TAZ 5: What do you pay for?

I’m really interested in the TAZ 5, but the price for seems high for what it is, no?

Looking at the general parts for the printer heat bed, steppers, extruder, controller, aluminum frame etc., having built a similar-sized Prusa before, I know those parts are no more than $600 at most.

Lulzbot gives free shipping, a warranty, partial assembly and came up with a good design, so it makes sense they can add 100% to the base, which makes it a $1200 printer.

What do you get for the other $1000 though?

(Maybe it’s worth the price - it could be using some high end steppers or controllers that I’m at this moment unfamiliar with. So not trying to attack their price here - just genuinely curios about what you’re getting for your money?).

The larger heated bed on the Taz is more expensive than that found on a small Prussia. The rambo controller runs $150, heated bed with glass and PEI probably closer to $100, call it $25 each for the stepper motors, the extruder assembly is at least $100 in parts, $100 worth of plastic, $50 worth of assorted hardware, $75 for the LCD with custom stamped aluminum houseing, The control box housing probably costs another $75, The leadscrews and mount alone are $100 from mitsumi, another $75 worth of extrusions new, plus the CNC end plates on X and Y and the bearing rods. Then you have all the control box connectors which are quite expensive even in bulk by the way. I can’t get anyone to sell me a Taz 5 wiring harness, but the lowest numbers I’ve seen for that were around $300.

So yeah, alot of parts in there, much more than a Prusa. You can certanly source and build your own cheaper than buying one if you have access to a printer and time and skills to build one, but you aren’t going to do it for $600. Even if you went bargin basement on the controller, went with threaded rod instead of leadscrews, and ditched all the LCD housing and controller housing pieces you would still be hard pressed to get near that $600 number. There is definitly a bit of a markup on some of the components, they are a buisiness and need to make a profit, but they also release all the pieces and plans open source so you can make your own if you want as an option if you don’t want to pay someone to assemble and test and warranty the unit.

Well…

For starters your estimation is wrong… and that is one of the great things about Taz, it is 100% open source, they even give you a compleate BOM.

Check it here

Taz 5 cost is 1038.31 buying components on large scale, if you buy it yourself it would cost you much much more.

With that said, they created this awesome community, great support, have active development of their own version of cura.

If you want to build a Taz yourself, the BOM has link, part numbers and everyting that you need to build it.

I own a Taz 5 and my opinion: it is worth it.

Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for. I certainly can accept something that has a bulk BOM of close to $1100 retailing at $2200.

This makes it much easier to justify the purchase to myself :slight_smile:.

Plus you get a professionally built and tested machine with support from the factory and here.

I love this community :smiley:

Solid machine, support, and assembly.

A Taz 5 is far more rigid than a Prusa. As their build cluster demonstrates, LulzBot machines do not spend half their hours in maintenance downtime. That accounts for the~ $1100 BOM cost, which could still be significantly better for just a little more.

Support for a DIY assembled KITTAZ 3D printer seems to have been priced at ~$400 above BOM cost, ~$1600 total. See https://www.lulzbot.com/products/lulzbot-kittaz-3d-printer and https://ohai.lulzbot.com/group/kittaz/ . Apparently that wasn’t really enough, since users often need help assembling such complex projects, and IIRC, actual support costs were cited as reason for discontinuation.

Assembly costs seem to be in the range of ~$600, considering the retail price of ~$2200. For this, AlephObjects has a serious assembly line. Achieving the tight tolerances required for decent 3D printers is probably much easier for them than us, and well worth that $600. Finishing a build, only to find the frame is not square can be a frustrating experience.

Still, DIY has merits. If you plan to use a 3D printer only a few times per year, then a ‘scraprap’ Prusa Mendel from salvaged components out of 2D printers may be adequate. If you have unusual requirements, such as massive build area or extreme support for heavy tools, then upgrades or a custom design could be beneficial (albeit far more expensive). Either way, you could end up spending far more in labor or parts.

Just to get a working 3D printer, a LulzBot Taz or Mini is an excellent investment, and reasonably priced.

