The Lulzbot TAZ is a reliable 3D printer, best suited for those who are looking for better printing quality and features on their second printer.
ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Exotics, PCTPE, PC-ABS, Alloy 910
290 x 275 x 250 mm
1 with option for another
USB, SD Card
However, we tend to get caught up in the moment and therein lies the risk of spending more on features that you may not necessarily require.
And it even gets tougher when you take into consideration the sea of printer models you have to choose only one from.
The Lulzbot TAZ is a suitable choice for intermediary 3D Printing enthusiasts who are looking for better printing quality and features on their second printer.
According to many hobbyists, it is good quality for money for anyone who can afford it.
This review will focus on the specifications on the Lulzbot TAZ and compare the benefits against the disadvantages on the printer to see if it’s worth the dime.
The TAZ 5 sports a formidable build that consists of a rugged aluminum frame to provide you with rigidity. It is a small printer that won’t take much of your space, with a 27-inch height and 21-inch width.
At the bottom of the printer is a moving print bed that slides back and forth.
The print area provides enough space to print fairly large models at 11.7 by 1.8 inches and the print bed is made from PEI plastic-coated glass.
Situated above the print bed is a print head that moves left to right and up and down. This prints at a 0.075mm to 0.35mm layer height, offering you a wide range to produce detailed, as well as fast prints.
A large part of the TAZ 5 print head is made of metal, including a hexagonal print nozzle that extrudes the molten printing material.
The head releases the melted filament at 0.5mm, which is wider than many printers, allowing the device to print quickly.
I generally liked the print quality that the TAZ 5 produced. The models were clean and smooth for most of the tests I conducted. Nonetheless, there were a couple of issues, with remains of tiny wisps of filament stretching between particular sections of the print being notable.
There was also a tendency for the prints to sag slightly, which made features such as holes to come out smaller than I intended them to be. I used three test models to gauge the TAZ 5, including the thinker model, planetary gears, and a more complex geometric sculpture.
The shoulders on the thinker statue were smooth and well-produced despite the slightly visible layering. The device also printed supports well, which were quite easy to remove with little traces showing on the final print.
The TAZ struggled on the planetary gears. Because of the fused deposition modeling technology that the printer uses, the bottom tends to slump as a result of the model sticking on the heated print bed. The plastic is slightly melted and spreads as other layers are printed on top.
I must say this printer is one of the fastest models I’ve used. The 4.5-inch thinker statue was printed in just about 2hrs 30mins in fast mode, although the quality was significantly wanting. The highest quality print of the same model was produced in just under 7 hours.
When it comes to efficiency, the TAZ 5 3D produced just about 2 prints that I would refer to as total failures. And this was because of the models sticking on the heated print bed. Other than that, every other aspect of the process was flawless, which is quite impressive if you ask me.
One feature I really like about this printer is its ability to support a wide range of materials. This is a credit to the high temperatures that the print head and base can tolerate and the manufacturer’s willingness to support all these materials.
This leaves you with a long list of options as far as the print material is concerned and gives you the freedom to get creative and experimental with your models. You can control the machine directly from your PC by using the LCD display.
The TAZ 5 also supports USB and SD Card and is wiFi-enabled. It comes with a modified version of Cura, which keeps you from spending an extra dime when it comes to the software application. This can be manually installed on Mac, Windows, and Linux devices; basically every other system there is out there.
The customized Lulzbot Cora is incredibly easy to use and will recommend to you the most ideal filament and temperatures to operate in for a given model. You don’t need to keep on referring to guides for instruction when working with this printer.
With the release of the TAZ 6, the price of the TAZ 5 was significantly sliced off, giving enthusiasts on a budget a worthwhile relief.
For around $1600, you can get your hands on this functional and versatile printer, which is a decent deal, all things considered.
Furthermore, if you wish to add a second extruder, it will only cost about $20 extra!
While it is not the printer for a beginner in the field of 3D printing, the TAZ 5 still maintains a user-friendly interface. I would recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade from their first printer.
The benefit of using this printer is that you get to choose from an infinite number of print materials, which allows you to keep your costs on the low by opting for the more affordable options.
If you're running on a tighter budget, you can check out some good mid-level printers in our 3D Printers Under $1000 list.
Lulzbot has tried to offer good support to their clients once they have purchased the TAZ 5.
Some of the perks include long and comprehensive tutorials, manuals, and other tips to acquaint new users to the device.
There are various ways to communicate with the service staff when you need more personal engagement.
There is also a year-long limited warranty on the TAZ 5 which allows you access to technical repairs in case of breakdowns and similar malfunctions.
Besides, you can prolong the warranty duration to three years, although at a hefty cost.
The only complaint I have with Lulzbot repair service is that they bill you $50 dollars for the technicians to merely look at your machine.
This is followed by another $35 if you want the printer returned; a load of additional expenses even after spending quite a lot on the 3D printer.
Overall, the TAZ 5 3D printer proved to be a versatile and practical machine.
It is the fastest printer I have tested in its class and allows you to print using practically any material you can find in the market.
Although there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed in the print quality, the final model is actually decent and something you can definitely work with.
Besides, the issues can be ironed out by basic post-processing.
The TAZ 5 is not the best printer out there, but I feel it provides for a great 3D printing experience. If you are a seasoned hobbyist looking for more quality on your prints, this would be a great buy.