"Rumors" of Lulzbot Closing by End of October 2019

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/lulzbot-closing-by-end-of-october-lawsuit-filed-by-employee-163367/

:frowning:

Yeah, it’s true. They closes down production last Friday. However all warranties will be covered an the offices will be open until the end of the month.

There are ways to save Lulzbot and make it thrive (again) for the long run, but it requires fundamental change.

I did want to make a correction. They still have a skeleton crew in manufacturing. Also, there are several companies that are interested in purchasing Aleph Objects.

As far as innovating is concerned, that’s all well and good as long as the stuff works when it goes out the door. There were several projects that were in the works. The Bio Printer was supposed to come out this month. They were working on a multitoolhead printer that would carry up to four tool heads. So, things were being developed.

But, that’s the nice things about the printers – you could modify them however you wanted. Any modifications would void the warranty and would be past the scope of Tech Support. But they were highly modifiable.

This is concerning, we just purchased in June a Taz 6 for $2500. With the same order, we purchased a V3 Dual Extruder Head (that we have yet been able to get to work right) for $495 and a 3-year extended warranty for $1,075 for our first Maker Space in our brand new Bethany Library opening on November 16th.

So you are saying that this 3 year warranty will be covered? Forgive me if I’m not overly confident that will happen. The only way I see it happening is if one of those companies interested in purchasing Aleph does so.

It is very unfortunate that Aleph Objects has maxed out all thier credit cards due to poor business management, and will probably be closing by the end of the month (unless they get bought out, which I think is unlikely). But one can hope.

For the rest who are interested, i have made sure to backup the entire devel and download portions of the lulzbot website before it is gone. I would recommend you do the same. I used wget on linux to copy it all.

I like the lulzbot printers a lot, but I think they expanded too quickly, and innovated too slowly combined with poor money management. Oh well, live and learn. On to Prusa…

Would it be valuable to create a github repo of all the devel and website source so that it is guaranteed to live forever and available to all?

Yeah, that’s a great idea. Do you think you could do that? I do have a github account, but I barely know how to use it. Not everything needs to be on a hit repo like the testing videos and other random stuff. But, the annoying thing is all the development projects have codenames and its hard to know exactly what is what. I think there is a “decoder ring” file that translates those names somewhere, but it might be better to rename certain projects Like “superfantasticgladiola” to “lulzbot bioprinter” for example.

Don’t forget to backup OHAI.lulzbot.com.

Im doing that now… it is hands down the best guide I’ve seen for any product. Its nice when companies do open source to the MAX instead of the bare minimum. I do hope lulzbot survives, but they saw this coming and firing all those employees last min without proper notice is shameful. As a Colorado and Loveland resident myself I hope they loose the lawsuit.

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/lulzbot-closing-by-end-of-october-lawsuit-filed-by-employee-163367

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Very sad to see this happen, both for the people hit (been there, it sucks), and for the customers. I’ve been concerned though, the rest of the market is moving down in price, and the latest Taz iteration went in the opposite direction - I’m sure that hurt sales. Taz was always a premium product, but 2-3x the market price point is hard to sustain.

I’ve managed to find and buy some spare parts for the things that need replacement most often (e.g. glass beds), and will be printing a bunch of parts like the herringbone gears over the next few weeks to have on hand. Hopefully someone buys the company and we don’t have sourcing issues for the non-printable pieces, but if the company does disappear, we should think about adding a sourcing document to the github for the harder-to-find parts.

The thing I’m most worried about is Cura, particularly for mac users. It’s a beast to compile, and that doesn’t even include getting all the Lulzbot specific firmware stuff included, so future OS upgrades may render it unusable. Worst case we can go a virtual machine route with a legacy OS to keep running with what we have, but that does mean we’d miss out on the future core Cura improvements. Still, we’ve got a damn good machine now, and that won’t change.

Why wget? All that data is easily available over rsync:

$ rsync -az --stats rsync://rsync.alephobjects.com/lulzbot lulzbot
$ rsync -az --stats rsync://rsync.alephobjects.com/devel devel
$ rsync -az --stats rsync://rsync.alephobjects.com/ao ao

The directory sizes (excluding file system overhead) are 101 GiB for lulzbot, 219 GiB for devel, and 8.5 GiB for ao.

Also be sure to grab Git repositories from Phabricator (48 GiB in 212 repositories):

$ for r in $(wget -q -O - http://www.pehjota.net/~pj/code.alephobjects.com_repositories | grep '.git$'); do git clone --mirror "https://code.alephobjects.com/${r}" "${r}"; done



Agreed on expanding too quickly, but sadly I don’t see Prusa (or anyone else) as a replacement for LulzBot. They lack features like a modular carriage, real dual extrusion, and a double XZ frame for a really rigid and stable Y axis.

Yes, for anyone else, this will grab all that (13 GiB):

$ wget --wait=1 --adjust-extension --convert-links --mirror --page-requisites https://ohai.lulzbot.com/ https://ohai.lulzbot.com/group/

Does anyone know what is going to happen with the forum? Its already suffering from spam bots and will need periodic maintenance. There is A LOT of great information embedded in these threads that would be a shame to lose!

