Open Source

Photos: Five pieces of kit with 100% free software

The LulzBot TAZ 4.0 3D printer is one of the larger 3D printers on the market, able to make many small items or individual large objects, up to 11.7 x 10.8 x 9.8-inches in size.

Able to print in two colours or two materials at once using its dual-extruder, the machine can also build objects out of common plastics like PLA, ABS and HIPS and nylon, wood (Laywood), stone (Laybrick) and rubber-like (NinjaFlex) substances. The maximum print speed is about 200mm per second and the machine can output layers between 0.035mm and 0.075mm thick.

Just as the software that runs on the printer is open source, so the designs for the hardware is also available for anyone to download. The transparency allows users to print out replacement parts for the printer and to upgrade them.

The Taz 4, available for just over $2,100, also enables tetherless printing via an SD card and a multi-functional graphic LCD controller.

Image: LulzBot

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.