Ok, it’s been about 3 weeks roughly since I got my Taz5 in the mail. I ordered this printer mainly due to build volume and cost. I originally wanted an Ultimaker 2, simply because this was my first foray into 3d printing and my first printer, I wanted the printer to be as user friendly and easy to use as possible. The Ultimaker 2 seemed to fit the bill. But when I saw the capabilities of the Taz I figured it might be a better fit for some of the things that I eventually wanted to build. Such as quadcopters, full size cosplay mask, and motorcycle parts. The reviews that I read said that if you were a tinkerer and didn’t mind adjusting some things, that you could get excellent quality builds out of the Taz. Well, I am an electrician by trade, I have built several computers, and I do all of my own work on my cars so I figured I was good. Boy was I wrong, lol.
The Taz has a learning curve to it, as well as 3d printing has a learning curve. I was one of the dummies that thought I could print the calibration print and then jump into printing full size, technical prints with a lot of details. Nevermind reading the manual and actually figuring out how to do things properly. Needless to say I ran into a lot of problems. Well, after getting my nozzle clogged with hips filament, I decided to slow down and read the manual while my nozzle was soaking in acetone. I have since learned a lot about the printer and it’s settings as well as the settings in Cura. I now have a little process that has helped me improve my prints a lot. I’ll do a small list of the things that have helped me in hopes that they may help some other noobs.
- Read the entire manual. Pay close attention to the parts that deal with whatever slicer you will be using.
- Read MHackney’s guides. There is tons of helpful info in there for noobs.
- Once you move from the quickprint settings to the full settings (I’m talking Cura as this is what I use and works best
for me) be mindful of any changes you make. They all affect your print in different ways.
- Slow your print speeds down. I know it takes longer but this usually gives the best quality prints.
- Keep your bed and your nozzle pristine clean after every print. Trust me on this one, prints can fail if the nozzle is
obstructed or dirty . Also the clean bed helps with adhesion of prints. I use isopropyl alcohol.
- This is just personal preference, but I found that if I prime the extruder and manually extrude several mm’s of
filament before I start a print, I get much better results and less failed prints.
A few other things I will mention. I downloaded several stl’s and gcode files off of the internet. You have to be careful when downloading gcode as some of it may have changes to your settings that aren’t especially good for your printer. I found out that my retraction settings had been changed. This was causing too much filament to retract during printing and I think this is what caused my clogged nozzle. I was also having issues with prints not sticking well to the bed on the side where the fan is. I checked the settings and my fan was set to blow at 100% after a layer height of .5 mm. I changed this to 50% and now I have no problem with prints sticking to the bed. The last thing I will add is I know that since the release of the new all metal hotend, the suggestions are to raise the printing temps by 10 degrees celsius. I was using 240 degrees for hips and found that I was getting a lot of rough looking top layers. I adjusted the temp down to 230 and my top layers have gotten a lot smoother. Just a small note ymmv of course.
Sorry for the long post. I just want to say that the Taz 5 is a great printer and maybe not the best fit for someone who is completely new to 3d printing. I was very close to giving up on this thing. But, if you are willing to learn the machine and the ins and outs of 3d printing, this thing can produce some absolutely beautiful items.
Thank you to mhackney and all of the other helpful people on this forum for your help and suggestions. Believe me it is really appreciated.