Starting out poor

I am an Educator in Montana. We purchased a Taz 5 just before Christmas Break. We tried doing several prints on it with only one success. It doesn’t want to stick to the table very well. The edges seem to curl up and then it comes off. I’m sure it is something we are setting correct. We are using RBS Filament.

I assume you mean ABS. Not really the best type to start with as it’s a bit tricky. Do small parts hold down well? Do the test prints on the USB drive they sent with the printer work? The Rocktapus and Keychain prints are good tests and are generally reliable. If you can, sharing the STL you are trying to print might help. Some on the internet aren’t even really printable as posted.

Try increasing the bed temp 5 degrees at a time and make sure you’re using the Lulzbot Cura with ABS selected. Then switch to expert mode, copy the settings when it asks, and set the filament diameter. You need to measure this in a few spots with calipers to make sure you get the right size in there. If you bought it from Lulzbot, it’s probably about right, but double check. You can also try increasing the first layer height/width a little.

Another thing to try, enclose the print area with some turkey oven bags or similar. ABS doesn’t like drafts. If all else fails, a brim or raft might be needed.

Make sure the bed is very well leveled.

You might consider trying HIPS. It’s not perfect, but it’s more forgiving in my somewhat limited experience. I’m sure some of the local experts will drop in with more tips, but I thought I’d try to get you started.

Yes, ABS. I should put my glasses on. Crud, I bought a bunch of rolls of the ABS too. Thanks for the advice, we will try some of that stuff. We did try some of the items that were on the thumb drive and that is what we are having problems with.

Just means the learning curve will be a bit steeper is all. Try some of those changes and see how it goes, maybe post some pictures of the failed prints, it might help us diagnose issues. You might also try wiping the bed down with alcohol, sometimes a little oil from fingers etc. gets on there and makes the plastic not stick well.

I actually started out printing ABS. I feel it’s a more rewarding material to work with once you figure out the learning curve. and you don’t have to go through all the PLA melty fan wierdness. With ABS on a Taz 5, you need a very level bed, you need the correct temperature, and you need the correct starting layer thickness. You also need to make sure the cooling fan is off (not the one that cools the hexagon hotend that is supposed to be always on, but the other “cool the part” fan)

To start, run the bed calibration gcode file from the SD card or online repeatedly. adjusting the bed as needed, until you get a perfect print pattern. If you find you are off quite a bit to start, use a thin metal feeler gauge (a thin metal ruler works well), heat the printer up to full operating temperature (start with 240c for the nozzle and 100-105c for the bed) since the print nozzle itself expands in length as it heats to a certain point, then move the nozzle to each corner and adjust the corner screws until the nozzle is the same distance from each corner. If you have to make any major adjustments, you may be off one notch on your leadscrews, or the frame may have a cable pinched betweeh the X frame and the Bed frame.

Next, run the bed calibration file again and adjust the height. You want it to just start to sqush to the bed. not mashed to it like a smear of paste. That makes the initial layer too thin, and it will lift and pull away. You actually want the first layer to be about .40mm to .45mm thick. If you find it is still pulling away at one corner or one side, you don’t have the bed level yet.

It should take some effort to peel the bed calibration pattern print off the bed. If it comes away too easily, you probably need to be closer to the bed.

Hope that helps!

What temperatures are you running? ABS is fine for smaller prints, its when you get into tall or large ones the splitting and holding to the bed issues start. At that point you will need an enclosure. When I did ABS on my TAZ I used extruder at 245-250C and bed at 110C.
Simple solution if you can get a roll of eSun PETG and try, same or stronger material and much easier to work with. Perhaps if it works for you, the supplier you dealt with will exchange your ABS for PETG.

The filament really depends on the intended use of the printed object. I like ABS for the durability and relative ease of use.

Good tips posted in the thread already. Here are two more that will help with ABS immediately:

  • Use a 5mm to 10mm brim to seal the edges of the print to the bed.
  • Turn off the fan for the first few layers, then use minimal fan (40-60%) for the rest of the project. ABS likes to contract if cooled to rapidly.

Bed level and nozzle height are key to good adhesion. I like the aid of a dial gauge to quantify the distances of each corner for initial bed leveling. Clip the dial gauge to the X-rails to either side of the toolhead. Or remove the toolhead and replace with the dial gauge for measurements.

Can you post a picture of the failed bottoms? Are the smooth or can you make out the extruded filament? If the latter, bring the nozzle closer to the bed… try a quarter turn clockwise on the z-endstop knob.