I’m the OP. I just got my TAZ 5 on Thursday, and the thing is totally boring… in a good way!

I assembled it in 15 minutes, calibrated the bed, and gave up halfway through the calibration print, because it was obvious that it is right. Then printed out the roctopus and it just worked. And it came right off the bed without much convincing!

No taking a week to assemble it (Airwolf 3D) or immediately having to print out new extruder gears because the ones they shipped were crappy (Prusa i3xl). I’ll most those ‘interesting’ challenges like trying to print out a good part with a bad part the most :wink:

In all seriousness - this thing rocks. It’s totally worth the money.

I’ve owned a CTC 3d printer (Makerbot $500 knockoff) since May, I built a Prusa i3 rework in August (About $800 as configured now), and Saturday my Taz 5 was delivered…

My CTC was a printer in a box, I had it up and running in about 4 hours and making passable prints. I had help in the form of a friend who had purchased one and had nailed all the pain points out the door, so it was very easy for me to address them. Without his help it would have been several days to get up and running, I have no doubt of that.

My Prusa was a bit of a disaster, the mish mash of parts from different suppliers, bad bearings from trying to save money and grooved rods… hot ends and extruders that didn’t do what I wanted… and ultimately a fine printer showed up on my desk with LOTS of trouble and research - and I know a LOT more now. In fact I’d wager I could buy all the components today and build a rock solid printer for about $1200 that left nothing to be desired…

So why did I buy a Taz 5? Why would I drop $2200 on a printer when I just said I could build a good printer for less?

Awesomeness: Out of the Box
My expectations were skeptical, Lulzbot has a fantastic reputation, nothing but positive reviews, but I was still wondering would it be worth it. I was not disappointed at all.

Opening the box I found a “Hey stupid read this” phamplet and managed to suppress my male-pattern-urge to toss it aside… I found well written, clear and concise instructions on how to get the printer out of the box and assembled. I could have managed this on my own for the most part, it’s all pretty self explanatory with cables that don’t fit anywhere they don’t belong… but it was nice to not have to figure it out.

Fit and Finish
This is a term used in firearms quite a lot, and as a competitive shooter it’s a term I’m very familiar with… you can buy an STI2011 for $1200, or you can buy the same MODEL of gun for $2500… the difference is that a qualified gunsmith has gone over the firearm and done EVERYTHING to it that needs done.

Why do I bring this up? Because Steve did this for my printer. (I’m making up the name, but the real name is on the checklist that was included with my printer!) Assembled, quality checked, and tested… I’m not overly happy with the nub of filament left in the machine before they shipped it out, but I understand why it’s there…

A final firearms comparison
In shooting there is a wide range of reloading equipment… you can buy a progressive press from Lee for $300 on the low end, or you can spend $1200+ on a machine that does the exact same process from Dillon on the high end. When I started reloading I went with the Lee, because it was inexpensive… ends up I could make about 250 rounds an hour with the Lee, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t. For every hour reloading I’d spend an hour tinkering, tuning, fixing, or otherwise coaxing the reloading press to do what it was designed to do.

My frustration peaked at about the same time I had a huge influx of income and I decided to sell my Lee and get a Dillon… reputation said it was better, but I wasn’t prepared for the difference. The machine did the exact same thing, you shoved bullets, cases, primers and powder in one end, pulled a lever and ammo came out the other end… but it did it better. Everything just worked. In short order I discovered that I could produce about 1200 rounds an hour with the Dillon… and in the two years I’ve had my dillon I’ve now pushed more than 10,000 rounds through it and I haven’t had a single epic failure.

Opening my Taz 5 was a similar experience in quality. I am nothing but impressed. Only time will tell if Norbert (my Taz is named Norbert) lives up to this standard in the long run, but I’ve been running him non stop since Saturday afternoon and I’m very impressed… even with the super cheap crappy PLA filament I’m using… (HIPS, SemiFlex and ABS should be here in the next day or so!)

LOL, I posted my TL;DR reply before reading the whole thread… you seem just as impressed as I was!