TAZ 6, Slop?

I’ve been noticing more and more some really pronounced banding in my prints. In the attached picture I have some good examples. These were all printed with PolyLite PLA, first three were using the provided cura “quick print” profile and the last three on “high detail” It doesn’t seem to matter which settings/speeds I use and it doesn’t seem to follow any regular pattern like it’s a z-axis issue. I find the same bands using both the stock .5mm nozzle print head and with a .3mm nozzle tool head I built myself, though much less pronounced with the .3mm tool head. Also the bands seem to be around the entire part for the whole layer, not just one particular side or the other.

Right now I’m just looking for other things to try or suggestions from the community on if I can make this better on my own, if this is just how it should be, or if I should get support involved.

So far I’ve done the following:
Tightened up both the x and y-axis belts.
Ensured x-axis is level to bed and top of frame.
Greased z-axis lead screws.
Checked all issues in service bulletins (no heatsink on drivers, frame square, etc).
Measured all filaments I use over several meters to check consistency and update values if needed.
Calibrate e-steps, within a mm or two of 100mm with idler tensioned using provided jig files (both with jig between washers and between thumbscrew heads and idler).
Tried just flat out printing slower.

Things I’ve observed:
I can wiggle the tool head a little bit, but it takes quite a bit of force, I don’t think that normal printing movement would be able to wobble it much.
The bed does seem to have a bit of play, but as with the tool head it seems to take a fair amount of force.

Remove the Head and check all the screws and nuts, I found some were missing and some nearly falling out!

Thanks, good call. Snugged up all the x-carriage nuts, some were not quite tight, but not sure if they were really loose either. Also did the Y-axis bushing and belt mounts for good measure. Thanks again for the tip!

Well this tip and a couple of cold pulls, where I found a piece of metal brush wire in the nozzle that must have come from the brass brush I cleaned my hobbed bolt out with a while back did improve things quite a bit, but I’m still getting a pretty regular repeating pattern of bands, even at really slow speeds. One of those Benchy’s was even printed at 50% FR.

At this point I’m starting to lean towards maybe the lead screws? Any more tips or is it time for me to move on to official support help? Working in support position myself I really don’t want to get them involved until I’ve tried just about everything I can on my own.

I would contact them. You should not have that much banding in your prints. Inspect ALL the printed plastic parts to make sure none are cracked. Idler, extruder, mounts, etc.

So I am in the same boat here, see the attached pictures. Brand new Taz 6, 1 week old today, and has never printed with out this level of banding or worse. Contacted support, have gone through all sorts of troubleshooting steps and have even more to go through. So far nothing has worked. Now I have noticed that my x and y axis are not quite “Smooth” in their movement, but nothing is loose or out of wack that I can see. Also in two of the attached there is a corner that you can see the layers are off on either the x or the y axis every other step. If anyone else here has gone through this same sort of issue I would be greatly interested in hearing what resolved it for you.

I still have my banding on all of my prints and have even gone as far as removing the Z-axis rods to make sure they weren’t bent. I’m at a point with support where they want me to mail it in, and I am debating if I want to spend the 90 dollars to ship it to them for repair or replacement or keep trying. My first one was much worse, but was able to just exchange through Amazon for free because it was within the first 30 days, but with this one I had the nozzle break off the extruder and ended up waiting past the 30 day Amazon return for them to send me a new extruder.

These are my prints over the past two weeks working with support (in chronological order), starting to think this is as good as it’s going to get with the stock design. These are using two different extruders too, my stock on and a .3mm one I put together myself.

pyrokld, I am right here with you. I too got mine from amazon and luckily am still within the 30 day window, this is week two. I completely feel that this printer was just badly beaten during shipping and something has shifted or broken that I can not seem to find or fix. Clearly the demo print that came with the printer was perfect, and everything I’ve printed since getting it has been layer misstep. I too went to the point of taking apart the z axis and checking the bearings, printed parts, couplers, tightened all of the belts, x axis rods and z axis rods/screws to see if they are bent. The attached are two prints, after rebuild, were ran separately but with no tuning between prints. If you look the layer lines are inconsistent in where the missteps take place. I also made a bone fish and the layer missteps are not consistent across the bones (let me know if you want a picture of it, a pretty cool print). This leads me to think something other than the Z axis is having issues. Could be slop in the x axis or the head of the printer. Weird though that this design would kick out a perfect test print and then not be able to get the layers to line up at all after shipping… I’d really hate to return this as I like the printer, just wish it could print consistently…

Yep, your prints look just like mine, and I love the bone fish for dialing in my z-offset since you have some real close lines, but they shuoldn’t connect.

