We have had an idle Taz 6 that the engineering students said wasn’t working properly. We’ve upgraded our print lab to newer machines so my boss said “make it go away”, which I did!
I already have a print lab at home with nearly two dozen machines. They are in safety enclosures for fire and fume abatement. I’m just mentioning this so you understand I am familiar with 3D printers!
I’ve always been curious about the Lulzbot machines, since they seemed to have a core following.
This one had a few issues, such as a broken wire on the “zero sense” connector and the X Carriage has an issue too. A student inserted the screw from behind and over torqued the screw, so that insert just spins and spins. I’ve tried to heat it up, hoping it would reseat, but that screw is super tight and loosens any connection that brass thread had. So far, a washer and nylon insert nut holds it on.
Now that I have the thing doing it’s first successful prints, I am ordering a safety enclosure for it.
That leads me to wonder about what upgrade paths there are for this 6 year old printer?
The biggest on my wish list would be silencing those stepper motors. BL Touch bed leveling and adding a Wham Bam bed are second and third.
Thank you in advance !
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Unless you’ve got a surplus of 2.85mm filament, I’d recommend building a modern 1.75mm extruder and hot end. The M175v2 is fantastic, but the mosquito hot end is prohibitively expensive. I’m putting together one based on the Biqu H2 (sponsored link) and this mount for it. Add wiring and a pair of 24v 5015 blower fans and it should be quite good.
For the noise, with the Rambo board, you’re only going to get so far. The BTT Octopus 1.1 board (sponsored link) can be configured for all the options in the Taz, or for lots more money you can get the Archim board from the Taz Pro can be run as well. There’s drunken octopus firmware for it, or you can configure it yourself.
I looked over the Archim board install and it didn’t sound like a very smooth or well-polished upgrade path. I know at this point, all upgrades are experimental.
I have several CR-10S machines I have overhauled to new power supplies, SKR boards and Bondtech/E3D hot ends. I was hopeful the Lulzbot had a few more tweaks/hacks/improvements along those lines. Or even Duet boards?
I have Ultimakers in my farm so 2.85 isn’t an issue.
I have looked at the M175 and have experience with Slice hot ends. I may do that upgrade.
Are there more filament profiles than what I am seeing in Lulzbot Cura? What’s the best process to use my own materials and make some profiles? Just asking!
I’m kind of surprised the Lulzbots are in stock Cura but I am a bit impressed how they handle the different hot ends as machines with quick firmware update changes.
I really like 3DUpFitters stuff so I will be purchasing one of those
Hello Paul! Love your channel. I don’t have a Taz, but I do have two original Minis, one that I use all the time, one I just bought off eBay and am refurbishing at the moment. I will be following your progress to see how it goes. I would love to put a SKR board in the Mini to make it quieter than the original. The other one I am just leaving stock hooked up to Octoprint so I can manage it remotely. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
You flatter me, thanks! I’m glad you like my YouTube content!
As for the Taz upgrades, I am just thinking out loud!
Given the open-source nature of the Taz, it seems natural to want to improve it as the technology evolves.
But I also like being a lazy end user! I’d much prefer a factory-made upgrade kit that will be supported in their Lulz-Cura software, too.
I don’t know who to talk to at Lulzbot about this, but with so many units out there, surely there is a market for owners that would like to modernize and utilize new features?
I would think that you could talk to someone on the support team, although I doubt you are going to get much response. While I agree that there is a solid community out there, as seen by the forums, I’m not sure the new owners want to spend much time focusing on the old products, kind of like asking Chevy to keep Corvair parts around, you know? But they are solid machines and I’ve been very happy with my Mini.
I completely agree, there is a fine line between offering an upgrade and supporting it … or a new product.
I’ve had the same complaint with Ultimaker. The 2/2+ are nice machines but a bit loud with those 4988 drivers. They did decide to offer the Ultimaker 2 Connect machine, which has some nice improvements. But for many of us with the older models, we got what we got
Yep, the curse of early adoption. LOL.
But I’m still hopeful. I haven’t seem much on here or YouTube for Taz 6 upgrades. I have seen several mentions on Reddit.
Any thoughts on the Wham Bam PEX package versus the Powder Coated PEI plate and magnet offered by Printed Solid? Does the magnetic sheet adhere directly to the glass plate (after removing the existing PEI sheet)? I’ve been concerned that either the magnetic plate has too much insulative properties to allow the steel sheet to get up to temp, or that the adhesive will ease and lift off the plate.
Yes, magnet to glass
I prefer the PEX over the power coated, myself. I found it had a few too many deep ridges which could make layer one challenging. Wham Bam said I could sand down the texturing a bit to my preference and that certainly helped. But I found myself going back to just PEX
For quieting it down, I really like the Duet 3d boards, with their Trinamic drivers. I have used several, and they are very configurable. I haven’t put one on my Taz yet, but I have one waiting for some free time. Support is excellent–both from the forum and the designer.
They have a Facebook Group called DuetSKR where a add on can make an SKR operate just like the expensive Duet Wifi board. I have one such setup in my FolgerTech FT-6. If you have a friend that knows RepRap, I suggest you Like all of their Facebook posts, learn their favorite beer and so on
I’m on he fence with what to do. I desperately want it to be quiet but I am also intrigued about changing print heads with a mere machine change in Cura. I would hate to loose that!
It’s an interesting printer ripe for some modernization.
In regards to the Archim upgrade, it’s pretty well documented and smooth. The only thing not provided by LB is the firmware, but Drunken Octopus solves that issue.
I am currently running the Archim2 upgraded board (from ITWorks3D) with the M175v2 head and BLTouch. I also have a magnet and flexbed. There are a few people that make the sheets, this one is from matter hackers, but Fulament has smooth/texture sheets as well.
Looks good, but my question is after the upgrade. What’s changing heads like? Can you still utilize that feature in Lulz-Cura and just change print heads?
I’m working on modifying the DO firmware to make one that runs on all the tool heads. If you use the tool heads that mount on the universal adapter, it looks like they all have the nozzle in the same positions.
All I expect to do is a PID tune on the head and and check the e-steps.
If you are really going to be playing around with firmware, I converted a mini to run on Klipper. I don’t know anything about Duets or what firmware they run, but Klipper is amazing. I’ll be working on a write up for it soon. My Taz6 has been been working so well with Drunken Octopus, I just need to fine tune a few settings to get one firmware that works with almost all the universal tool heads.
Due to apparently frying extruder #1’s driver, I picked up a BTT Octopus 1.1 board, and am working on building out Marlin for it.
It’ll be set up for BLTouch, sensorless homing, BTT Smart Filament sensor (maybe), and the Biqu H2 extruder w/1.75mm.
I plan on redirecting the pins by reflashing my Rambo board to use extruder #2’s driver and having it set up with the universal firmware so I can use my archive of 2.85mm filament. I won’t be dual-extruding anymore, but I didn’t do it much in the past either.
How will you mount the BL Touch?
The Biqu H2 extruder design that I’m using has a mount for it. It also has the part cooling vents almost exactly at and behind nozzle height, so nozzle wiping will have to be eliminated.