So, what’s the definition of a workhorse? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it’s a machine “that operates without failing for long periods, although it might not be very interesting or exciting.”
We beg to differ, at least for the part of the machine being boring. For us, a good workhorse 3D printer delivers quality results consistently. It works in difficult environments and does not turn into a pile of rust in a humid climate. It can handle any material you throw at it and deliver a decent result. Also, maintenance should be as simple and painless as possible. Overall, it should be a machine that helps you with your ideas and isn’t a diva that you have to take care of for hours.
The similarities to the general TAZ line are the heated borosilicate glass PEI-coated print bed traveling in the Y-axis, with belt-driven X- and Z- axes, all housed within an open beam frame with left-mounted electronics and control box.
But what’s new in the “Workhorse Edition”? Let’s review the specs:
Bigger Build Volume
The LulzBot TAZ Workhorse Edition boasts a 14% bigger build volume than the TAZ 6. It now offers the same printing size as the TAZ Pro.
Thanks to a new belt-driven Z-axis and a new, lightweight tool head design, prints also should be more precise.
The TAZ 6 was already built like a tank, but it seems Aleph Objects made the Workhorse Edition even sturdier. The frame is now reinforced. Also, the electrical connectors were upgraded.
More Available Materials
With the TAZ 6, you already could venture into new 3D printing material regions. The TAZ Workhorse Edition will let you print with an ever wider range of materials, including high-heat and high-strength composite polymers. This is now possible straight out of the box thanks to its hardened-steel tool head components.
To get to better printing results, the Workhorse Edition introduces automatic X/Y/Z backlash compensation for improved print accuracy.
The Workhorse Edition uses Lulzbot’s next generation of tool heads. Currently, there are three models available:
- SL Tool Head: Made for small layers with a 0.25 mm nozzle. Use this to print with more detail and higher resolution.
- HS Tool Head: For high-strength end-use parts. The hardened steel nozzle is 0.80 mm wide. Also useable for composite materials like carbon-filled filament.
- HS+ Tool Head: The widest nozzle. Also comes in hardened steel with a diameter of 1.20mm. Use this if you want to print fast and big.
According to the press release, the all-new LulzBot-designed tool head with 360°cooling should also deliver better overhang and bridge performance.
Is it Worth the Price?
The TAZ Workhorse Edition costs $2,950. In comparison, a new TAZ 6 will set you back $2,495; and the Pro costs $4,950. So the “Workhorse” sits neatly in between both machines – it offers more space, but no dual extrusion; doesn‘t have a touchscreen like the Pro does, but sports an improved frame.
Just judging by its specs, the TAZ Workhorse Edition irons out some flaws of the TAZ 6. Also, the new extruder systems looks very promising – but we’d have to take a look first in a proper review.