LulzBot TAZ 4: Unboxing and review

Now this is one of the most exciting posts we ever wrote! The long awaited unboxing and review of our newly awarded TAZ 4 3D printer by LulzBot in their 4th Annual Hackerspace Giveaway!

We were all here pretty excited when we got the terrific news that our Hackerspace had been one of the winners! So, obviously everybody in eLab wanted to be here for the grand unraveling and “test drive” of our new 3D printer, after all it felt like an amazing Christmas morning 😛

So here’s what we received:

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A big box accompanied by a smaller one! All filled with all kinds of exciting stickers that teased their content 😀

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Everything from the normal postal info, through the Colorado Made sticker and of course the LulzBot and Aleph Objects logos, revealing the content: the amazing TAZ 4 3D Printer!

At this point, everyone was super enthusiastic and it was impossible to wait any longer, we got right into opening the packages:

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Since we wanted to keep the best to the end, we started up with the smaller box. Which was a 1kg spool of HIPS filament 😀

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Then we moved on to opening the bigger and way more anticipated box:

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You could see everyone’s excitement on their faces, like little kids waking up for their birthday:

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Upon opening the box, the first thing you see is a quick start guide. It’s actually pretty good, easy to understand and very well explained, with images and all. It will help you set up your printer really quick:

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But of course we were way more interested in what was bellow. So we removed the first layer of protective foam:

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First there is a small box:

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It contains a lot of things, from the power adapter cables, to more detailed manuals, PTFE tube, an SD card with all the documentation of the printer and a piece of LulzBot Green filament, pretty cool color by the way:

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The box also brings a small surprise, a 3D printed octopus. Which is the Lulzbot spirit animal! The cool thing about it is that it was printed in this particular printer as a quality test, and in fact we did notice its mark on the hot bed.

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Okay, moving on, there is the power supply and the extruder:

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This is the extruder tool head:

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I could be here explaining how nice it looks, or how robust its construction is, but I think the next image sums it up 😛 It is obviously a well designed piece.

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Finally, after the second layer of foam, there it is, the TAZ 3D printer:

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On the side there is a small tool bag:

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It brings a lot of useful tools, like an hex key set, a clam knife to help remove the prints from the bed, a bottle for storing acetone, tweezers, pliers, among other things:

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Next we carefully removed the black aluminum frame and the printer bed assembly out of the box:

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Then we started working on assembling the heated bed into the main aluminium frame:

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And we fixed the bed’s bolts into the main frame:

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We then plugged the male and female connectors for the motor and the endstop switch.

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Next we mounted the extruder tool head into the X carriage:

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And then connected the wires for the extruder head, motor and fan:

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Finally we plugged in the power supply and turned it on. The LCD lighted up:

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We mounted the PTFE tubing onto the printer and fitted the HIPS filament onto the spool support.  Then we passed the filament through the tubing onto the extruder head. The printer was now ready for a test:

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We started by printing the octopus using the Cura Lulzbot Edition:

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It tooks a few tries to get it right, since we didn’t know the right speed and temperature settings to print with HIPS filament, but eventually we did get it right:

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Next, we had a bit of white PLA filament that someone donated us to try our 3D printer, and we decided to print something else. Browsing on the SD card contents, we found something called Lulzamid which we didn’t know exactly what it was at the time, but we had a guess:

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Yup, Lulzamid is actually the LulzBot pyramid 😛 After the print was finished it was obvious!

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The piece itself was really great, lots of details, a high quality print. Only the top was bit melted but that was actually our fault that exaggerated with the temperature 😛

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We obviously updated our Hackerspace door with the LulzBot sticker:

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So far the TAZ has been an excellent learning tool which has allowed us to acquire knowledge in the 3D printing world and think ahead to create better things. It has been very busy in our Hackerspace and always delivering perfect prints.

To sum it up, it’s a really cool printer, high quality prints, very detailed,  it’s very robust and easy to set up. The printing area is pretty big with 298 x 275 x 250 mm. The hot end comes with a 0.35mm nozzle and the printer itself easily supports the upgrade for dual extrusion head. In terms of assistance, we didn’t need to contact customer support, but from the emails that we’ve exchanged with LulzBot, they seem pretty prompt and ready to help you out with whatever you need. To end this review, for us, as a hackerspace and a group of people who like to create things, what makes the TAZ printer even more amazing, is the fact that it is completely open source! We must salute you on that LulzBot, really noble effort 🙂

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Once again and in the name of our entire group, thank you LulzBot for this magnificent gift! We’re certain that with the TAZ 3D printer, eLab’s projects will be even greater!

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