The latest LulzBot machine is the TAZ Pro S, and it sports a 1.75mm tool head, unlike the rest of the company’s lineup.
The new TAZ Pro S is a version of their previous TAZ Pro machine: both have a build volume of 280 x 280 x 285 mm, and in fact all the other specifications appear to be identical.
But there’s one major difference: this is NOT a 2.85mm filament device. It’s a 1.75mm 3D printer.
You might think this is not a newsworthy item, but in fact the LulzBot line of devices is one of the few remaining that still use 2.85mm filament as a standard. For years all LulzBot devices exclusively used the fatter 2.85mm format.
Then, earlier this year a new option appeared on the LulzBot menu: an optional 1.75mm toolhead, the M175 made by Slice Engineering. This was (and is) offered as a “drop in” replacement for the tool head on the Mini 2, TAZ Workhorse and TAZ Pro.
It seems that this option proved so popular that FAME 3D, the company behind the LulzBot brand, decided to offer the TAZ Pro with the tool head installed by default, rather than as an option. Thus we have the new TAZ Pro S.
Todd Atchison, Creative Director for LulzBot, told us:
”We have a new addition to the lineup. The TAZ Pro S. We’ve put our new M175 tool head on the TAZ Pro to give users the ability to create industrial quality 1.75mm prints right out of the box.”
I’m not sure what the “S” is for. “Standard filament”, maybe? Could we see other “S” LulzBot machines in the future?
I believe this is quite likely, if for no other reason than the 1.75mm format is so much more popular than the 2.85mm format.
How much more popular is 1.75mm filament over 2.85mm filament? Come to think of it, I can’t really list very many 3D printer manufacturers that still cling to 2.85mm filament. Most of those I can recall are large-format vendors where the fatter filament might be of advantage, such as BigRep, 3D Platform and Titan Robotics, all of whom are slowly moving towards using pellets instead of filament.
Virtually all of the 3D printer brands these days use 1.75mm filament. Aniwaa, the most comprehensive database of current 3D printing equipment, doesn’t even have a search field for this format anymore. Even SynDaver, the company that used LulzBot’s open source designs to produce their own Axi 3D printer, seems to offer 1.75mm format devices.
While there are no doubt several smaller companies still offering 2.85mm machines I can’t recall at the moment, there are two giants using the format: Ultimaker and LulzBot.
With the announcement of the TAZ Pro S, it seems that LulzBot could now be at the beginning of a shift to 1.75mm filament.
The ball now drops in Ultimaker’s court.