Starter questions - stuck to bed + quality

Hi all,

I just got my Taz4 from Amazon and was going through the start guide steps last night. Setup was easy overall. Bed leveling took a couple of tries and I ended up with it just a tiny bit too close in the back right I think. It’s hard to tell how to interpret the “pull out the sheet of paper with only slight resistance” bit. The bed calibration print seemed to come out pretty well except in that corner where the big loop design disappeared a bit (see Photo1.jpg)

I downloaded the Small-octopus-ABS-.35noz-TAZ.gcode file and used the pronterface default temperatures for ABS (230 hot end, 110 bed). I’m using some 3mm Shaxon ABS I picked up from Fry’s as a test. I wasn’t sure if it was ok at first as the perimeter and the first layer seemed to be a bit thin and hard to see but layers began to build up so I let it finish. Overall the results were pretty coarse compared to the awesome white octopus that came in the box. I expect it’ll take a while to get up to speed with the complexities of this process but I’m eager to hear any pointers people might have after looking at the pictures of my results (see Photo3.jpg)

Now, I can’t get the part off the bed at all :confused: I’ve tried using the knife from the kit but the best I can do is pry up some of the arms (snapped one off in the back). That sucker feels like it’s welded to the bed and isn’t coming off at all. I already nicked the surface sheet in one spot trying to get the bed calibration print off and I feel like I’m going to wreck it getting the octopus off.

Any advice for a 1st timer?

Ok, I got back to it recently and managed to pop the print off using a wide plastic putty knife. It took more effort than I would have expected but it didn’t damage the bed.

I’m still curious if anyone has any advice on what might be the cause of the sloppy looking edges that are easy to see along the tentacles. I’d like to know where to go next to start getting closer to the incredible sample print.

Regarding print stuck to bed - are you using an ABS-Acetone slurry on PET sheet?

If you are, you might have too much ABS in the solution. This is a problem I’m far too familiar with myself.
Getting the proper ratio of ABS to Acetone is critical.

No slurry. I was printing on the bed as it shipped.

I did try following the directions to make an ABS slurry, but even after 24 hours all I ended up with is a gooey sludge at the bottom of the bottle. After looking online, I’m seeing that this Shaxon ABS I grabbed from Frys is widely regarded as poor quality filament.

I still have a bit of the 1m strand that came with the printer and I’m going to try printing some calibration shapes with it just to see how it performs.

Are you 100% sure the strand of filament that comes with TAZ is ABS?

I’m thinking it was PLA.

The ABS slurry (Lulzjuice) is very important from everything I’ve experienced. It helps the part stick to bed, but it also helps the part release when everything has cooled.

Again, the proper ratio of ABS to acetone is extremely important.

The ABS I got from Lulzbot dissolved completely in the acetone overnight. If you have gooey sludge I’m thinking your ABS is very poor quality, or you’ve put way too much ABS into your solution.

How to Make LulzJuice

  • Buy a small bottle of acetone at your local home improvement of hobby store (about 8oz should do the trick).
  • Pour the contents into the durable plastic bottle that was included in your printer kit, leaving a bit of room at the top.
  • Add 7-8 lengths of ABS plastic, each about 5 inches long (just short enough to be submerged in the acetone), in the same color you wish to print with.
  • Screw the cap on tightly and let sit for 4-6 hours, until the plastic has dissolved, shaking gently periodically. You’ll have an opaque solution of ABS and acetone, which can be applied to a paper towel and wiped gently over your print surface (it even works over PET tape).

The acetone will evaporate, leaving a very thin layer of ABS for the print to attach to. Just a few swipes before each print should do, and your finished products will adhere better, keep their shape, and pop off easily.

When I tried making my slurry, I was using the Shaxon ABS that I purchased. I followed the instructions on the lulz site. What I ended up with is shown in the photo. There’s a lump of ABS goo at the bottom of the bottle and smeared down the side. From what I’ve seen in videos online showing ABS slurry, it shouldn’t look like this. I’m assuming either the new bottle of pure acetone I bought was bad, or the ABS was the problem.

As for getting parts off, after having printed on the bed a couple of times the parts are coming off easier.

It’ll be interesting to see how higher quality filament works out in a couple of days.

I have tried several alternatives to Lulzbot filament and have always ended up frustrated. With the free shipping they now offer for orders over $50, I don’t think it worth it trying to save a few bucks and go with other filament providers.