The MOAR struder from Lulzbot is a welcome addition to the universe of tool heads for the Taz series of printers. In addition to their old dual extruder and flexi extruder, Lulzbot has released the MOAR struder for industrial, high output 3D printing.
For large prints like a urn the MOAR can drastically cut print time down.
What makes the MOAR different from the standard Taz tool heads?
0.5 mm nozzle standard Taz 5 Hexagonal tool head
MOAR 1.2 mm nozzle tool head
0.5 mm standard nozzle (author uses 0.6)
1.2 mm nozzle
1 cooling and 1 mirco heat sink fan
2 cooling fans mounted left and right, and a 40 mm head sink fan.
V1 Idler arm and latch
V2 idler arm and latch, beefed up to apply more pressure to filament.
Hexagonal heat sink
Round heat sink
10 x 10 x 10 mm heat block
20 x 18 x 15 heat block
The standard tool head has been a workhorse for my two Taz 5’s and is great for all the prints I have done. I do not do artistic prints that require finer layer resolutions, so I’ve been happy printing from 0.2 to 0.4 mm. In one printer I have a 0.6 nozzle, which I thought was the largest you could get on the market.
I have actually found that most of the items I’ve developed for clients don’t need fine detail, but take 10+ hrs to 3D print. For these industrial prints, a larger nozzle and feed rate tool head like the MOAR would be a economical tool.
Mounting the MOAR
Like the original tool head, the MOAR attaches with one 2 mm cap screw to the x carriage.
Like all tool heads, it requires that the firmware and Cura slicer be upgraded. This can be done easily thanks to their open source site, https://ohai.lulzbot.com/group/accessories/
The calibration is different as well. All other tool heads on the Taz 5 require that you check the spacing with a single piece of paper folded in half. The MOAR requires 2 folded pieces of paper to get the proper spacing.
The MOAR shipped with a glue stick and sample of clear tglas sample filament, which is a filament I want to try more of in the future.
I hit a stumbling block with the wiring harness. I was hoping to put the MOAR on my second Taz 5 that was a rebuilt by IT Works but the rebuilt Taz has a V1 cable. Fortunately my primary Taz 5 has the v2c cable harness. If you want to update, make sure your printer has a current wiring harness. Printing the test file showed me how thick the layer height can be. With the standard tool head I was maxing out a 0.4 mm. The MOAR head poured out a 1.2 mm layer height that I thought at first to be a mistake in my printer calibration. In 45 min it cranked a vase out that would take 2-3 hours on the standard extruder!
My first impression was that it was printing incorrectly, as it looked like I was printing toothpaste. It turns out with the MOAR you will have to change your mindset of what is a good print.
For a real test I decided to print a updated version of my mallet in some nylon just got for an early xmass gift. The long heating block on the MOAR head gives the extruded filament more time to cool,as it looks like toothpaste coming out of the nozzle, but lays down and cools as a it is supposed to.
On a standard extruder each piece of the mallet would take 8 hrs at 0.4 mm layer height.
At 1.2 mm layer height, both halves took just 2 hours !! It printed full size in 17 layers! This was my first time printing a large print in Nylon, and I had some difficulties in the settings that I’ll have to work out latter.
I also found that you have to run the printer from an SD card with this extruder. I tried running a couple test prints tethered from my laptop, but the Taz 5 did not seem to like being tethered now. This was a change, as I have not had a problem before running the printer tethered with the standard tool head.
Along with updating the firmware, An update to CURA is required for slicing with the MOAR. This new version has standard profiles installed for general purpose printing which I did use for other prints.
CURA has an advanced mode that lets you play with so many printer settings I can see someone creating problems for a profile. The depth of control that it gives you can give you flexibility with new materials and printers, which is a strength of CURA.
This new version of CURA gives experienced and beginner printers a lot of printer settings to play with, but in looking at the full menu, I can see it as a downside. I can see someone trying to tweak to many settings and then forgetting what they changed. It may be possible to develop a profile to perfectly print with each brand of filament, but that will require 100s of hours to get the perfect profile. Filament companies may want to work with CURA to test and develop the profiles for their brands of filament.
Hybrid Bed Adhesion Method
In working with this tool head I discovered a new bed adhesion method. I found the glue stick directly on the lulzbot build plate to be too aggressive, and held nylon parts to bed to well. I prefer using blue painters tape, but that can be pulled up on large prints.
So I used the glue stick and applied it over fresh blue tape. The combination of the two was perfect for printing the urn project I’ve been working on. With this glue over tape method, the large print held fast to the bed with no warping. It was easier to remove the urn from this bed surface than straight glue stick, though it did still take multiple scrapers to pull it. The other advantage is that cleanup is easer. I can still pull the tape off the bed without using any solvents to clean the build plate.
Finalizing the Garden of Innocents Urn
In previous post I developed and printed some test urns for the Garden of Innocents. This non-profit organization provides dignified burials for the remains of children that have been abandoned. I finalized my design and 3D printed the urn with the MOAR struder.
With a 0.6 mm and 0.5 mm nozzle on two printers, and 0.4 mm layer height, these urns took 15 hrs to print. With such a long print time, it was difficult to get the urns to print flat, and I was left with some warping at the corners that I did not like.
The MOAR came through on this project. At 0.9 mm layer height the MOAR cranked out the unr box and lid in 8 hrs. The urn printed flat and square, with the lid fitting snug as designed.
After some clean up I’ll send this urn to Garden of Innocents.
Pros & Cons
0.6 – 1.2 mm layer height, MOAR will quickly print out large prints with moderate to coarse detail.
Coarse layer height will show the layers on your print, which may not work with artistic prints.
High output 100 mm / min print speed will quickly cover large prints.
The MOAR head will inhale filament which can be bad for your filament budget.
MOAR is great for large cosplay props, industrial prints and large printed pieces where the appearance of layers is not an aesthetic an issue
MOAR layer height and 1.2 mm nozzle may not be suited for small or artistic prints where fine details are important.