New Taz 6 Owner

Well - I just took the plunge and picked up my first 3D printer! A refurbished Taz 6 from itworks3d.com. I will do my best to search the forums first for my NOOB questions before I start shooting off a bunch of starter questions here. :slight_smile:

I researched a bunch of printers (wow - are there are a bunch of 3d printers now) but kept coming back to this brand. My other choice was the original prusa i3 mk2 because of the cheaper cost and similar print quality but in the end… I thought it was worth it to support a locally based company here in the US.

I model in Cinema 4D and Zbrush so…I will be trying to get up to speed on how to get those converted over to .STL while waiting on the printer to arrive. If you have any of those “Oh I wish I had known that when I first started” pearls of wisdom… it would be much appreciated. :slight_smile:

CONGRATS!

I hear that! I have had my Taz6 about 2.5 months now and the search was exhausting! SOOOO many!

I never even heard of those so no help from me LOL!

When it first arrives before you even assemble it check for any “slippage” in the frame from shipping. If you do it before you even assemble it you can jump right to step 8.

https://ohai.lulzbot.com/project/squaring-taz-6-frame/service-bulletins/

Stick to PLA filament at first as it is the easiest to work with (IMHO but I think most would agree?)

Those are the easy ones. What kind of stuff are you going to print?

Rob

Hi there, welcome to the Taz club!

Lets see, Wisdom pearls huh? Ok.

  1. Room temperature has a dramatic effect on 3d printing. If you can print fine one day, and the next you have issues with the same settings but it’s 5 degrees colder, it’s not your settings, it’s the weather. Also 3d printers cannot live in a cold garage without an enclosure.
  2. Cheap filament is worse than no filament. Especially when you are just learning, get good quality name brand filament from a reputable manufacturer. Village plastic or Push plastic both make great stuff. You can experiment with lower quality stuff once you know how the printer will react to good filament. Cheap filament often has less plastic and more filler powder in it, leading to brittle and hard to print parts.
  3. You will go through your first roll of filament very quickly and waiting for shipping is a pain, order two.
  4. When swapping filament from a hotter material (ABS) to a colder material (PLA) you have to heat the nozzle up to the hotter temperature to purge the remaining plastic, run a 15-20mm extrusion at that temperature to get the last of it out, then let it cool back down to print temperature .
  5. Nozzles very rarely clog. I’ve seen an actual legitimate clog from foreign material (a piece of broken brass from a nozzle thread) exactly once. It’s almost always something else, either trying to extrude too close to the bed (the equivalent of attempting to spray cheese wiz through a brick wall), parts lifting from the bed causing them to be too close to the nozzle during the print, or overextrusion
  6. Make sure you measure your filament diameter with verneir calipers (and get a set of decent digtal ones, you will use them often) and then make sure that measurement is in your slicing program (likely Cura) the slicing program comes with a default diameter already specified, usually 2.85mm. Depending on the filament, that actual diameter will likely range from 2.6mm up to 3.12mm. It becomes very important to have that number correct because otherwise you get over or under extrusion. Think of it like an order for a brick wall made of 6 bricks. If you tell the wall builder (the extruder) you have 6 bricks, but you actually only have 5 bricks (equivalent to a filament diameter setting of 2.60mm when you have it set to 2.85mm) you end up one brick short and your wall has a big hole in it. That right there is the biggest thing people miss when they first start out printing.
  7. Print ABS on a Taz at 240 degrees for the nozzle and 110 for the bed as a starting point. 230c is too cold and it will split.
  8. Purchase a good part removal tool. If you pull things up from the bed too hard, you will get bubbles on your PEI sheet, which then act as insulators preventing parts from sticking. It is important to wedge parts away from the PEI gently using something like a paint scraper, or a spatula. I personally use a caphalon gadgets cheese wedge with the slicer part taped over.
  9. You will read about using ABS Juice or blue painters tape or whatnot to keep things attached to the bed. You can ignore most of that with the Taz PEI sheet until you get into advanced materials like ninjaflex rubber, etc.
  10. PLA plastic requires fan to print properly. ABS plastic usually requires no fan to print properly. The exceptions being when printing very small layers or when “bridging” or running a length of extrusion from one layer over a gap to another layer. The barrel cooling fan on the Taz extruder should be on full time regardless of what type of plastic you are printing. If you are printing PLA, it tends to expand when it gets warm. If that fan isn’t running, it can expand just enough to wedge itself into the bore of the extruder, causing “bore lock” which looks very much like a jam. If you are printing PLA and start to see a bunch of jams, check that fan first.
  11. The idler arm tension bolts should be tightened down to have about 7mm worth of spring between the washers on either side of the spring as a good starting point. PLA requires a bit less, ABS may want a bit more.
  12. We were all new to this once. If you have a question, feel free to ask. someone here will probably have an answer.

Happy printing!

Congrats!

@robajohn: Agreed, never used C4D, and Zbrush only sparingly. I am more of a Fusion 360/Sketchup guy.

@robajohn: Personally, I find ABS easier to print.

