The TAZ 4 3D printer from LulzBot represents the latest evolution in high performance desktop 3D printing technology. This 3D printer provides you with a wide range of features that facilitate more consistent, higher quality prints than ever. The TAZ 4 features tetherless printing through an SD card with a versatile, multi-functional graphic LCD controller and boasts a spacious 11.7in x 10.8in x 9.8in print area with a controllable heat bed that can print large items, or many small items.
What can you print with? LulzBot users have many filaments options beyond common plastics like PLA, ABS, and HIPS. Exotic filament options like the rubber-like (NinjaFlex) materials can also be used with this 3D printer with the proper tool head.
All LulzBot products are Libre/Open Source Hardware, meaning you can adopt the latest and greatest technology being developed across the 3D printing market. From experimental filament materials and the modeling software of your choice, to new accessories like hot ends and print surfaces—experience the joy of user freedom! LulzBot's Libre/Open philosophy empowers you to download/print upgrades and replacement parts for your 3D printer, and make whatever modifications you want!
Note: Printing NinjaFlex, and other flexible filaments requires an optional print head found here.
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 3 ratings:
Well as the title says everything just works easy setup, I had my doubts on the bed leveling but leveled it once and haven't touch it since, just use their filament had a nozzle clog but it was my fault, used cheap filament and had a small artifact blocking the nozzle, the truth is that i highly recommend it. Excellent
Prints are impressively accurate, runs for long periods of time without slipping, and gives me the ability to print just about anything I can imagine/think of. I love this machine, it's a maker's wet dream!
That said, the design has some problems that the manufacturer is aware of and has taken some steps on. For one, the print nozzle is not good for PLA plastics - heat will flow up the PLA strand and melt it above the heat sink, causing a mess above the heating chamber. Lulzbot has fixed this with their newest all-metal print head (not yet available for purchase) with a fan across the heat sinks above the heating chamber, and you can make some minor adjustments to your own nozzle to fix this before you attempt to print PLA by printing a modified air funnel for the fan that blows both at the nozzle (where it does now) and across the heat sinks. Look for drawings on thingiverse and the lulzbot forums.
The other issue is that it has issues with large prints with ABS plastics and delamination. I've experienced this a lot myself, and it appears from my experiments that the hotter you run the ambient temperature, the better your print is going to be. Lulzbot has not yet addressed this issue, but the best suggestions I've seen thus far are to build an insulated structure around the printer and let the heat bed heat your print chamber. Print with this chamber closed, and you should have much better results with ABS. Personally, I'm leery about putting the electronics in the enclosure, so I'll attempt to re-mount as much as I can outside of the enclosure.
Also, be careful when printing with ABS - one of my early prints stuck to the heat bed so well it took a chunk of the PET tape (green surface of the heat bed) along with it. I still need to replace my tape , just haven't got around to it :(.
This thing is awesome. Taz has some basic config files for you to get going quickly and I really haven't had to change them much. It heats up pretty fast and once it's going I usually don't have to babysit it. You can also print right from SD but I had an extra laptop that I just leave plugged in to it. Plus having the laptop allows me to design on my desktop and then send the file to my laptop using DropBox. It's a pretty nice system. You get a tool kit with everything you need. I highly recommend the Taz 4 and LulzBot as a company. They stand behind their work.
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With $2,194.95 I can buy - 3.5 Disney World season passes or 2 months of average rent in Boulder or 43.9 BolderBoulder entries or 614.8 Big Macs or 493.2 Starbucks Caramel Frappucinos or 87.8 Arduino Unos or 21,950 10 Ohm resistors (YMMV) or 1 Taz 4 3D Printer.
But I still want a 3D printer :)
True, but ONLY the 3D printer can make 3D printed parts.
But can it extrude delicious caramel toppings?
You know, maybe. I'm sure if you froze caramel into 3mm 'rope', it could probably work. Anything is possible with enough effort and imagination.
lol I think I love you RobertC.
Reporting in: Caramel rope too brittle. Project failed.
[JK, I didn't try it. But I think you'd need to do heated lines, and push the molten liquid through, and have a cooled chamber for crystallization.]
Actually yes, with the just kickstarted "discov3ry extruder", which is designed to work with any viscous substance, from silicone to caramel, would do nicely. Should be mountable.
Why not extrude an entire meal?
Sweet, I'm going to print broccoli shaped bacon.
I think any 3D printed meal is going to lack texture, and this probably won't be solved for a while :).
That's ok, the elderly don't have many teeth left anyway ;)
Hmm, now to see if we can get a custom head that is food safe and outputs liquid/gels (pasta dough, chocolate), and maybe a cooled bed instead of a heated bed.
om nom deep fried spaceshuttle! Potato paste and pastas would probably work fairly well, I'd imagine - wouldn't even need a hot-end.
S'been done... with delicious masa
An excellent point, good sir.
