Review 3D Printer: New LulzBot TAZ 5 single and dual extruders
The LulzBot TAZ 5 Desktop 3D Printer is a professional grade high performance 3D printer and is a little bigger to fit on a desktop. Given that the company is mainly into industrial grade 3Dprinters, this machine can be seen as its foray into the consumer level 3D printer category. TAZ 5 has received great response from the market as well as experts. It has won quite a number of accolades like the Make magazine’s ‘Most Maker Machine’, 3D Printing Industry’s ‘Best 3D printer under $2,500’ and ‘Best Printer Under $3,000’ from 3D Forged.
The PEI surface of the printer allows hassle-free printing, since there is no need for any kind of adhesives to make the printed product stick on the printing bed. Filament clogging is also not an issue with this printer, since the printer head has a wiper that cleans out any excess filament sticking on the bed, once its operation is complete. The heavy duty machine weighs about 24 pounds.
This weight helps the printer to be steady during the printing operation and hence, delivers higher accuracy. The LCD screen on the printer is easy to operate, select the print files, and change settings. These features make the TAZ 5 really a versatile machine and a complete pleasure to work with. Then there is the Hexagon all-metal hot end that lets the user employ a variety of material for printing. The hot end reaches a temperature of 572oF, while the printer bed heats up to a temperature of 248oF. These high temperatures allow industrial grade printing materials to be used that can range from the regular PLA, ABS and HIPS to nylon, metal, polycarbonate, wood and a variety of other materials. However, the printer itself does not come with any printer. The 3mm filaments can be bought from the company website and are recommended for use with the printer. Though the machine comes as a single head, it can be upgraded to dual head for printing with two colors.
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The printer head also automatically positions over the print platform to maintain high precision. The printer, more or less, does all the basic settings, which makes it a breeze to work with for the new users. LulzBot is also known for the distinction of being a recipient of Respect Your Freedom certification from the Free Software Foundation and meets all the requirements of being an Open Source Hardware. It is the first and the only company that can boast of these credentials. The users can choose from Cura, Printrun, Slic3r, MatterControl or any other open source softwares. Cura seems to be the best choice, given the number of features and the user-friendliness.
LulzBot TAZ 5 is really easy to use and the performance is guaranteed. It offers a lot of room to print with the print volume standing at 29.8cm x 27.5cm x 25cm. It is enough to print one large object or multiple small objects together. The print resolution for TAZ 5 comes to 0.075 – 0.35mm. Basically, users can get both high quality fine prints, as well as low-resolution products. The print speed is good at 200mm per second. Therefore, appropriate settings can be chosen, keeping in mind the design and time at hand with the help of the printing software. This means that the users can freely upgrade their printers or make modifications according to the changes in technology.
The files to be printed can be uploaded using a USB cable or wirelessly with the help of the installed software. The wireless option is much better, because otherwise the laptop or any other device will have to be wired to the machine for the whole printing process. The printer comes with a year of warranty and an extended warranty for an additional fee. There are also many other options on the company website like technical support by email or phone, user manuals, tutorials, forums, and so on.
The LulzBot TAZ5 is a spacious 3D printer that provides professional grade results. The users are free to customize their printers to their specific needs and it provides that freedom like no other machine in the market. It is a good product at a great price.