One place on there says: Like the generations before it, TAZ 4 boasts a spacious 12”x12”x10” print volume with a controllable heat bed that can print large items, or many small items.
Later though it says: Print Area: 298mm x 275mm x 250mm (11.7in x 10.8in x 9.8in)
Okay, so rounding up from 11.7, 10.8 and 9.8 to 12, 11 and 10 respectively would be a little… generous. But I’m completely perplexed on how you go from 10.8 to 12 inches. This was also quoted to me in sales emails (no reply on my email asking about it yet).
295mm x 275mm x 250mm is the correct bed settings for Prointerface and Repetier for the Taz 3 and 4 build volume. The Taz 4 is a Taz 3 with leadscrews and electronics changes. The leadscrews occupy the same space the threaded rod units did, and do not affect X travel. Y travel is unchanged. The Y axis mount for the plate that holds the heated bed is wider than the X axis allocated area by about 20mm, So you do lose a bit of the outermost edges. You could always move the mount point narrower and get the full travel, but then you would have Y wobble, which is way more annoying than Z wobble. Technically it has a 330mm x 300mm build plate. The nozzle won’t reach the extreme extents though. if it bugs you you could always swap in longer Y rods, extrusions and a longer belt.
Thanks, folks. It’s still a great build volume but I have to admit I got a bit pumped up over the thoughts of 12x12. I have a project where I’m printing widgets that are 11.5 x 11.5 and 12x12 would have been a godsend to avoid having to piece the widgets together after the fact (and thus have to limit my designs). But I expect unless I find another machine I can afford that has this desired build volume and fits in my budget and had everything I was digging with the TAZ, I’ll come back.
Another question if you have the time: one of the “must haves” on my list is dual extruders (I want to do some multicolor stuff and some stuff where the ability to print supports in PVA/HIPS would be handy). The sales person I talked to said that a plug-and-play dual extruder was in the works and would be released “soon”. Any idea about when “soon” is at this point (or when it isn’t)? Not to cast any sort of doubt on a company that looks quite lovely from what I’ve seen, but I’ve been burned so many times in the past with hardware and software promising extended capabilities that never come that I just can’t let myself believe it until I can actually see it on the shelf, so to speak.
By identifying the relevant parts, you can contact the suppliers and purchase the upgraded parts to expand the machine. We have a customer about to undergo upgrading their 2 TAZ printers to 24"x24" print beds Here are the assembly instructions for the standard machine that you could use for reference: http://ohai-kit.alephobjects.com/group/guava/.
We are currently testing thinner motors (that allow for a smaller profile dual extruder, thereby maximizing the print area because when coupling two extruders onto the carriage there is some sacrifice on build area that we are trying to minimize as much as possible). Once the motors pass testing, we’ll be shipping the Dual Extruders out the door! We are aiming for within the next month, but we have to put them through the wringer first.
With this Dual Extruder you will be able to print with traditional plastics like PLA and ABS, then use HIPS as support material as you mentioned. Or, if you don’t want to wait, you can use the source files to make your own! Several people on the forum have done this Follow progress on the product’s development here: https://forum.lulzbot.com/t/dual-extrusion-at-aohq/321/1
Later this summer we’ll be introducing the Dual Extruder with a Flexystruder. You can see the development files for this product on our site here: http://devel.lulzbot.com/TAZ/accessories/Dual_extruder_w_flexy/. With this product you will be able to print with traditional plastics like PLA and ABS and use a flexible filament like PVA for support, or you could create products that fuse strong flexible filaments like NinjaFlex with hard filaments like ABS.
Sample print (NinjaFlex blue inside, ABS black outside) below:
(BTW, we completed this print and ran over the golf ball-type printed item with a forklift and it survived. The ABS shattered but bonded so tightly with the NinjaFlex that the item maintained its physical integrity… Pretty crazy.)
Then after that, we’ll be introducing a Dual Extruder equipped with two Flexystruders… After that, who knows? Muwahaha
Seriously though, hope this is informative!
Edited for clarity, apologies for being long-winded!
This looks like a great place to show a little about the enlarged printer we came up with a couple months ago. I will get a dedicated post up with details and all modified models will be released on Thingiverse soon.
I have been sitting on this TAZ16 with the 16" x 16" bed while I get a line on kapton heaters that can evenly heat this large bed. The 12V and 24V heaters are on the way and will complete the bed kit for a great upgrade to the whole TAZ line.
We just debuted this at the Austin miniMaker Faire on Saturday and everyone was impressed with the capability and size.