Soon you will be able to print all those things.
You might be healthier after eating a 3d printer than after eating 614.8 big macs
Get a Frostruder and print your own food.
For those complaining about the price, you're barking up the wrong tree. For that $2200 you get real hardware that can at least make a plausible attempt at justifying its price. The real gouge is the plastic filament, at nearly $50/lb. Aluminum is 80 cents/lb, copper and brass are about $3/lb, marine grade plywood is about $3/lb, steel is 15 cents/lb and ABS plastic granules (the raw material that the filaments are made from) is under $2/lb.
I know that this is not Sparkfun's fault, their prices are in line with everyone else so it's the plastic manufacturers that are screwing us. I don't see how 3D printing in its current state can ever become the manufacturing revolution that people are going on about, not when the cheapest, dippiest printed part carries a $50/lb tax. At that rate the plastics guys should be giving us the printers free because that would hook us into become plastic filament addicts.
The next frontier is an open source filament extruder that converts chunks of scrap plastic into printable filaments.
Done. Google Filastruder.
You should check out this series on a guy who builds a filament extruder. It's super interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFxUgaUOX6M
It was not that long ago that a computer cost more than this. And while some 3D printers are less expensive, they probably do not have the print area that this one has.
Hooray for SparkFun Electronics deciding to sell the excellent LulzBot TAZ 4 3d printer. It is 100% Open Source Hardware and Respects Your Freedom certified by Free Software Foundation!
I just saw that you guys are carrying 3D printer materials......sorry I just woke up at work :)
Way to go Sparkfun! I just bought a Rostock Max V2 a month ago. So while I am not in the market for a printer right now this looks like a very nice printer for the money. For people who do not know the print area on this printer is very nice for this price range (class) of printer, the frame looks like it is very solid as well.
If this comes pre-assembled then this is a great printer for those who don't want to build a kit.
For design software I use Cubify Design from Cubify. It supports constraints based modeling with engineering units and many nice professional tools in the package. Cubify Design is designed to export to a 3D printer so it creates the proper models and STL files. The tech support team is excellent as well.
Where do I sign?
I would only want to print cost redeeming, functional items, not some revolting plastic item to sit on a shelf collecting dust.
My only problem, is how Nijaflex navigated the proprietary rights of a decades old product of like plastic/elastomer qualities. That compound is Santoprene, especially since this material is still being manufactured.
At least 4 Reprap of good quality can be built with $2194.95
Yes, but you still have to build and proof a Reprap. My friend has been working on his for over a year. Still no successful prints. That is not an uncommon story with Repraps. Sometimes you have to decide whether your project is making 3D printed parts, or making a 3D printer.
At least add PrintrBot Simple Metals. Way better price and just as good in terms of layer res.
Hey everyone will this 3D printer work with a Mac?
Wow! This looks like a contender! Sure, you can get cheaper ones, but this thing looks well made and it''s made out of mostly metal parts. They didn't start out with some dream land concept of having it make it's own parts.
And, of course, as mentioned by others, the real cost is in the filament you need to make parts. 20 bucks a pound is many, many times the cost of the plastic itself.
You don't use these machines to make things you could otherwise obtain cheaper at the dollar store, you use these to make one off prototypes, at which point the 20 bucks a pound for the filament is cheap.
So... the print area... (11.7in x 10.8in x 9.8in) Is that x,y,z? As in the big numbers are the x,y component? That's a big, sexy print area!
Please add $.05 to the price....:)
I will say that Lulzbot makes a nice printer; having said that I will also say that this offering is of moderate abilities and with exceedingly high cost. There are a lot of printers of the market that will do exactly what this printer is offering AND at a fraction of the cost. I love Sparkfun and usually have no problem with what they offer as a "partner" company but maybe you can research other printer offerings that are lower in cost......just a thought. And also, it would be nice if you would carry some plastic spools like 1.75mm and 3.0mm in different colors and type ( PLA, ABS, Nylone, etc.). Go Team Sparkfun ;)
While this is currently the only 3D printer we currently carry, that does not mean it's the only one we will EVER carry; it's simply the first.
I hope so. I would love to see a complete Zen Toolworks kit. The 7x12 mill with the extruder attachment and hotbed. Maybe one of those laser cutter kits for 3D printers. I don't know why for the hobbyists someone hasn't made a 3D printer, mill, and laser cutter combo yet.
I am building a 3D printer that has a multi-slot print head that can accommodate milling tools, but at some point it occurred to me, do I really want milling tool debris in my printer's build area? At this point I feel like it's probably better to keep those tools separate.
Yep, exactly this. Mill get very messy. Laser cutters need a larger surface area and less rigidity, and 3D printers need a bit of rigidity, and a clean, flat, heated work surface. unfortunately, there would be large compromises to combine all three. I've often though of keeping the motor drivers and electronics shared, while keeping the machines separate. The motor drivers and electronics are a substantial portion of the cost, so that could offer some savings.
