Should I buy a Taz5 now? Or wait?

Hey, I’m new here so I might be posting this in the wrong place. My question is, should I buy a Taz5 now or wait for a new product? I’m very interested in 3d priting. I heard rumors of a Taz 6. Is this something that I should wait for?
Thanks guys

The Taz 6 will probably be out sometime after April-may ish. You can see it in devel.lulzbot.com if you look in the mangrove folder. It’s going to have 12mm rods, mini style auto leveling, a 3 fan extruder carriage (one of which is an improved barrel cooling fan), a PSU integrated into the side frame, and a few other refinements.

I am in the same boat as you. The Taz 6 has some nice new features and we know it will cost more, just not sure how much more.

I like the Taz 5 but I don’t like that there are several highly recommended upgrades that have to be done to it out of the box. For the price of these printers it would be nice to have had a lot of them integrated, like how ultimaker did with the 2+.

With that said, I may pull the trigger on a taz 5 soon.

The upgrades improve quality, but the Taz 5 will still print quite well out of the box even without those upgreades in place.

Not to mention, this is what continuous improvement is all about. You act on feedback from your engineers and customers about how things are working in the field and what could be improved. You weigh those inputs against the cost. Customers preferences run the spectrum of price vs performance. You try to figure out the sweet spot along that spectrum. At least with the open design, it’s easier to adjust where your personal printer lies along that spectrum. I’m just glad they are continuing to make refinements to the design.

Having said that, I’m in the same place myself. Having seen what the local elementary school is doing with the Mini they got about a month ago (I’ve been helping them fine tune it, and learning about it as I go), I’m hooked. The only question I have now is whether to go for a Mini, a Taz 5, or wait for the Taz 6.

Of the new features, the 12mm rods are probably the most important.

Auto-leveling is nice, but Lulzbot’s method using conductance is flawed, IMO. Ultimately the nozzle or touch points will get dirty and the auto-level won’t work properly… I’d say there’s at least 3 posts each week on the Mini forums about this.


Get the TAZ 5 now. If you want a more rigid X-axis, go with the Openbeam mod or do the 12mm rod update at a later time.

You know, I wonder how hard it would be to rig up a dual trigger system. Keep the nozzle leveling, but put a pressure switch under the disk so it triggers anyways if it gets hit and closes the limit switch loop even if the nozzle isn’t functioning… The redundant switch would be a little off compared to the nozzle, but probably not enough to prevent adhesion. Would it be worth the weight and extra complexity on the bed?

Would expect that to have the same problems, for the same reasons (ie. excess dirt).

Honestly, I wonder if the conductance probing technique really is “flawed”, or whether we are seeing a tiny minority of Mini users having problems with it. At HacDC, auto-leveling has worked well so long as the filament is of good quality, and the wiper pads are changed about as often as 1kg spools.

The real problem with the mini nozzle level failing to trigger is that it seems like it tries to drive the nozzle through the bed until it does trigger according to some of the user reports. The pressure switch would still be off, but would prevent bed bending.

I truly like the innovation of a conductance based auto-level… But there’s a lot working against it:

  • Nozzle must be heated to ensure thermal expansion is accounted during bed leveling
  • Heated filament oozes
  • Wiper gets dirty, needs replacing.
  • Certain filament difficult to clean using solvents

Maybe the key is to heat the nozzle just enough to expand the metall, but not hot enough to melt the filament… 150C might be a good start. No filament ooze therefore no residue left on discs, no need for the wiper. It would require someone to work with the start script. I don’t own a Mini, so I’m out. :slight_smile:

I have a Mini and it runs the nozzle at about 170° C for wipe and 150° C for auto-leveling then runs temp to full setting after leveling before printing.

Thanks! Good to know…

170C to wipe seems good for PLA, but probably not optimal for ABS? Reading through the start-up script, it specifies a retract at 150C… I don’t think any filament will budge at that temp. Therefore this step is more than likely causing the hobbed bolt to “bite” into the filament, which could compromise the effect of the idler arm. Though, I would think its negligible with a properly tightened idler.

Understanding the start script better. Here are some thoughts for experimentation:

  • After the hotend gets to 150C, do the G29 probe
  • Then heat the hotend to low side of extrusion temp as specified from filament manufacturer (a start script for each filament type would be optimal)
  • Retract filament at temp to mitigate ooze
  • Perform wipe

Add an end-script to clean the nozzle while still hot for optimum cleaning.

The wipe and probe temps vary based on the type of material you are printing. The temps it retracts at are basically the temps you would do a cold pull at, or slightly warmer, so it might be pulling a slug of soft plastic away from the nozzle rather than fully soft runny plastic. I wipe and probe Ultimachine PLA at 140C with no problems. I think the standard wipe and probe temp for ABS is 160.

@piercet Bending… yes, permanent damage is a problem. Pressure sensor might help, but I’d be concerned about false-positives. Maybe the Z-values could be periodically measured, stored to EEPROM, and future moves limited sufficiently to prevent damage.

I’ve been researching buying my first printer and spent about a week going through this same struggle, buy now or wait for the 6. I just ordered a Taz 5 two days ago. After searching the forums, the rest of the web, and even calling the lulzbot sales department, I decided the pull the trigger because the 5 IS supposed to be a solid printer right out of the box, and just about all of the “upgrades” on the 6 can be achieved on the 5 with a few mods.

The rails on the 6 are better (12mm vs. 10mm), but still not as good as an openbuilds axis mod anyway. The corner brackets on the 5 can be replaced with metal ones. There are a ton of options out there for additional cooling for the extruder/hot end. Although I don’t know it’s something I personally want, there are several options for adding auto-leveling, etc. I’d imagine you could even replicate the electronics casing if you were really determined.

All anyone from sales will tell you is that the 6 is due to come out sometime in 2016. So from what I can tell it could be late March, or it could be September. I finally decided that having a printer now and having to do a few mods is better than waiting for the 6 and possibly not printing for another 6 months. Of course if the 6 comes out next week I’ll be pretty upset, but as of a moth ago they still had at least two test runs to get through before even starting final production, so I feel pretty safe.