Lulzbot TAZ 3??

Hello Everyone!

I’m still in the early stages of planning out my TAZ build (Trying to find a local Laser CNC to cut acrylic for me! Surprisingly, I haven’t had ANY luck finding someone with even a simple CNC machine…)

Anyway, on a whim I decided to check out

I see two new (or I think they are) folders - /3.0/ and /3.1/

I don’t seem to recall reading about a TAZ 3.0. Last I was looking, I saw 2.1 was the latest edition. Has there been any official announcement?

I think those might possibly refer to producition runs.

Why not have those parts 3D printed like on the TAZ 1.0? The only reason they went with lasercut acrylic parts is because they can be produced faster. Lulzbot cannot keep up with demand.

I would tend to agree, there used to be folders named 2.2 through 2.5, they’ve been deleted and the current 3.0 folder contains files that date from last June along with newer parts. I think they’re always tweaking parts for production optimization. I work for a manufacturer and we do the same even for products that have been around for a few years.

Hello everyone, the version jump is due to a change in heatbed and power source, we’ll be switching to 24v and a custom kapton heater. Stay tuned :wink:

Interesting - 24V eh… Hmm, guess I’ll take my time getting started on building my Lulzbot to see what that heater looks like.

Why not have those parts 3D printed like on the TAZ 1.0? The only reason they went with lasercut acrylic parts is because they can be produced faster. Lulzbot cannot keep up with demand.

I wanted to get Acrylic parts for rigidity. It seems to me many of the parts used in 3D printers benefit from being machined over printed. I was assuming the lasercut parts would provide a more solid frame.

I see there is an updated corner bracket design on Thingiverse, but still assumed the lasercut parts would over a stronger design.

Some of the plastic brackets can be swapped out for standard aluminum 90 degree angle fittings if you want additional frame rigidity. The rest of the printed parts could be extruded thicker in your favorite modeling program if you want a more rigid frame, at the cost of more effort print time and materials. That is probably one of the areas the old style AO-10x design has the advantage

hmm my 2.1 shipped just last week. will there be an upgrade to the 24v heater because the heatbed on my 2.1 is slooooooooooooooooooooooooooow like 15 minutes to get to 83 ABS temps :frowning:

I don’t think this is necessarily true. The Taz 3 costs less (~$150 from the BOMs) for LulzBot to produce so it probably isn’t a “better” machine - besides the heated bed upgrade which was in the works for a while and there was a thread on here about it.

Edit: sorry I didn’t see that the 2.1 included “labor” so 3.1 is actually more expensive to produce.

Try preheating it with a hair dryer or putting a sweater on it while it is heating up. 15 mins eh? I’m glad you mentioned that because it makes my stripboard heater ( seem not so bad!

one of the benefits and drawbacks to a world where 3d printers are a reality is very very rapid product upgrade paths. I’m personally in favor of a company releasing an updated version of a product when they have it available rather than just sitting on it to try and drive up more sales. I can see why you would be irritated though, but I don’t agree with your reasoning. Lucky for you I’m just a tazless AO-100 user so you can probably safely ignore me. but hey, +1 post count!

TAZ 3 without the recommended(neccessarry) cooling for PLA? More like TAZ 2.5… :mrgreen:

cityguru: I payed the full fundables price+taxes, waited 3 weeks, received it on the Friday (without filament) before C.M. only to find out the about the $400 discount. Now 3 weeks later the new TAZ 3 is still $200 cheaper than what I payed. Sure it doesn’t make me happy, but there are costs and inventories involved in running a business that you don’t see, and that’s just how it is anywhere you look these days.

Besides, I don’t see a lot of game changing upgrades, at least not enough to get upset about having missed out. :slight_smile:

On that I agree, and it certainly doesn’t go well with people who already made the purchase. An announcement or some info would have been definitely nice.

Now if we think about it, what else could have Lulzbot done? They could have very easily kept the TAZ 2 at $2400, and sell TAZ 3 at $2600. Or they could be selling the TAZ 3 for the same TAZ 2 price. Both alternatives would have kept the product’s public image, while keeping past customers happy. I would have kept the same price with the added improvements, with some discounts for TAZ 2 owners on the upgrades.

At the end of the day, Lulzbot released a better product at a lower price. Might not be the best marketing decision, but how can we argue with that?

First off – this kind of version change roll out isn’t unique to 3D printer world. It happens without fanfare with lots of things - consumer electronics, home appliances, etc. I think the difference is that we tend to be a small, highly focused community that is paying such close attention to the minute details of product feature, availability, etc. that it is very difficult for a manufacturer to roll out a new version without either taking a break between versions (e.g. out of stock for months) or having to clearance old models as soon as people know there is a new model coming.

Having said that, Aleph is in the process of learning their way through this. It doesn’t appear that they have a consistent policy for new version introduction other than making designs for upgraded printable parts freely available. Looking at their roll-out history, they started clearancing the A-101 while we were still waiting for the TAZ 1 (good, standard move), they stopped making TAZ 1 and were out of stock for a significant amount of time while getting TAZ 2 ready for roll out (not too bad on customers, other than impatience – probably very bad for cash flow), and they pulled TAZ 3 out of their hat (surprise!) with a major change in heated bed which (presumably) will address many of the common bed problems people are having. Now, if you dig through their development files this shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. There is extensive documentation on development and testing of the upgraded heated bed dating back almost a year. However, making this much of a change without notice is a good way to alienate current customers – most of us would prefer to have a choice of earlier model at slightly discounted price vs. waiting for new model. And not everyone would choose to wait so the previous version would continue to move, albeit at a reduced pace.

