Now it’s been a few years but I’ve finally dusted off my old KitTaz (please don’t hate on me, there’s just been other priorities in my life) and I want to get back into the hobby. But if I know anything about technology it’s that it moves fast and there’s likely been some changes in the world. I’m wondering if you guys found yourself with a stock, but used KitTaz (never even a nozzle change), what would be your priority of upgrades to get you to a modern 2019 printer? Firmware? Hotend? Auto bed-level? Hit me with some ideas!
While I can’t say what you value yourself, I can go over all the differences between our current TAZ (TAZ Workhorse) and the KITTAZ.
Your hotend is still the Budaschnozzle (so it’s wooden) and can’t print as high as our all-metal hotends. You are missing out on a lot of filament because of this.
The Workhorse toolhead is also way lighter, so you are going to get better quality. It is made out of hardened steel, so you can print damaging filament, such as carbon fiber or glow-in-the-dark.
We now use a modular bed, which gives you more control over replacing it. You likely have a PET sheet on your KITTAZ, while we use PEI now.
I am going to get into our more technical upgrades, which may be possible for you, but time-consuming and difficult.
Pretty self explanatory
Instead of the Z axis being on rods, we now have them on belts. This allows for faster movements, quieter operations and no z-binding.
These are the major upgrades to the printer. We have tons of little ones, like using better parts, larger control case, etc.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply, that’s very helpful! It sounds like a new hotend would be #1 of useful changes and the z-drive #2.
On the hotend I see Lulz metal ones have a note on compatibility, and likely other aftermarket ones are different as well. Is changing the hotend pretty much mean the whole extruder is going to have to be replaced (and possibly some wiring to the board as well)? If not are there still some benefits to the new Lulz single extruder assembly that makes that change worthwhile?
I don’t know what kind of budget you have for this “upgrade” project but in the years since the KITTAZ was produced, the cost of a brand new printer has gone down dramatically. While it won’t be a LulzBot, I’m pretty sure you can get a new printer for less money than you will spend on even one “upgrade” for your existing printer.
You might also look around for some used or refurbished LulzBot printers. The TAZ 6 and Mini 1 are both still very usable products.
Thanks for that b-morgan, it has certainly not escaped my notice. One of my good friends got a $200 creality, and I started giving him the speech about all the tweaking and what not that goes with 3D printing, but before I knew it he was printing all kinds of stuff with no effort. I still like the largish volume of my Taz and it doesn’t seem like there’s much that’s changed other than software and a few bits, which is why I was asking about upgrades.
What do you see as the main improvements in the other printers?
Here’s a article that probably does a better job of describing what is available than I can.
The Creality CR-10S has a build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 which is larger than the Lulzbot TAZ printers.
I own a Lulzbot TAZ 6. Look around for a used or refurbished one if that’s within your budget.
Thanks for the link, though those summary best-of lists is why I came back to this forum. You mentioned the CR-10S has a bigger volume, but you yourself own a Taz 6, which is an extra $2K. When I got my printer there weren’t as many options, but the Taz prices are still as high or higher across all the size models. So my thinking is there’s something about this printer that’s worth keeping and working on.
You’re right a new extruder for my printer is about the same as a new creality so it would be nice to be able to justify staying with my lulz. Maybe it should be enough that my printer has been going for so long, hasn’t caught on fire or anything like that. But it’s still confusing when a Taz owner sends me off to search for other brands.
I’m still hoping someone can answer this question about compatibility and specific improvements on the extruder! Thanks!
My intent was to help you make sure upgrading your KITTAZ was the best option for you. I don’t know enough about the KITTAZ to help you with your questions about compatibility and specific improvements. Good Luck!
No worries b-morgan, that’s why I came to the kittaz sub specifically, but it seems like it’s pretty dead, possibly like this printer model. I appreciate you replying, take care!