pretty damn well regardless, I just check now and then to make sure the screws don’t come too loose. However, I do have a slightly problem with a small offround kinks or creases in my circles, but it’s not likely from that issue.

Anyway, hope this wasn’t too late for you…I’ve been learning a lot from this experience, spending days and days doing R&D about everything 3D printing, so if you have anymore questions, lemme know. I can prob help.

No big deal, I went ahead and tightened everything anyway, and now I will know just to loosen those screws if my x axis binds. No big deal. I am on final assembly step now, so I should be up and running to test very soon. Thanks for responding.

I just tested my build for the first time this weekend. I didnt have any binding issues so my lead screw mounts must be decently square, as I had tried it with the screws tightened. My first print turned out beautifully.

Overall the build issues are minor, you have to realize that at times you might need to file the plastic parts in order to get them to fit nicely (this is throughout the build). I also encountered a low quantity of M5x14 mm screws, both thumb and socket head. I bought a few at the hardware store, but I also contacted Lulzbot and they sent me the replacement screws right away (no charge, no hassle). I probably spent the most time and care on the frame assembly, as I wanted to ensure I made it as square as possible.

I kinda think the instructions leave you hanging once you have it fully assembled, it just kind of says go look at the getting started guide. But the getting started guide doesn’t really walk you through setting the software up. I think it would be a benefit to adding more instruction to getting pronterface and slic3r set up for anyone new to 3D Printing (like installing, and configuring the settings in pronterface to point to slic3r install and etc). The TAZ4 Manual is good, but isnt helpful in first getting it started.

Anyway, if anyone wants to follow my prints they are here:

We’re doing some things differently with the upcoming LulzBot Mini to make starting out even easier. As we settle on how we’re going to do it, we’ll incorporate any helpful methods into the TAZ (and KITTAZ) manual as well.

The mini seems like a good product. Good luck with the launch.

First post here, so YES this poster IS an unknown quantity :smiley:

I don’t have a Kittaz – most of my motivation for being in this forum is to get a feel for the quality/cost quotient of the kit.
I don’t have a problem with price unless the quality is poor, so to me that quotient is “value”.

Just a little speculation on what you folks have been hammering together and HOW.
If it is a rod INTO a bearing, or a bearing onto a rod, be sure to drive or support (according to which piece you are HITTING) the INNER part of the bearing with a pipe or tube.
If you are trying to insert the bearing INTO a housing drive (or support) the outer rim of the bearing, again according to which piece you are hitting.
Basically the goal is to avoid damaging the bearing and this is damage that may only show later, perhaps MUCH later.
The pipe or tube will help you to get even force, avoid damage and have things go together aligned.

Socket sets can be useful for this, deep sockets especially, don’t hit sockets directly with a steel hammer.
Use a block of wood between the socket and the hammer.

Personally I would rather use threaded rod or bolts in combination with appropriately sized sockets and washers to PULL bearings into cavities wherever practical.
Just too much risk when HITTING parts, risk to self as well as parts :smiley: