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Lulzbot TAZ 6 Review

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PROS / The LulzBot TAZ 6’s custom version of Cura is a great 3D printing software that can handle simple and complex designs.

CONS / This machine doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so you need to connect it to your computer or use an SD card to transfer your print models.

 VERDICT / The LulzBot TAZ 6 is perfect for experienced users who want a large, reliable 3D printer with plenty of filament options.

The LulzBot TAZ 6 has a unique design and huge print volume, both of which make it one of the best 3D printers. We enjoyed testing it because it has an accommodating design and auto features that cut down on manual labor. In addition, its filament options are inexpensive and plentiful. The LulzBot TAZ 6 works how every 3D printer should, and for this reason, it earns the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.

  1. The build volume indicates the size of models you can print.
    More is Better.
  2. 3 Lulzbot TAZ 6
    31.8 in.
  3. 30.5 in.
  4. 25.4 in.
  5. Category Average
    26.34 in.

Filament

This home 3D printer prints with PLA and ABS, in addition to a host of other filament types such as bamboo, nylon, bronze, HIPS and NinjaFlex. The print bed is heated and covered in PEI, which heats up quickly, maintains the right temperature and prints models without warping.

Aleph Objects, the manufacturer of the LulzBot TAZ 6, sells some of the most inexpensive proprietary PLA filament in our 3D printer review. You can also use any universal or generic filament cartridge, as the TAZ 6 has many filament profiles to choose from, so you’re free to shop around for more color options and better prices. The printer doesn’t come with a filament cartridge, so you need to purchase one separately before you can start printing.

Connectivity

To control the TAZ 6, you use the onboard screen and the dial. You can use them to change settings, choose models to print and preheat the printer. The TAZ 6 isn’t a Wi-Fi printer, but you can still print wirelessly using an SD card, which is nice if you don’t want to mess around with routers. The included Cura for LulzBot software makes it easy to upload, modify and slice 3D files, as well as save them for printing on the SD card. You can also download other programs, such as Printrun and Slic3r, and updated drivers and firmware from the Aleph Objects website.

Calibration

The LulzBot TAZ’s design gets better with each iteration. The TAZ 6 is the best yet, and although its designed for advanced and intermediate users, its documentation is easy enough to follow that anyone can assemble and use this printer. We found the assembly process was more intensive than those of other machines in our 3D printer comparison. However, the included manual walks you through each step with extensive pictorial guides, and it took us only a few minutes from start to finish.

Once the TAZ 6 is fully assembled and you’ve called up a model to print, the printer performs some auto calibrations. It first heats up just enough for the filament to clear the head, then it wipes the nozzle on a cleaning strip. When the cleaning strip wears out, you can turn it over and use the other side or purchase a new strip from Aleph Objects. Once the head is clean, the printer performs a four-point auto level, so each model prints on a perfectly flat surface. If the bed doesn’t pass this level test, the printer won’t let you print until it’s fixed – which is a lot more convenient than getting halfway through a defective print only to realize the bed isn’t level. You need to manually adjust the threaded rod to level the bed. During testing, we actually found it very handy to have both auto- and manual-leveling techniques to ensure you get the best prints possible.

Printer Design

This 43-pound printer is sturdy and durable and has a steel and aluminum frame. Many of its parts are 3D printed themselves, which is great should you want to replace them – you can just print your own. This large machine has a footprint of 32 x 25 x 20 inches; however, instead of the print head axis moving forward and backward over the print bed, the bed itself moves forward and backward to accommodate the print head. Because of this, you need to have a little extra space in front of and behind your printer. As long as you don’t place it directly up against a wall, you should be fine.

Help & Support

Aleph Objects offers a 12-month warranty for the TAZ 6, which covers defects and breaks. The support portal is extremely helpful, and you can get ahold of personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week via email or phone. We found that our emails were answered in less than a few hours, and the support technicians were friendly, knowledgeable and offered clever solutions to fix our problems quickly. You’ll also find video tutorials and a thorough manual on the website.

Summary

The LulzBot TAZ 6 is one of the best home 3D printers that can make professional-quality models. Its versatile quality settings, onboard controls, wireless printing and helpful auto calibrations make using this 3D printer incredibly easy.