I don't think your numbers are accurate. This is roughly twice the cost of a kit Rostock Max. The Rostock requires 20+ hours assembly time. The Orion is $1400 and is prebuilt. However, the Taz looks to be mostly metal construction while the Orion and Rostock are wood for a good part of the frame. So I am betting the Taz is more robust. So I would say the price they have set for the Taz reflects the quality that is built into to it.
Compared to a Makerbot the Taz is a steal. Most of the "cheap" 3D printers out there require a large amount of technical skill and assembly time. The Taz has a generous build area as well. I looked at the market for printers before buying my Rostock Max. I needed a much larger build area than most. To get a prebuilt with a generous build area quickly shot above the $3000 mark. The Taz seems to be right in the middle of that build area vs price from what I can tell.
I do agree that Sparkfun should offer a kit printer at some point, but the Taz is a great start!
What about certifications? Does it have CE for Europe?
The power supply and each motor are CE Certified. The 3D printer as a whole should get its certification soon.
This is too effin' expensive! The 3d printing "revolution" is never going to take off while the cost of the 3d printers is so feckin' high! I'd rather buy a car/around the world trip for this amount of cash!
I practically finished my own 3D printer with parts purchased primarily off Sparkfun electronics. The electronic guts run up close to $500 (steppers, drivers, microcontrollers, edge sensors etc). Extruder had to be bought elsewhere. The mechanical parts are harder to produce. If you have the tools, then a trip to the hardware store will set you back another $200. Sparkfun now carries robotics chassis that can be used to assemble a full 3D printer, but the cost will end up exceeding that of electronics if you add up all the nuts and bolts. Labor is the hidden cost. Taz (or Makerbot) will offer you pre-assembled and pre-programmed devices. When building your own, you'll save the labor portion, but you'll spend at least 100 hours of your own time.
I encourage people to build their own devices to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying process. It's an experience (and not a cheap one, so better savor every moment of it).
This. And that's assuming you get everything working and calibrated right. Sometimes, you might end up with something that's just not that great... Some of the components will just be pricey. The cost of the motors, lead screws, and other linear drive parts will always add up to a few hundred at least. The power supply and electronics tend to add up as well. You can certainly build one for less, but like Jade said, you're going to spend a considerable amount of time doing so, and you're not going to get it right on the first try.
That is exactly why I bought a kit printer in the first place. Big build area for one, but it contained the experience of real 3d printer professionals/enthusiasts. You always pay more for that experience. This Taz prebuilt one is no different in that regard. I have looked at a lot of printers and the Taz looks like a very solid printer.
Even with a nice kit printer I put in over 20 hours getting it up and running.
When the original laserjet came out, it was about this same price, and those were mid '80s dollars.. Now, we can buy a laser printer for under $100.. This technology is in it's infancy, but it's about the most exciting technical advance I've seen.. Certainly not everyone can afford to buy one yet, but maybe if a school gets one of these, it will be a student at that school who figures out how to make a next model better/faster/cheaper..
There are much cheaper 3D printers out there, if you're willing to sacrifice build volume and (possibly) overall quality of the machine.
All the stuff it comes with, and a roll, or at least a test spool of filament isn't one of them? Maybe a test spool of "cheap" filament plus a design and proper files, or step by step directions for creating a plastic version of the Sparkfun S.H.O.V.E.L. or some other reasonable test item.
Because there are so many different types of filament in different colors its hard to pick one for people. The kit does come with a test piece about 2-3' long, but this way you get to pick your material and color. As for directions, Lulzbot actually have quite a bit of information up on getting a test print out quickly.
You'll have a tough time printing in ABS with this. The material has a high tolerance to clump-up and cause airprints if:
1- the build plate is not heated to exactly 100-110C 2- the build area is not enclosed to prevent drafts causing warping/distortion of the build plate
We've got over 600 hours with a popular named brand dual-extruder setup (won't say but you can guess) and 100 hours was spent tweaking the settings for ABS.
Should not be a problem with PLA since it is very forgiving although brittle and limited in strength.
ABS does print pretty good, but you do need to control drafts, you're right. But out of the box in a drafty room, our first print was in ABS, and it was surprisingly good.
I use Freecad for designing my STL files. Here is a great crash course on Freecad. http://hackaday.com/2014/02/05/3d-printering-making-a-thing-in-freecad-part-i/
Basically, it's all about sketches and constraints, before it's about solids. Great tool.
Thanks for linking to this. I just downloaded and am checking it out. Constraints based editing is the best!
I think it's awesome that you guys are carrying Lulzbot now! Dang, now I have to decide which of you to buy the Taz 4 from. . . . . .
wait to you see the video tomorrow. if that doesn't seal the deal, I'm not sure what will.