LulzBot used in Architecture

I am trying to get some user input and feasibility on adding a 3d printer to the architectural firm I work at.
right now no one in the office has any experience with 3d printing, not even my self. I have at least played around with some of the different slicing software.
Any insists and suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Hi there. If no one has any experience in 3D printing, then the easiest way to get your feet wet and get producing beautiful parts right away is to purchase a Lulzbot Mini. The automatic bed-leveling, .5mm nozzle, and PEI bed make it very easy to use and you will get acquainted fast.

Enjoy!

Some other thoughts on this, note that I am not an architect!

Something with dual extruders might be useful down the line - the TAZ5 has or will-soon-have this ability. You can (I believe) use the Dually mod with the Taz5, but it uses a different nozzle/hotend structure so the upgrade is a bit strange and will probably have you delving into the firmware a bit. I’m pretty sure Lulz is working on a version that won’t need as much firmware mucking.

Anyway, dual extruders are great if you need to do anything with overhangs at hard ( > 45°) angles. You can do support structures and models with a single extruder, but the cleanup can be a huge pain. You need the support structures for overhangs or else the printer will be trying to print in mid-air, and you’ll get plastic spaghetti instead of a worthwhile model. A dual extruder lets you print the support structure parts in a completely different material - usually PVA (water soluable, it’s the same stuff in Elmer’s Glue or wood glue) or HIPS (soluble in Limonene).

I recommend the 5 over the Mini for that reason, and for the larger build area. Models made on the Mini will have to be pretty small, so you’d have to print things in pieces and glue/snap them together to get sizeable models. The Taz5 has a pretty big build surface - one of the biggest, if not the biggest, at it’s price point. You can print pretty sizeable structures with it.

The 5 also gives you a nice all-metal hotend (the Mini might have this, I’m not sure) which gives you a very wide range of available materials (like Nylon, polycarbonate, etc).

The 5 also looks to be easier to modify as needed. I have a TAZ4 that I’ve modified the crap out of - auto bed leveling sensor, custom extruder setup with an E3D dual-nozzle Chimera hotend, stiffer supports, and sound dampeners on all the motors.

The Mini has some nice features as a starter printer - auto bed leveling removes one of the most time consuming calibration processes - and it’s very good for beginners. But if you think you’ll be doing anything sizeable, which seems likely for an architectural firm, I’d go with the TAZ5. It’ll be a slightly steeper learning curve, but I think you’ll get more out of it in the long run.

Here’s a nice review from an architect student, heh. :slight_smile:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3UENDMP7IQ3BF?ref_=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl&ASIN=B00S54E1AI&pldnSite=1

I don’t know about that review on amazon :slight_smile: but Steve, big models need to be printed in pieces
and I am very satisfied with the TAZ 3 I’ve had for a year now.

It’s like 3dprintdaddy said, with TAZmini it could be the best way for you to print something, since it’s easy to use
As a fellow architect I must warn you. You would mostly use it for much smaller models then you used to make in traditional way. So dont expect a ‘3 foot model’ to come out in less than a week maybe.

You would need to:
-study the digital model (for possible complication in terms of 3d printing)
-plan the print (to circumvent those complications)
-do post processing (fitting, gluing together etc.)

cheers