Looking at a Taz 5, but considering the Makergear M2

Hey! I’m pretty excited about getting into 3d printing. Several years ago I started building a mendel max but never ended up finishing it. I’m now interested in it again but my needs are a bit different. I’m looking for a machine that is fairly easy to use with a minimal amount of setup/tweaking. I know any of the printers in my price range are going to take a bit of finesse to get the most out of, but I’m most interested in getting quality prints, not spending a bunch of time tweaking and refining the machine.

After a lot of research, I’m leaning toward the Taz 5 and the Makergear M2. Makergear has tons of solid reviews and there seems to be a lot of info out there (After searching youtube for both machines, the M2 seems to have a lot more videos). have struggled to find much info on people who are printing regularly with the TAZ (mainly just unboxing vids or first print vids which often have calibration issues).

I contacted Lulzbot and asked them how the two compare but basically just told my why the TAZ 5 was awesome, and didn’t really attempt to address how it differs from any other. I’ve read the marketing material before, but that is basically all they told me in reply. (I’m not expecting them to knock another product, but just talk about the differences)

So, that being said, does anyone have experience with these two printers? Aside from marketing claims, why buy a TAZ? Rather, why did you buy a TAZ and how have you liked it?

I had the exactly same questions 1 month ago :smiley: I ended up with the TAZ 5 - because MakerGear isn’t shipping to Germany :confused:
That said, the printers are simmilar. Some points that I want to show up:

Pro for TAZ 5:
.) Comes with an LCD Display and Card reader. Very useful for long prints where I never thrust the USB connection!
.) It has a little higher print area.

Pro for M2:
.) Has linear rails instead of rods and bushes fpr X and Y axes, so I would expect to sagging an X axis and it should be possible to print a little bit faster. But the heated bed is only connected to the rods on the left side, so maybe there is some sagging to the right? Don’t know…
.) I like the extruder design a little bit more, seems to work great (no yamming and so on)

The final decision is up to you, both printers can produce good prints :slight_smile:

I don’t know much about the Makergear M2. My main reasons for choosing the TAZ 5:

  • Industrial grade build
  • Large print bed
    The printer has been great. I use Octoprint on a RPi for control and gcode streaming. The TAZ is consistent enough that 95% of my prints have been initiated remotely and unattended. The toolhead on the TAZ can be switched out pretty easily, allowing for dedicated toolheads for each type of filament.

I came from a Printrbot Simple Metal. For fuss free printing, you should look at the Printrbot Metal Plus (if a large print bed is a consideration). Induction probe eliminates bed leveling (any adjustments are made through software). Compact direct drive extruder(s). Add an all metal hotend (E3D or Hexagon). Get a PEI sheet (or Buildtak, PrintinZ) for the bed… the bare aluminum doesn’t work well withou t a kaptopn sheet or tape… So might as well go with PEI to cut out the filament adhesion issues.

If you are looking for ease of use with minimal fuss and tweaking, and the print size fits your needs, I suggest the Mini. It prints right out of the box and other than local printing from an SD card and having local control, includes the key improvements from the TAZ 5 (PEI Bed and Hexagon Hot End for wide range of filaments).

If the print size is too small, I would go with the TZ if only because of the terrific customer support that LulzBot provides.

I just sold my TAZ 5 and purchased a M2, mainly because I wanted my 3D printer sturdy and small enough to be moved without needing to re-level the entire machine. The M2 is very well built and thought out, no plastic corner pieces and the Z axis rides on ball bearings instead of plastic. I did invest in the LCD option it was $99 more and the SD card reader slot in that works fine, but it also has a SD card slot in the main control panel to use IF you did not spring for the LCD.

The TAZ filament feeder is better, but once you get the M2 dialed in it works without jams or leveling issues. There is a thermal break between the filament feed and the new V4 hot end, some people have disconnected the hot end or extruder cooling fan as its really not needed, mine is still connected. :wink: The PEI bed on the TAZ is a big plus, but I added it to my M2 for about $40.

The entire frame is a formed and welded stainless steel powder coated box type construction and the X rail is mounted on 7 mm thick aluminum on top of the SS frame. Y same construction as X only mounted to the Z carriage. The Z is two steel rails and linear ball bearings. . It uses only one Z motor and screw so the problem of keeping two stepper motors in sync is not a issue

Both machines are fine, the TAZ 5 gives you a larger build area, plus Cura is a more user friendly than Simplify 3 D , the M2 is more sturdy, compact and more dependable.

here is a report I did a while back that did a bit of comparing between the M2, the Ultimaker, and the Taz


Thanks to all who replied.

I often hear that the TAZ isn’t as accurate as other printers. Why is this? I almost never see it actually backed up with numbers. What has been your experience with accuracy?

Your report is so full of errors on the M2 the best place you could post it would be non existent MakerGear Forum where you could be educated.

I had both the Mini and TAZ 5 both were accurate, at least for what I was doing… I preferred the Mini as it was easier to use, and a more solid build. You have to realize that it’s plastic , not metal your working with.

I have no experience with the M2, and I don’t mind the tinkering. I started with the Kittaz, and added the LCD. When the Hexagon hotend came out, I upgraded to it and added a PEI sheet. Last night I installed a .25 nozzle and have been testing it with a .1 layer height using ABS. Once you have the bed properly leveled, printing is quite reliable. The TAZ is known to have a bit of a problem with z wobble caused by the z screws which are supported top and bottom with bearings. As a result, any bend in the screws will cause a slight wobble in the x and y axis which shows up as banding. Having good tension on the belts helps to minimize it. On person has gone as far as to eliminate the bearings. But that means the whole weight of the x rails and print head is transfered directly to the z motors. Another issue is that there is some slight sag of the x rails as the printhead moves toward the center of the x travel. It’s just enough of an problem to make leveling for .1mm layer thickness a bit of a challange, but once leveled to a happy medium between the center and the edges, it’ll still produce very good prints.
In all, I am very happy with my TAZ and I don’t hesitate to recommend it.

Btw, it looks like the next version of the TAZ will be another step forward in reliability and accruracy. It looks like the issues of the z axis and x sag will be addressed. Plus, it will add the auto leveling, and ease of use of their Mini.


Thanks for the info! I’m glad you mentioned the next generation. My buying time frame was from a few weeks to several months so waiting is no problem at all.

Also, thanks for the info about the potential issues with the TAZ. I think at this point the next generation is what I’m looking for.

Here’s a link to the next version development:

Here’s a couple of photos of some parts I just did using .25mm nozzle and a layer height of .1mm.
The smaller item is 14.85mm wide and .4mm tall.
The other item is 1" wide, .43" tall and .4" deep. The larger holes are 6mm dia and the smaller ones are 4mm.