Mine is on it’s way to Aleph for repair/replacement. Might be best to just exchange through amazon and take another shot with one from there and if that one still isn’t up to par get one directly. I’ll update once I get mine repaired or replaced and have a chance to print some tests.

That’s completely fair, we could have just gotten the bad apples. I’m sure it happens. I’ll followup with support and see if there is anything else that they recommend. Otherwise I will follow you on the return and post updates once I have my new one.

If you bought the printer from Frys and they don’t let you take it back for refund due to Fry’s crappy policy, can you get a refund from Aleph Objects within 30 days? I am VERY FRUSTRATED at the poor quality of this expensive product. It printed a few items ok the first week and now in week 2, it fails constantly on stupid PROBE FAIL CLEAN NOZ errors no matter how much I clean or calibrate the machine. The RAMBO board is fine and everything tech support had me do to troubleshoot has not fixed these issues.

the quality from these prints is really surprisingly bad, in stark contrast to everyone else with this design of printer. can i suggest a few things to check?

(1) the belts: do you get a clearly-audible “punggg” sound from both the x and y belts? if you can’t get an audible note the belts are far too loose and you should tension them up. loose belts is pretty much guaranteed to give absolutely dreadful print quality.

(2) is the frame sturdy? push and then twist it (two hands) at the top: if it moves backwards and forwards (at all) then check that all the corner pieces are properly tight.

(3) on all rods make absolutely sure that there is zero play in every bearing. grab and twist each part, looking very closely at the top of the bearing where the rod comes out. there should be no movement. at all. to properly check you should actually consider taking the rod and the bearing out then testing them stand-alone. the bearing should “stick” slightly i.e. not just move freely, because the bearings are designed so that the balls are squashed (very slightly) during travel.

Well my printer is on it’s way back so I’ll see soon. Although I’m worried since they said they only things they did was replace the bed because of PEI bubbles (added bonus) and replaced the heater block on the toolhead because it was “leaking”? I was getting the same results with another toolhead so I’m not sure what that was about but I’ll have some new test prints next week.

I don’t know what type of filament you are using, but some of the artifacts I see in your 3DBenchy prints look exactly like problems I’ve had when using damp PETG filament. In particular, the jagged “growths” seen in the cabin door openings and the jagged rail. Damp filament will “ooze” excessively, too much for retraction to correct. It can also exacerbate the banding issues.

And just because a new roll of filament came sealed in a bag, with desiccant, doesn’t mean it is dry. I have had several spools of filament purchased from various suppliers, and one directly from Taulman, arrive vacuum-sealed with desiccant – but the filament had significant moisture and problems printing.

You might try baking the filament in an oven for a few hours to see if it helps. Bake PLA at 45C, ABS and nylons at 65C, for at least 4 hours (8 hours is better for nylon). Then repeat your 3Dbenchy and see if there is improvement.

Well this is the print after getting it back after paying 75 dollars to ship it to them for service, this is what they had told me a few days ago when they shipped it back:

Could Not Confirm: Ran a z-test and found no binding, printed an octopus which didn’t look like it had any z-binding. No noise was heard to indicate some thing was tight and rods felt loose. Rambo looked good, no blown fuses or broken wires. The heater block was leaking and was replaced and the heat bed started to bubble so the bed was replaced. This has been inspected, tested, and passed.

It’s almost like they were looking for binding on the z-rods and not BANDING in the prints. Even the Octopus they sent back as the test print had obvious banding. I’m just dumbfounded at this point and not sure what to do.

Firmware fixed my problem. The bed was in bang bang mode instead of PID so it had larger swings in temperature than it should. Really made a huge difference: