Aleph Objects, Inc., maker of the TAZ 3D printer through its LulzBot brand, has released the latest addition to its line of Libre Hardware printers. While bearing a strong resemblance to its predecessor that Gizmag reviewed earlier this month, the TAZ 2 boasts some improvements designed to solidify the printer’s structure and give it standalone functionality.
The TAZ 2, which is the subject of a campaign on crowdfunding site Fundable, boasts the same 680 x 520 x 515 mm (26.8 x 20.5 x 20.3 in) dimensions and 298 x 275 x 250 mm (11.7 x 10.8 x 9.8 in) print area as the original TAZ, which the company claims is the largest build area for a printer under US$5,000. However, the TAZ 2 sees the addition of an LCD display and an SD card reader that allows models to be produced without the printer needing to be attached to a computer. “Customers were asking for that,” LulzBot tells Gizmag.
TAZ 2 is also composed of more laser-cut parts and metal casings, as opposed to the 3D-printed parts featured on the previous model. “We can laser cut simple parts faster than we can print them, so we can build more machines faster,” the LulzBot team explains. “This is purely for scalability reasons.”
The TAZ 2 can print with ABS, PLA, PVA, high-impact polystyrene, and wood filament, with other materials such as nylon also supported using add-ons. The team also has plans to develop more TAZ tool heads, including dual extruders and cutters, as well as more types of filament and possibly a filament extruder (a machine that produces the raw material for the 3D printer).
The LulzBot team tells Gizmag, “[We] decided to partner with Fundable to leverage the power of crowdfunding and further scale its business, enabling it to meet high customer demand.” The company hopes to grow from producing hundreds of units a year to 4,000 in 2014.
The Fundable campaign has already passed LulzBot’s goal of $100,000 with more than a week left to run in the campaign. A fully assembled TAZ 2.0 3D printer can be pre-ordered there for the discounted price of $2,395, with shipments to begin in November. Prospective buyers will need to get in quick as the price is set to rise at the end of this month.
The video below is the overview of the printer featured on Fundable.