Once common way to mitigate the customer alienation is to offer an upgrade path at the same time that you do the new model roll out. This would have been doable with TAZ2 since the most notable change was the control panel/SD card capability and this component is readily available. Perhaps working a deal with the manufacturer so that TAZ 1 owners could get it at a discounted price. Unfortunately this still isn’t offered.

Obviously this would be much harder to do with the new heatbed, particularly since it now requires a 24VDC supply. So, what could Aleph have done? One additional trick used by many of the big names is to announce the new model but set the pricing noticeably higher than the previous model. Customers will then make the value judgement before roll out, continuing to buy the old version. Then, two months or so after roll out, do the price reduction. This softens and distributes the current owner impact – really early adopters of the new version are accustomed to paying a premium and understand that prices will fall, recent purchasers of the previous version are generally satisfied that they saved significant $$ when they made the purchase and had the use of the printer during the months when the new version was more expensive.

Anyway, I’m no expert on this, there are lots of books written on the topic and plenty of case studies to look at.

Here’s my position – I bought one of the first TAZ 1’s – I never got it to work satisfactorily and it is currently in pieces in a box waiting for me to have time to redesign and rebuild it. Hindsight is always 20/20 - maybe i shouldn’t have purchased it. Maybe, knowing what I know now, I might not even have bought the TAZ 3. Am I angry at Aleph? Absolutely not. I’m a tech savvy, early adopter. We spend money on new technology knowing that there is risk and knowing that prices will go down and that features will improve. TAZ was not my first 3D printer and won’t be my last. I will continue to research, test, design, fabricate, buy, etc. 3D printers and components looking for the technology that best meets my professional needs.
Could Aleph have made better choices in how they rolled out TAZ 3? Absolutely, and I’m sure they’ll refine their new product introduction strategy as a result of your feedback. My greatest wish is that they would offer all of the custom-made vitamins in their store as soon as each new model is rolled out.

So let’s look at this as members of a tight-knit community of innovators, rather than as consumers of generic mass-produced pablum available at any Walmart. We all invest in trying these new things. If anyone asked us, we would probably use the word “invest” at some point. Inherent in any investment is the element of risk - risk that it won’t work, risk that we paid too much, risk that the next version will have more awesome features, risk that it won’t actually do what we need it to do. But as an investment, there is also the reward side of the equation. We are doing something that very few people know how to do (so far). We’re getting a head start with a tool that will be ubiquitous some day and will have the chance to do things that can create careers and industries.

A few hundred dollars here, a few missing features there, these are the bumps that we take to be in the lead.

Two months two weeks and three days between the announcement of the Taz 2 and Taz 3.
One month one week and two days between starting shipment of Taz 2 units and announcement of Taz 3.

I am in full support of the active development Lulzbot is doing on their printers. That development was a major influence on my decision to buy the Taz. However, they have known the original heat bed had varying levels of problems for a long time. Mine heats quickly but has significant variation in temps across the bed. Printing longer parts that have to build close to the edge of the build platform has been problematic.

When good companies find serious and / or widespread problems in their products, they correct the problem. I sincerely hope Lulzbot chooses to provide an upgrade path for the heated bed at a reasonable price to Taz 2 customers.

I got one of the earlier TAZ 1s and that was back in late May - so around 4-5 months between the TAZ 1 and the TAZ 2 release. There wasn’t a heads-up announcement that it was coming, but just like TAZ 3, there were discussions on the forum & design work up on the public repo going on prior to the TAZ 2 release.

The TAZ 1 to TAZ 2 change wasn’t very substantial as far as features beyond the LCD screen. I don’t think there are any big changes between the TAZ 2 and 3 other than the new heated bed (and new power supply due to that new bed). Functionally, a TAZ 1, 2, and 3 all have the same capabilities (other than the stand alone printing that comes with the 2/3) so the difference between the different models isn’t all that great (and it’s probably why there wasn’t a big announcement for TAZ 3 since it’s a minor, but important, change).

Cityguru - since you just got your TAZ 2, have you actually asked Lulzbot if you can exchange it? I though there was a 30 day or so return period when I ordered my TAZ 1, so I would assume something like that still exists. It may be as simple as just swapping yours out (or even just swapping out the power & bed without having to send the whole thing back).

  • Adam

and all goes quiet from the company.

if nothing comes of this and if there is a 30 day window, I’ll just box mine up and send it back.

If you ordered from the Lulzbot store, they definitely still offer a 30 day return window (according to the website), although it’s geared toward faulty printers/parts/etc so I don’t know how they interpret this particular situation:

I’d highly recommend emailing them if you really want to talk about options. That’s a much better way to get an answer faster that takes into account your specific situation. At least that’s always been the case for me when I have a support issue. The forums are great for connecting with other Lulzbot users and certainly the Lulzbot team will post as well, but if you need an answer directly from them, email is better.

  • Adam

Well that escalated quickly ha ha

I’m happy to see so many people active on the thread. Interesting information though, I’m amazed the TAZ3 is already out. Guess I’m glad I haven’t started building one yet!

Hopefully in January/February I can start building a TAZ. Shoot, maybe if I hold off enough, a TAZ 4 perhaps? ha ha ha

You should talk to LulzBot if your 2.1 heatbed takes 15 minutes to get to temperature. Mine takes about 5 in a 70 degree room.

I think they are too busy getting ready to release the 6000 SUX next week to offer any support. :unamused:

And where have cityguru’s posts gone? Were they self-censored or removed and why?