First off, forgive me if I’m committing a faux pas by asking for input that compares the Taz 5 with a competitor, but I’ve scoured the internet and it’s really difficult to find forum type comparisons of this sort (most info is found in individual reviews). I’d really like to hear from the experienced community of 3d printers, understanding that experience is a currency I lack, but want to base my decision to include the experience of people who know what the heck they’re doing…I hope you’ll kindly indulge me.
I’m new to 3d printing, put am pretty nerdy. I’m currently enrolled in an online class learning Blender because I know I won’t be satisfied just printing other peoples designs alone. For me part of the thrill of 3d printing is being able to create. While I’m at it with my true confessions, I built a kit printer last November (a very inexpensive GEEEtech). I’m pretty mechanically inclined, but software discussions make me glaze over. Once I had the machine built, I got very bogged down with all the little glitches I ran into just trying to load software so I could calibrate stuff, nothing seemed to go right (I’m pretty certain it was ignorance on my part). My fascination with 3d printing has not been dampened, but I don’t want to start in the canyon (for me) while scaling this learning curve, so I’ve decided to get a printer professionally built and loaded and start from there.
As the title implies, I’ve pretty much narrowed my search to the Taz or M2. Up front, if cost were not a factor, I’d pretty much go with the Taz 6, and honestly it’s still in the running. But the Amazon price on the Taz 5 just came down from $2200 to $1875, making it comparable with the M2 price of $1825. Beyond cost, here’s where I’m at in my comparison:
Both Lulzbot and Makergear seem to have vibrant, helpful and informative communities. Both companies get high ratings from users for customer support, though the Lulzbot warranty is double that of Makergear (which I honestly find a 6 month warranty kinda cheesy). Both machines get high marks for print quality, though the M2 seems to be slightly better in resolution? Along that line, the Taz 5 seems to need beefing up structurally (or have subsequent revisions corrected rod issues?). The Taz has a bigger built bed, and it’s PEI on aluminum vs glass, both seem better advantages for heat distribution and sticking? The bigger build volume is important to me, I work in healthcare and FDM is being used with prosthetics and casting… bigger is better. The M2 uses 1.75 vs 3mm filament, which they claim makes for a finer print (which I would think is more of a nozzle factor?), but it also seems more common (VHS vs Betamax?).
Re the Taz 6, I know it’s been beefed up, has the dual cooling fans, easy to remove print head (did they fix the wobble factor by notching it?), and of course, the self leveling bed. I’m sure Ive missed stuff. Are the differences worth the $700 difference? (at this point, they do not seem that way to me, but again, I have no experience).
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, feeling pretty alone and overwhelmed (in a fun sort of way) at this point.
Thanks for your indulgence.