In a nutshell, I flipped the printer pieces and put the smooth and threaded rods outside the printers structure to easily make room for the larger print bed. Without upgrading the Zaxis smooth rods I was able to get an extra 50mm in printable height by installing 550mm vertical extrusions. The printable height can be upgraded even more with longer smooth rods and threaded rods.
Some hardware specifics of the TAZ16 upgrade:
12mm hardened chrome steel smooth rods
12mm linear ball bearings
400mm x 400mm heated glass bed on aluminum heat spreader plate
12V or 24V kapton 400mm x 400mm heater limited to 15amps by the controller RAMBo
Remodeled and strengthened Y and Z axis printed parts to account for the larger and heavier structure
We will be offering the huge Kapton heaters and also complete printed and partially assembled TAZ16 upgrade kits soon.
I would like to hear if anyone is interested in a larger print area like this.
Awesome amount of detail, Ken! I appreciate you giving such a thorough answer. I also really appreciated you opening the door for discussion of increasing the building volume. And thanks SCVette for walking through it.
This has all been truly good stuff. I don’t know how much I’m going to get to use some of the DIY stuff. My expertise is in software and not hardware. Plus as a guy who has a lot of hobby projects already, not the least of which is a toddler, I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to sink into tweaking. But it’s good to know it’s there, especially if people like SCVette are going as far as to produce kits to help shave off that extra time futzing around with trying to get it right.
So, now that you’ve opened the door on that, it makes me wonder if the 75 micron layer height is a hard limit for the design or if some similar kit/DIY could lower that down to 50 micron or lower. What’s the limiting factor, here?
Looking forward to that Dual Extruder with a Flexystruder. That sounds like exactly the kind of flexibility (tee hee) I’d be looking for, even if the majority of my prints would be run of the mill.
Thanks for the reply, Orias. I’m too much of a newcomer to fully know what balancing slicing settings entails. I had checked out that thread before and wondered what that really meant. Is it something you have to do very custom model by model? I guess I’d wonder otherwise why the TAZ isn’t advertised as a 50 micron layer height printer.
You can print with smaller and smaller layer heights, but as you do so, the balance between several settings has to be rather spot on.
For example, you can get much better perimeters (the verticle outside surface of the model), typically by printing slower. The slower you print however, the longer the hot end nozzle sits above the printed object, potentially causing drooping and other malformations. You can alleviate that by enforcing a minimum speed, or by adding active cooling Additionally, the smaller the layer height, the longer the print takes. At times you’ll increase the infill speed to compensate, (since it’s not going to be seen) and as you push the speed differential (infill vs perimeter speeds) you increase the amount of retraction moves and other moves. If the tension on the idler isn’t right you can potentially strip the filament out. You’ll find that you will adjust your Slic3r settings often, as some like higher infil percentages, perimeter counts and speed settings.
In practice, making the small amounts of tweaks will become second nature. The more you print the more you’ll feel comfortable adjusting the settings in Slic3r to achieve exactly what you want. To help make it easy, we provide Slic3r profiles for most materials here, with more materials as we start to carry them: https://www.lulzbot.com/configs
Thanks for the detail. So other printers that are advertised as 0.05mm don’t really need to do this, right? Because of the way they are built and whatnot? Sort of what I’m wondering is what it would take (if ever) to get the TAZ on that level of “set it and forget it” like it currently is at the 0.075mm layer height. Or is it just a pipe dream because the TAZ was designed for certain parameters and if you wanted other parameters you would design it differently?
Well, I ordered! Looking forward to cranking out some prints.
I have some questions on the dual extruder plan. If I hold out for the DE w/ a Flexystruder, do you think it’ll be easy to add the second FS when you come out with the DE w/ 2 Flexystruders? Or is it likely to be a whole different design? For that matter, will it likely be possible to just get the DE and be able to add the two custom FSs later?
Or is this basically going to be a case of “buy one for every configuration you’re going to want” - A DE, a DE w/ 1 FS, a DE w/ 2 FS? My wallet probably isn’t going to like the answer. X)
Since you can change the Z axis layer height for each print, you can customize how long the print takes and how it comes out on a case by case basis to get what you want.
Given the option, I’d purchase a dual extruder setup, with a flexystruder as well, to be able to print with 2 colors/materials and with the addition of the flexystruder, print with both normal materials and flexible materials at the same time. Since all our designs are open, you can even print your own- they can be found here: http://devel.lulzbot.com/TAZ/accessories/