I’m a retired programmer, and I got into 3D printing late last year, seduced by Barnes and Noble’s $249 price on an XYZPrinting Da Vinci Jr. printer.
I’ve had a lot of fun with it (and Sketchup), learning how to clear filament jams, replacing damaged Bowden tube fittings (my fault, but at least Amazon sells ‘em in 10-packs for $6.00), tweaking the Z offset (no bed leveling on this entry-level printer) in tenth-millimeter increments because the black PLA is “thicker” than the colored PLA filaments), and the importance of temperature control to keep prints from warping.
I have some use for these things: my local Mustang car club holds annual car shows, and I can print fun stuff for the goodie bags participants get, and table decorations for the awards banquet. I collect old computers and calculators, many of which have plastic parts that have disintegrated with age.
Anyway, as I said, it’s been a fun few months, but now I’m running up against the limitations of the hardware and XYZWare software. As you probably know, the Da Vinci Jr. is “locked down” and cannot use third party filament or slicing software, so I’m looking to upgrade to a more capable and versatile machine.
Ideally, I’d like a dual-extruder setup— if not initially, at least something that could be upgraded. (One of the things i’d like to print for the car show is little Ford key fobs, with an inset “Ford” logo in a different color material). Open source appeals to me greatly, and my short list now comprises the Lulzbot Taz 5 and the Makergear M2. Both seem like excellent machines, and both have active user communities. I will note that the Luzlbot wins points for having a very detailed 40-step illustrated guide on installing and configuring their dual extruder setup, culminating in the printing of…drum roll…a key fob with an inset logo in a contrasting color!
I have of course spent several days researching these two printers, and reading the forums. Still, I thought it would be a good idea to get input from people vastly more experienced and knowledgeable than myself, so my question to you TAZ 5 owners is: why did you choose this printer over the M2? What do you see as its advantage?
Thanks for all responses…