Total 3DP newbie considering a used TAZ Pro - WHAT SHOULD I PAY?

Hello everyone,
I’m new to the forum, and if I decide to follow through on the purchase I’m considering, brand new to 3D printing as well. I’ve been wanting to get into 3D printing for years now, but there are just so many choices that I haven’t been able to make myself sit down and sort through all my options. Now it appears that a good option may have found me.

I have an opportunity to pick up a TAZ Pro for $1000.

That’s obviously a whole lot less than a new one, but I don’t really know what the going rate on the used market is. Can anyone tell me where that lies on the deal spectrum? Smokin’ deal, typical used price, or a little steep?

I don’t have a lot of details on the machine yet, but it all works AFAIK. I don’t believe it has had any upgrades, but I’m sure it’s more than enough machine for a newbie such as myself.

Also, what are the most popular general (non-manufacturer-specific) 3DP forums? I get way too many hits when I search.

Thanks!!!

I could discuss this for a very long time, so TL;DR:
If you just want to print, buy a modern printer, use Aurora Tech Channel’s recommendation guide to determine which one. If you want to learn all about working on a printer and learning “old school” ways of doing things and maintain the printer yourself, the Pro is ok, but still a pretty complex machine to get as your first printer.

The Pro is not a good beginner printer. It has a lot of complexity to deal with problems that existed years ago that are more or less solved in better ways now.

I got a smokin’ deal on an auction with one bidder @ $200. It needed some experience to get it working, but not much more.

I am very experienced with the Pro. I’ve been using one at my job for years. I would not pay more than $800 for one in pristine condition, even when I know it’s a very solid, reliable and nearly infinitely upgradeable and maintainable machine.

Here’s the #1 reason: Bambu P1S w/AMS. It’s faster. It does multicolor (and sorta-multi-material). It’s enclosed. It doesn’t use the problematic nozzle-to-washer leveling system. The community around it is young and large.

So why still go with a Pro at all?
It’s infinitely upgradeable if you take the time to learn.
Guess which machine is faster if you have two colors on each layer? Bambu w/AMS is about 2-3min per color change, and it has to do that every single layer with two colors. The Pro changes nozzles in seconds… but you are going to need to calibrate it damn well to get accuracy between the two nozzles.
The independent extruders mean you can do true multi-material setups. Flexible in solid, dissolving and regular, different materials, different temperatures, no problem. The AMS can’t even feed TPU through the Bambu.
You can build a 1.75mm toolhead for the Pro for under $100. You can’t build a 2.85mm toolhead for the Bambu. This generally doesn’t matter, but you can get some smokin’ deals on 2.85mm filament at times since it’s going out of style, and 2.85mm is still better for flexible filaments.

I’ll leave it there, otherwise I’ll type pages out that may not be relevant to you, so ask any specific questions and those of us here have plenty of advice to give.

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Personally from my point of view I would recommend a Lulzbot mini 3.0 but if you want something larger of build I would go with a Taz workhorse+ these can last 10 years
Here is some of my insights

Every 3 prints you should clean the extruder if your using pla if you want to purge I would set it to +245•c for under 5 minutes

Also textured sheets are longer lasting then smooth sheets
Normally a nozzle lasts about 6 months but on a Lulzbot your looking at about a year & a half

Also i recommend a toolhead for 1.75 mm

Also it is best to stick with PLA I recommend doing it somewhere +5•c or warmer ideally climate controlled

Every 3 prints I would also wash the bed first use a layer of soap scrub it & then a layer of water then wipe it clean with a cloth

In general often it’s either the toolhead or bed but any further questions your welcome to ask

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Thanks for the input, folks.

I’ve been taking a very passive approach to finding a 3D printer. With the overwhelming amount of choices out there, I kinda decided just to wait for a good deal to come along and let that determine–to some degree–what I end up getting. The technical aspects of 3D printing is not a point of concern, and I’m willing to learn whatever machine I end up with. I do have a few other considerations, however.

Here are some of my guiding thoughts…

  • I really want to avoid something that I’ll outgrow in a hurry.
  • More versatility/capability at the expense of more “babysitting” or a steeper learning curve is a tradeoff I’m happy to make.
  • A dual extruder machine is very appealing (mainly for support material, as opposed to multi-color prints).
  • The primary use will be for functional parts, not art/crafts.
  • The more open-source the machine is, the better. I want to avoid “black box” machines, and proprietary this-and-that. This is a big source of appeal for Lulzbot machines.
  • I’d like a larger build volume
  • An enclosed machine would be nice, so that’s a minor strike against the TAZ.

I’ll also add that although I have no 3D printing experience, I do have experience with CNC machining, CAD, electronics, mechanics, some programming…
I have a grasp on a lot of the concepts behind 3D printing, I’ve just never applied them to 3D printing specifically. Really, the only thing I find intimidating about 3D printing is choosing a machine! After that, it’s all downhill and I can just dive in and learn.

On to some specific questions…

One of Tim’s recommendations is the TAZ Workhorse+. Is that the immediate successor to the TAZ 6?
What would the advantage(s) of a Workhorse be over a Pro, aside from price, if any?