@Piercet: <----------------- This man knows what he is talking about listen to him.

@Piercet: My ABS prints at 235°C and Bed 70°C, but I live in Florida so YMMV.

@tonyboutwell: I agree with everything else Piercet said.

@tonyboutwell: Your first few prints may come out disastrous if your settings are off so until you are comfortable, watch at least the first few layers print. I also bought from itworks3d.com . Great company, and mine print out of the box. One week in, my tensioner (with the bearing) split. Apparently this is common if you over tension it. There is a beefier part you can print out on Lulzbot website. Jamie at itworks3d was great he sent me out a replacement part the next day. I recommend reprinting the extruder parts like gears and idler parts as your “practice pieces” as you may need them later.

@tonyboutwell: Try out a sample package of filaments until you know what kind of filaments you prefer. I have tried Taulman Nylon 618 , Taulman Bridge, PLA, ABS, Glow in the Dark ABS, PETG, PET and Colorfabb NGen. They all have very different properties and in different ways can be a challenge to print.

@tonyboutwell: Keep your filaments in a desiccant container. Learn to dry filaments in the oven or better yet, try out a PrintDry Filament Dryer.

@tonyboutwell: I second Piercet’s good part removal tool. I cut my finger with the knife provided (its sharp AF). Better purchase something like a Painting Palette Knife Stainless Steel Blade. Its smaller than his, but does a great job separating the part from the bed.

@tonyboutwell: It all starts with a great first layer. Read these steps very closely.

Thanks Tony!
+1 to piercet’s extensive post.

Thanks Robajohn - I picked up (3) 1kg rolls of PolyLite PLA in some different colors. My background is in computer animation/modeling although I don’t get to do a lot of that in my current role (creative director). But I am hoping to print some of my Zbrush models at first. Here is a dragon head I created.

I know it probably will not be easy to setup…so will save that one for when I have some practice first. Thanks for the tips!

Wow… that is a rocking list Piercet!! Thanks…good stuff for sure. Going to take me a little while to digest it all. :slight_smile:

Thanks Brutal-Force…I think they said they were sending a “tool” along with the printer to help get prints up but I will do some looking at the local hardware store for like a Palette Knife. Great tip for “pre-printing” all of the printable parts so you have them as backups. I will focus on doing those first.

Aha!

  1. That is a cool head!
  2. You are going to want to “read up” on ‘acetone vapor’ on youtube to smooth out your final product!

I second that! I know I sure listen to him!

On part removal tools, I use this…


A BuildTak spatula. I sharpend the front edges up a lot- but only by beveling down from the top so the bottom stays perfectly flat!

What I like about it is that is just sits flat on the bed with a nice easy handle sticking up! Then I just slide the sharp edge along the edge of the part to get under it. Once under the part, just slide the tool along and the part comes off easy peasy while that big flat surface just stays flay on your bed not making any marks!

The tool that comes with the printer can’t reach the center of the bed AND stay flat.

Love it.

These are the tools I’ve been using -

From Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A81FXMK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$10


Best regards,
PCH

Cool Thanks! Just ordered the buildtak spatula. :slight_smile:

So for clean-up/smoothing I am guessing sandpaper type products don’t work well with the PLA?

you can treat PLA basically like brittle model plastic. You can sand it, carve it, use model putty with it (squadron white or green putty works well), you can also prime and paint it just like any plastic model. It’s pretty strong, but when it breaks, it does shatter. Acetone smoothing works well with ABS as a time saver. you can also carve, sand, paint etc. ABS plastic without issue. ABS is less brittle, but a bit more flexible and also can be harder to print because it tends to lift from the bed and doesn’t adhere to itself as well as PLA does. Some of us, myself included started with ABS and actually prefer to print in it. There are also newer plastics on the market that have the advantages of ABS without the smell and the lifting. Things like Ngen, or Nvent for example. For modeling things, PLA is probably a good place to start.

One thing to keep in mind with modeling is that 3d printers build from the base up. For your dragon example, it would be mostly printable without support, aside from the lower jaw, and the teeth of the upper jaw. The issue with the lower jaw would be that the tip of the chin would try to print before the base of the jaw, because it is angled down. If that lower jaw was angled up at least 30 degrees, there is a good chance it would print without support. Same thing with the teeth. the point of the tooth would print before the root of the tooth and not be attached to anything.

You can generate sacrificial support material, either automatically from the slicer program, or built into your model. Support is just thin columns and walls of sacrificial plastic. The downside to using support is that anywhere support touches the main model, it tends to mar the surface a bit. If you are painting and sanding anyways that usually isn’t a problem.

3d printer parts also glue well. with PLA or ABS you can use model cement or PLastruct Plastic weld. In the case of your dragon again, you could split it down the middle into two halves, print both halves and join them. that would allow the jaw to print correctly without support, but you would still need a small amount on the upper tooth. It’s all a tradeoff though, which is better a seam, or a support mark, etc.

Thanks Piercet - here is a link that shows the model (how I made it) and from different angles. There is forked tongue inside the mouth that will probably complicate things too.

https://vimeo.com/198075231