TAZ 5 Leveling Always?

I have a TAZ Mini and I love it. Thinking about larger projects now and want to either get a 5 or maybe a 6 if they are in the near future.

I see a lot of issues posted with the TAZ5 and the need to re-level. So if the machine is mounted or placed on a solid surface and leveled, (which I understand is a 45 minute process) it needs to be re leveled again for next use?

I also see lots of issues with nozzle clogging’s. On Amazon where I purchase my share of things, the Reviews on the TAZ5 are not that good. I realize that some of those reviewers would have problems putting air in a bicycle tire, but some are who I would consider power users. They gave up on the machine and returned.

Is part of the leveling problem related to a less than study design and construction?

I almost never need to relevel my Taz. It probably needs a minor height adjustment every 40 prints or so. Adding automatic bed leveling to a taz is also feasable, and there are several projects to do so. Most of them are listed in the Taz modifications sticky thread. There are also quite a few Taz chassis mount dial guage indicator bases available if you desire more precision in your leveling.

That is what I am wondering? You’d think that if it was on a solid base and not moved the thing would hold level until maybe the temperature changed or something else changed. Had going to the .5 nozzle done away with a lot of the clogging problems I wonder?

I agree with piercet. Once you have it leveled, the process does not need to be repeated frequently. I have found that printing a much thicker first layer helps. For my 0.4 mm nozzles, my first layer is 0.32 mm.

I use the bed leveling gcode file Lulzbot provides but I also use the attached file a lot. It lets me see what the top of the first layer will look like and how well the bottom is filled in. I like to have a smooth, solid bottom surface. The X shape of this part also lets me see which corner needs to come up or down.
bedLevelX.stl (7.89 KB)

I think many of the people who have trouble leveling the thing at first don’t realize that the nozzle expands and therefore gets longer as it heats, and that when it reaches print temperature, it hasn’t necessarily reached full expansion. So they level them cold, or right when it first starts to heat up, then the next print they do when it is fully heated is way too close to the bed, the fillament starts grinding out because it is too close, and they get frustrated. Then they turn it on the next morning, it works fine for the first print but not the second, etc.

Once they pick up on the thermal expansion aspect, you see alot fewer complaints aobut it

I’ve never had an actual nozzle clog in any of my prints, and I print very many things. Some of that is probably fillament choice.

The TAZ 5 is a solid machine. I agree with the other folks, once level its pretty much okay with a revisit every few weeks if necessary. The PEI bed on the TAZ 5 is very forgiving. Though it comes with a .35 nozzle, I like the .5 and .4… but it really depends on what you’re printing. And the other comment about filament quality is probably correct also. For personal use, I print with the cheapest filament I can find… usually eSUN ABS. It seems to clog the .4 and .3 nozzle more often, and probably why I like the .5. :slight_smile:

I believe that people knock the alignment out with removing stuck parts from the bed. But once they find the ‘happy’ point of first layer height and adhesion the issue of frequent bed leveling goes away for the most part.

I just have the Mini but I have looked for detail on the TAZ 5 quick start guide and users manual I really don’t see the detail on the leveling process or adjustment screws. I see references to leveling using paper and turning the screw adjustment with the spring, but a picture is worth a 1000 words. I am sure If I had one it would be very clear.

Are they just thumbscrews and are you just leveling the bed in relation to the head?

If I get one ordered depending on my last proto type in the next couple months, I would set the whole machine on a solid surface so once it was leveled it does not need to be repeated.

There are 4 M3 cap head screws, one in each corner of the bed, Turning those with an allen wrench allows you to adjust the individual corners up or down. A spring under each bed corner assembly pushes up against the bed, turning the screw down compresses the springs and lowers the bed. There is a 5th larger master adjustment screw that is the Z endstop height adjustment target screw. You turn that thumbscrew equipped screw to adjust the resulting nozzle height up or down.

Depending on the nozzle size, you generally want the nozzle about a piece of paper’s width away from the bed. But you also want to adjust it while it is hot so paper is not really a good choice for that.

A $20-30 dial gauge makes the levelong process a breeze. Attach to the X-carriage or x-rails and get quantitative feedback as you move around the print bed.

Adjustment is pretty straight forward, there are screws at each bed corner that allow z-adjustment. So my adjustment workflow is:

  • attach dial guage to x-axis (find the brackets from Thingiverse)
  • move dial gauge to corner (note auto homing xy may put the dial gauge off the bed). No particular corner, but the back-right might be the best to start with because the fan duct blocks the adjustment screw. Raise the toolhead so the Allen wrench fits.
  • zero out the dial gauge (digital)
  • move to each corner and check that the dial gauge reads zero.
  • adjust the corner screw with Allen wrench if necessary.

That’s pretty much it. I’ve somehow got two dial guage and I put one on either side of the toolhead. Move around to probe the bed… adjust screws as necessary.

Thanks, now its clear. It kept talking about the adjustment leveling screws but a picture with an arrow would make it clear. I have dial indicators, I would more than likely make some sort of bracket to hold it on the head, hot or cold as long as the four corners are the same height. After the head warmed up I can see the Z axis set point would need tweaked.

The levelness of the bed and the nozzle height are different things. :slight_smile: Both are easy to set and generally stay set once done… though I’m always evaluating the first layer adhesion and adjusting the nozzle height or z-offset as necessary.

The nozzle height is adjusted through the z-endstop knob. Its a mecahnical, lever endstop that defines the end of travel for the z axis… probably something similar on CNC machines. The top of the knob is the contact point, rotating adjust the height. Set after leveling the bed… I use a business card as a feeler:

  • move the hotend to center of the print bed
  • heat up the the hotend to extrusion temps
  • z-home the toolhead
  • slide the business card between the bed and nozzle
  • small turn of the z-endstop knob to adjust up or down
  • re-home and repeat last few steps until business card slides through

Pretty simple once you get the hang of it… Not necessary for every print.

As mentioned in the other post, most of the time the levelness of the bed is upset when pulling or prying the finished print off the bed.

I’m a fan of the “no-touch” inductive / capacitive based leveling. A few members of the community have accomplished this on the TAZ. Just requires a bracket to hold the probe and connecting to the Z-endstop lead.

The bed leveling I have down, and I would think leveling the bed from the nozzle would be the correct way, not from the rails. Using my dial indicators would make it faster. The Z height is also understood, and the fact that it can vary according to temperature. I am hoping my project idea pans out, to give me an excuse to buy a new 5!