Materials for a Newbie (Mini)

Hey all,

I’m going to be ordering the Lulzbot mini next week and I’ve got a few questions. I’m wondering if there’s anything special I need to know about filaments. I’ve been reading the site on them and some are trickier than others. I was thinking about going with a HIPS and an ABS so if I need something a bit more durable or something I can smooth out, I have ABS, but for general printing go with HIPS which seems to be an “easy” material to print with. Are there any issues switching between materials?

Second, do I need to order cleaning filament with the order based on the filaments I’m considering?

Third, I’m a bit confused on the bed. Based on places I’ve been reading for reviews, most beds take a PET film or some sort of replaceable tape. I’ve seen some reviews that say the material used for the bed on the mini makes extra bed preparation unnecessary. Then when I read the lulzbot site they give suggestions for bed prep (ABS slurry or goo or whatever) but I’m not sure if this applies to the TAZ or the mini or both.

Finally, just curious if the material can be left in the nozzle after printing or do I have to be close by to remove and clean it every time? I’ve been reading reviews of people who have nozzles jams etc and I’d like to try to prevent making bonehead mistakes right out of the box :slight_smile:


Hey Jim, some answers for you…

I switch materials all the time and don’t use a special cleaning filament. All you need to do is push 20-30 mm of your new filament through to clean out the hot end.

ABS is a good filament to start out with. It’s biggest issue comes when printing large parts as it is prone to shrinkage which causes separation from the print bed, warps and even breaks.

The Mini comes equipped with a PEI surface on the bed. This does not need any other prep for ABS, HIPS and PLA. It is a fantastic material and I’ve been advocating it for well over a year now. This is new, so the prep you found for ABS slurry was written before Lulzbot developed their PEI bed for the mini and TAZ 5. You won’t need it with a PEI surface.