I have a very early TAZ2, upgraded to 24V bed heater, and PET film on the bed. Otherwise stock. Always used ABS, 3mm. Bought in ~2013, lightly used for about 5 years, now in storage.
Long-term discouraging issues: I never mastered manual bed leveling, and --even after I did my best at leveling-- lots of curling and lifting.
This seems like a very solid printer with a very large build area. I’m fully OK with its basic capabilities, so I’d like to make it work in 2021, but… is TAZ2 still viable?
Are there reasonably easy and not-too-expensive upgrades that would result in significant improvement? For example, a PEI-laminated bed?
I have a Taz 5 that was collecting dust with a friend that is now absolutely buzzing along after a little TLC. It is my first 3d printer, so I can’t speak to the Taz 2 necessarily, but mine has a BLTouch added and a Wham Bam PEX flexible build plate added, and I am elated with it so far.
Yes I had to delve into the world of custom firmware to get it all working, but it wasn’t too bad and I got to learn a lot along the way. Now it is running on the latest version of Marlin 2.0 with plenty of neat new features working!
The only reason I’m looking for my next printer, or for additional upgrades is because I had so much fun tinkering with this one!
IMO, you will probably spend a lot of time and more money upgrading a TAZ 2 than you would spend buying a new printer. Having said that, some of the cheaper printers on the market today are cheap in more ways than just price.
I’d first decide how much money (and how much time) you want to spend. With that budget in mind, you can do some comparison shopping.
I just bought a Taz 2.1 and it prints great. Found the dual extruder brand new on amazon for 108 dollars ( yeah I know, I thought it was a defective model thats why it was so cheap, but it was brand new, not a drop of filament on it. And right after i bought it the price jumped up to 528.) And people say that I cant do the upgrades to get it up to date, but i beg to differ. Its too expensive if you only buy from this site and matterhackers everything. Nothing against the sites but they have some crazy prices. I bought awesome 12mm linear rails for under 100 dollars. I think if you do the work slowly and look for good but cheap parts you can easily get it up to a taz 5. But as I said as a 2.1 that belonged to a guy that didt take care of it it prints better than my sidewinder and biqu b1. upgrade the z lead screws, those are way too thin and the thing that goes on the lead screw that takes the print up and down( forget the name of it now) thats not expensive. you print the part. Just make sure you get the same pitch as the stock if you want to use the stock firmware otherwise you will have to tweak your steps in vscode. That upgrade is 50 bucks max and will greatly improve the noise in your prints.
A Taz 2.1 was my first printer. It currently has Taz 5 style leadscrews, E3D Hemera and piercet’s openbuilds mods on X and Y.
It is one of my most reliable machines. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend a little money bringing a Taz 2 up to date.