What is the motivation behind the industry’s move away from 2.85mm filament in favor of 1.75mm?

I still welcome others to chime in on what a TAZ Pro goes for on the used market. I see lots of used TAZ 5 and 6 machines for pretty cheap, but TAZ Pro’s don’t seem to come up for sale very often so it’s hard to get a feeling for what I should be willing to spend.

What are your opinions on how big a bump in dollars the step up from a TAZ 6/Workhorse to a TAZ Pro is worth? (used machines) Thanks!

There are two Taz Pros on eBay right now, at 1000, one is 1.75 with BL Touch and Octograb and M175v2 tool head. The other is a stock Taz Pro with the dual Aero and Octograb.

I own a Taz 6 I have repaired with the help of the community.
I had a loaner Taz Pro XT from Lulzbot for a year. It had lot’s of issues.

If you heart is set on a Lulzbot, there’s some support here if you want to delve into that.

However, as @Wrathernaut has pointed out, there are some much more modern and better machines available for less than $1000

Aurora Tech is a great channel.

Frankly Built is too. He just posted this over the weekend.

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So as I look at other brands, such as the ones in the video posted above, I’m wondering why Lulzbot printers are so expensive.
Is it primarily because they’re made in USA?

Lulzbots are built in the USA, commonly from USA parts.

They are, more or less, the best readily-available off-the-shelf parts you can get. This meant you could get replacements from multiple suppliers instead of crossing your fingers that whatever aliexpress vendor was still around, under the same name, using parts from the same supplier, with the same quality control. They also provided real, actual human support for their printers, so buying their printers did have a premium over some others.

For toolheads, if you actually follow their bill of materials, it’s tough to build them for less with the same components (unless you don’t value your time, and already have the screws and such on hand). You can certainly take on the risk of component quality and sourcing issues by doing your own parts (which I readily do), and build an equivalent for less.

From your description of your background and goals, the Pro will be a good base, unless you feel like doing the Voron thing. Enclosures can be as basic or advanced as you feel necessary. I just have an enclosed shelf for my printer, and I do ABS, HIPS, PC and others without issue.

I’d still say keep it under $800, but if you can find one with the dual extruder and the M175v2? The M175v2 is a top-tier 1.75mm extruder.

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What kind of options are there for a DUAL 1.75mm extruder?
Build one from scratch / Modifying the Pro extruder / Is there an out-of-the-box extruder available?

$995 from lulzbot, is the Nebula 175

itworks-3d has a conversion available for um, $1240

Now, modifying the pro? That’s where the fun starts. I run dual Hemera Revos on the one I converted at work, but for my personal one, I’m planning on doing a dual orbiter setup. Not sure on hot end yet. The Hemera Revo setup shifts nozzles, so you can’t hit the whole bed with either nozzle, so washer-based leveling isn’t possible (good riddance anyway).

The only parts added were new part cooling ducts, cable holders, and the addition of a microswitch for auto bed leveling. Probably a few M3 bolts/inserts too, but it retains the lift mechanism.

Hemera Revo can be had for about $140 each, making this substantially less, but it would require custom firmware and running additional wiring.

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The issue I have with the Lulzbot is the designs have been pretty stagnant. The X and Y are very slow while at least Z has the belt system.

The real advancements is the newer tool heads, based on the Bondtech (LGX) and Slice Engineering hot ends. These are very good extruder/hot end combinations and very easy to work with.

Can it print well? Yes. Just slowly. Like most bed slingers.

The Internet has gone crazy with fast print speeds, brought on by Core XY and the Voron 3D printers. Benchies in 12 minutes are nice, but they don’t look ideal. If you’re looking for high quality FDM printing, your speeds will be much slower. (Faster just increases the chances of a failure, I’ve found)

For your budget, what sort of results are you looking for? What are you looking to print?

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Faster movement has a few advantages:

Faster prints, obviously.

Making a movement in .1 seconds or 2 seconds? only 5% of the oozing (if at all). When oozing isn’t a factor for consideration, you don’t have to worry so much about crossing over already printed areas, and can take the straight-line path instead of going around.

Input shaping requires a toolhead capable of fast movement, so it’s either fast enough to cancel out the oscillation, or go so slow it doesn’t matter (or realize it’s a cosmetic issue and it’s a functional part).

But for longevity? Slow movement wins. Less stress on basically everything.

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this is from my experience but its more durable than others and let me explain
by durability i mean product life span also always make sure you got a extra back up 3d printer so you can still print if their is a problem

To update, there is no update at this point. I may pass on the machine in question. The seller may have some flex on the price, but I’m not sure if it will be enough to motivate me to pull the trigger.

Thanks for all the responses. If I’m able to work out a deal that puts the printer on my bench, I’ll definitely post it here.

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If you can get it for way less than half the asking price, it could be a fun machine to tinker with.

There’s a lot more capable 3D printers out there. Not to poo poo on a Lulzbot forum…just trying to make you aware of the options.