A buddy of mine said that he was able to clone the download FTP and the OHAI site in its entirety (JavaScript and all!) There is a TON of info and data files. Perhaps github is not the appropriate place to archive all this stuff? They recommend repos under 1GB and have a hard limit set at 100GB. I don’t think that’s enough and doesn’t allow the site material to function…

Just run the scripts in the post above yours it works to grab pretty much everything. Just make sure you have enough space to handle mirroring the entire thing. If they really do close you can post the last archive as a torrent it is the best way to share something that large anyone who mirrored the company before could become seeds. (~300GB of data) No cloud provider is going to allow you to share that for free.

Edit: Be careful mirroring the forums you might download something nasty if the few remaining staff miss a security update or something. I mirrored everything into a sandbox vm and will just store it away in case I need reference for my Taz6 printers in the future.

Hadn’t thought about grabbing the forums (got everything else), but that’s not a bad idea. Did you use rsync or wget on them?

And yeah, a torrent would be the best place, once we know for sure.

Fingers cross that no news is good news though, and that someone will pick up the assets.

Got it. Thanks for the scripts!
Running ‘du -hs’ reports:
8.5 G ao
220 GB devel
102g lulzbot
13G ohai.lulzbot.com
21G phabricator

I must have missed some of the phabricator. I think at some point it asked me for a git username, and I don’t have one. Maybe I need to create an account?

Misc thoughts:
I was hoping they would lower their prices while trying to liquidate their inventory, but I haven’t seen any price drops so far. Thinking that they would close on Halloween and have nobody left to ship my order, I bought some upgrades from DigiKey instead. A great thing about DigiKey is that they list the number of items in stock, so you can get an idea of how long you might have before they run out. They are down to 3 dual extruders now that I bought mine.
Just picked up a dual extruder v3 and modular heatbed. My Taz 6 has been doing very well since I bought it last year. The only thing I have needed to do so far has been to clean the bed and nozzle occasionally. It is a really sturdy printer.
I was hoping that they would release a dual extrusion tool head with hardened steel nozzles, but I suppose that will never happen now. Bummer. I want to mix glow in the dark filament and black in one print.
Imagine this with blue glow in the dark details:
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3117195
I printed that cat at 25% size with the 0.25mm SL tool head and it looks amazing. Too bad my cheap PLA broke at the tail.
I learned not to trust cheap filament. I learned a lot this year. Thanks, Lulzbot, for a great time. If I had the money, I would buy the Taz Pro.

Does anyone have links to a good tutorial on changing the nozzles in something close to the dual extruder tool head? The best I could find so far was something saying the hotends use E3D Volcano nozzles. At least I know which size to get. If I get the new E3D Nozzle X I can get up to 1.2mm nozzles. I think I would go with 1.0mm. I wonder how big I can go with PETG, PLA, or PVA before they start to drip from the nozzle during printing?

I think two repositories requested authentication (even over HTTPS) but were just empty mirrors. I was able to download 213 of the 218 repositories in my list – all but:

  • source/gnuwin32.git
  • source/FOO-openwrt-feed-routing.git
  • source/py2app/
  • source/sip/
  • source/pyobjc/

du reports 46 GiB total.

I did have some trouble with cloning some of the really large repositories over HTTPS. I had to use SSH for those (replace “https://” with “ssh://git@” in the clone command). For that you need a Phabricator account and an uploaded SSH public key. But new accounts have to be approved by an administrator, and I doubt that’s been happening in these past three weeks.

The modular carriage is an open system, and Aleph Objects isn’t the only company that made/makes tool heads for it. IT-Works 3D and the Colorado Printing Project have made some nice tool heads, and my company Libiquity might make some as well.

The Yellowfin (Dual Extruder Tool Head v3) bill of materials says it uses hot ends from E3D, but they don’t look like any standard E3D hot ends. They seem to be custom (as suggested also by the E3D part numbers in the BoM: CC-AO-GUN-AS-LH and CC-AO-GUN-AS-RH). The stock nozzle on the LulzBot Dual Extruder is LulzBot’s usual 0.5 mm, so that’s probably a V6 nozzle. I’m not sure if the hot end is compatible with Volcano nozzles. In any case, E3D has assembly instructions that show how to install their nozzles onto their hot ends.

EDIT: The support page for the LulzBot Dual v3 hot end specifies E3D V6 threading, so it looks like Volcano nozzles won’t work.

I’ve been tempted to grab a v3 dual (have a v2 that never really worked well), but he v3 had a rough launch with issues, clogging, and temp problems. Anyone aphorism has a recent one able to comment on how well it works?

A static clone of the forum exists. If the main one closes that will be a repository, but most of the forum activity has shifted to the lulzbot mini and taz facebook page.

Hi Folks,
I sent my mini in for warranty work at the start of Oct. Now, of course, I’m hearing nothing back. They still have my printer. Suggestions?
-Thanks

I tried to make a call to LulzBot and no one is answering the phones. So, I guess they ceased production. I did talk with someone who worked there last week and there are some positive things coming down the pipe. They had a gag order so they couldn’t discuss it. But stay tuned!