Problems with New TAZ 5 printer

Thanks in advance for all any help you can offer.

I just got a Taz 5 printer and I have had nothing but problems and I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction before I pack this back up in the box it came in.

I have two major issues I am running into.

The first is extrusion related. When I am attempting any print with fine details (the first one I ran into this on was the rocktopus, but so far I have had it with everything that has a narrow or thin vertical piece) the printer simply stops extruding once it gets past the thick parts. It still moves around like it is extruding, but nothing at all comes out. I tried pausing the print and hitting the extrude button and after a bit it does extrude, but it is half the amount I would expect. If I hit extrude again it is back to the normal amount.

My thought was that it was simply not extruding enough so I tried upping the flow, but it did not seem to help. Should I try upping it more or is there something else I should try here?

The second issue is the more serious one. My Z axis does not stay level, the right hand side seems to lower during printing. The first time I noticed this was when I tried to print my first thing other than the bed tests (a rocktopus that is where I first noticed the above issue). At about 95% done the printer made a sort of growling sound so I quickly hit stop on the print. When I was testing everything to see if it worked I was able to move it on the X and Y axis, but the Z would not move. I then noticed that the right hand side was a good 4mm or so lower than the left. After I got them lined back up the axis started moving so I figured it was just a one time thing. Now I have noticed that every time I use the printer by the time it messes up on the print (due to the first issue) it is again out of alignment. Every time the right hand side is lower than the left. So I correct it and start a new print and find the same issue 30 minutes later.

Any suggestions on these two issues, or is my printer just a lemon? I have only had it for a week now, but so far it has been nothing but frustration.


The first issue is likely idler arm tension. You want to start with 8mm distance between the two washers on either side of the idler arm springs, and tighten more as needed if you continue to see issues. You will want to open the idler arm chamber and clean the stripped plastic out of the hotbed bolts as well. If your part is lifting off the bed at all, It may be blocking the nozzle and causing the same effect as well.

The z axis issue can be caused by loose z coupler setscrews. Check all 4 setscrews on each coupler. Once you are sure they are down and tight, and at least one screw is on the motor flat part on the shaft, you will want to check the x axis allignment. To do this, with the x axis down at print height, measure from the bottom of the z leadscrew nut to the top of the lower leadscrew bearing. That distance should be exactly identical on both sides. Now run x axis up and down a few times. If it doesn’t bind you are done. If it does bind, reset and re measure from the nuts to the bearing top, then loosen the x rod mount setscrews on one side of the x rods to relieve any excess tension that wasn’t caught in assembly.

Sounds like a good time to create a “jig” to ensure the x-gantry is level… I think a lot of people forget to check this. It should be the first step before leveling the bed. Though leveling the bed properly negates a slightly unlevel x-rods.

There are a couple that I know of, one on thingiverse, and one referenced by the ohai kit documentation if I remember right. I think that one is in devel.lulzbot.Com somewhere.

This can be the result of too much twist of the X carriage on the Z threaded rods, but also the Z nut bolts may have a small tilt on them. There is a guide to align the Z nuts and X carriage, but I do not remember where it is any more. But I believe it is part of the kit Taz OHAI, or at least when I reworked the last few returned Kit Taz I saw it there. :cry:

Brand new printer out of the box not working? Call support and either get it fixed for free or get an RMA. You paid $2200 for a working machine and it does not.

(Full disclosure: Mine has printed like a dream out of the box and you shouldn’t be expected to build jigs and all the rest of that next level stuff.) Goodluck

I have owned and operated two Lulzbot printers, one a Mini the other a 5. I had minor issues with the Mini but once I got it up and running, (nothing major, user error) it worked like a charm. The 5 it worked fine out of the box. . You should not need to modify or build things to make a brand new printer work like it should.

Call support let them help iron out the initial issues from shipping… and a good baseline.

Tinkering is part of this hobby. Expect to do a lot of the “next level” stuff. 3D printing is not an everyday household thing…

The machine will need constant nurturing. Luckily it gets easier as it becomes routine. But if you’re not ready to tinker, cut your losses and return or sell the machine.

That’s the reality of 3D printing…

The machine I now own, requires no tinkering or mods… it just works. If I wanted to tinker or mod, I would either build my own or do a kit. I just want to 3D print, and Yes there is a learning curve, 3D printing is not ready for the masses.

That’s wonderful… There you go, everyone should return their TAZ and get a Makergear M2. Its extrusion based and the only mod would be the PEI sheet (if you buy into the print bed surface). And maybe replace the OEM proprietory extruder.


The reality with all other printers is, tweaking will be necessary and should be expected to get optimal prints.

The last M2 I looked at had a frame like the Mini but the top plate was .250 machined aluminum plus .125 frame and another rail made from .312 stainless steel track for the carriage to run on. The extruder has a heat break built in as I recall, some do not even bother to run the HS fan as its really not needed.