best 3d printers – Lulzbot TAZ 2017

The best 3D printers on our lineup feature large print sizes, high print quality and easy-to-use designs. The Lulzbot TAZ 5 garners our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for succeeding in all three of these areas. This aluminum and steel printers is well designed, prints high-quality parts in a variety of filament types and is very easy to connect to and use.

Printing Performance

The print size of the Lulzbot TAZ 5 is large enough for you to print a variety of projects and prototypes. The 9.8 x 10.8 x 11.7-inch print capacity is a little larger than a standard issue soccer ball and one of the largest on our lineup. Print resolution ranges from 0.075 to 0.35 mm, which is helpful for high-quality prints or quick prints with lower-quality resolution, depending on the needs of your design. Like with paper printers, print quality is partially affected by speed; the faster the printer the lower the quality, the slower the printer the higher the quality. The Lulzbot TAZ 5 can print up to 200 mm/s for very quick draft prints should you want a prototype instead of a finished product in half the time. Through your 3D printing software, you can control the speed and resolution of your prints, which allows you to save time and filament.

The Lulzbot TAZ 5 auto levels before each print, so the print head is in exactly the right position above the print platform to create precision prints. This 3D printer doesn???t offer many manual user calibration functions for more advanced users, but it does all the basic calibrations that beginning users need to successfully complete each model. The print head also has a wiper function, so you don’t have to deal with excess filament clogging the head or sticking to the print platform.

3D printing materials are plentiful for the Lulzbot TAZ 5. You can choose from traditional plastics like ABS and PLA, as well as new materials such as HIPS, nylon, flexible filaments and more. Lulzbot provides a number of colors and 3 mm filament options on its website. Technically, universal cartridges are not recommended for use with the Lulzbot TAZ 5, so you need to only purchase filament from the manufacturer. There is an option to upgrade your machine to a dual-head printer for two-color printing as well. As it stands when it comes out of the box, it is a single head machine.

The Lulzbot TAZ 5 is designed much like its predecessors, the TAZ 3 and TAZ 4. A few key improvements make the TAZ 5 one of the best desktop 3D printers. Lulzbot is also a proud open-source company, which means you’re free to make modifications and upgrades to your printer if you’re so inclined.

This 24-pound aluminum and steel printer is very sturdy and does not shake or rattle while printing, resulting in great accuracy. It’s relatively easy to print 3D designs with the TAZ 5 because there is an on-board screen for selecting a print model and changing settings. The glass print platform is covered in PEI, which makes it easy to clean and easy for you to remove finished prints. You also don’t have to apply glue or tape to get the filament to adhere to the surface correctly for the first few layers. The heated platform works well with ABS and HIPS filament to prevent warping.

Filament & Cartridges

Connectivity is user oriented on the TAZ 5, as you get to choose your 3D printer design software as well as how you transfer files. The Lulzbot TAZ 5 supports Cura for Lulzbot and Printrun, in addition to nonproprietary software for printing such as Slic3r, MatterControl and other open source programs. During our 3D printer comparison, we found Cura to be the most flexible and reliable program both for ease of use and number of features. Both beginners and experts can use Cura to efficiently complete a variety of projects.

Instead of printing via the included USB cable, you can also download your Cura-optimized files to an SD card and print wirelessly. This frees up your laptop from being tethered to your machine for hours at a time during long prints. Maintenance tools are included with the TAZ 5, but you need to purchase a filament cartridge before you can get started, as one isn???t included with your printer shipment.

3D printing manufacturers generally offer from three months to one year of warranty service. Lulzbot is a bit different though; they offer a one-year warranty with extended warranties for an additional fee to protect your 3D printer longer.

Unfortunately, the inventory varies at the Lulzbot store, and you could end up waiting two to six weeks lead time for your printer. However, the Lulzbot TAZ 5 is available from a number of local distributors where no lead time is applied.

The Lulzbot website offers numerous help and support options. You can contact the company and find help using email and phone technical support, a healthy FAQs section, a user forum, read-through tutorials and a very helpful manual.

The Lulzbot TAZ 5 is great for beginners or advanced users alike. Auto calibration, an easy-to-use control screen and wireless printing are perfect 3D printing technology features for less advanced users. High-quality print resolution, filament varieties and upgradable features make the Lulzbot perfect for more advanced users as well. This well-built 3D printer is an excellent choice for large, quality prints for whatever project you’re working on.

Printer Design

Connectivity & Accessories

Help & Support

Summary