Hey Guys,

I’ve written a post about my first impressions on Leapfrog HS and one of our Hubs @bgreenslade responded with some awesome tips to start with this printer :slight_smile: He didn’t have time to share it, so I wanted to make sure that you all get a chance to read it so here it goes:

“I got the Creatr HS myself and love it, even though there are some negative points.
My procedure to load in new filament works as following:
1) unscrew the tube above the extruder
2) push in the filament trough the hole as shown in picture 3
3) pull on the extruder’s spring to feed the filament through the top of the printer (make it peak out a few centimeters)
4) grab the filament that sticks out the top and pull out roughly 50cm (20”)
5) feed the filament into the disconnected tube and into the preheated hotend
6) depending on the material you can do “5)” while the printer is preparing for a printjob, that way you don’t risk, that the material melts in the tube.

“5)” is very important when you print with metal composites and PVA (i don’t recommend printing with PVA, because the chance of ruining your hotend is very high).

Make sure to have the latest firmware update, older versions have much problems with keeping the hotend temperature stable, the newest versions have improoved alot.

I preheat with a laptop connected to the printer and using Simplify3d. As I know you can’t preheat to a custom temperature in standalone mode, so the laptop is a musthave.

Allways avoid to have filaments in a heated hotend for longer times as the hotend isn’t all metal and may clogg.

Printing flexible materials like Ninjaflex IS POSSIBLE, but if you don’t do any modification to the printer you’ll have to print at 10mm/s or slower, with this modification I can print 0,1mm layers with a 0,35mm nozzle at 25mm/s (didn’t test faster speeds):

Also make sure, to have the fan shrout below the printhead made out of ABS or other heatresistant materials. Mine deformed to unusablility, because I sometimes print with 0% cooling (had to remove it and print a new one, will try to get one out of Polycarbonate or Tritan).

You can take a look at my hub, to get an overview about all materials, that I’ve printed with so far:

For dual extrusion I would recommend Colofabb’s XT and normal PLA or PLA/PHA. XT doesn’t stick to PLA so you can use one material as a perfect support for the other material.

Remember to dry Nylon before printing with it. As the last tip you should highly avoid printing with brittle PLA.
First of all the thick spools by leapfrog can knot when placing them as intended, so I keep them on a metal rod in front of the printer, this doesn’t happen with the flat and wide spools, which are most common.

The tube, that connects the screw from picture 3 and the extruder has a inner diameter that’s way too large for the 1,75mm filament.
I think the inner diameter is 4mm and due to that I managed to print with PLA, which broke in that tube. Because of the large diameter I couldn’t push out the broken filament, instead i had to remove the tube couplings and fiddle the material out with a larger cable.

Even though it seems like this printer has too much problems to print properly, I still have to say, that the printquality, material variety, speed, buildvolume and failrate (when actually printing) are very good for a printer in that price range.
Lastly you shouldn’t go full speed, especially not for smaller prints, often it’s not about the printers capabilities to print at 300mm/s, but the materials can’t heat up quick enough to be printed at that speed.
I print at max. 100mm/s and for smaller objects 50mm/s (or something inbetween). You sacrifice alot of quality if you go beyond 150mm/s (at least on my printer).

Have fun with this machine, if you invest enough time it’s well worth the cost/time investment and the reliability and quality will impress you.

Good luck,

Marius Breuer

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I am now on my second HS, having returned the first one to Leapfrog.

It seems crazy to set profiles on Simplify3D that simply don’t work, but that is exactly waht Leapfrog have done!

To get any sort of an acceptable quality print, I have reduced the print speeds down to under half.

The machine controller is pretty useless and gives innacurate information on print times and target temperatures, the print labels are worthless and should be removed and replaced with ABS disolved in acetone slurry. I have found that my right extruder temperature is wrongly calibrated and a displayed temerature of 230C is actually 180C, and finally the build quality is slightly poor.

I have built a lid to keep the temperature more stable on the print bed, and this helps.

I may return this printer if it does not start to behave itself, but what is the alternatice?

Hi there! If you need help with the Simplify3D settings, I could send you mine. I do only print at low speeds and do only use 150-200mm/s as travel speed, as 250+mm/s caused the stepper motors to skip steps. Did you try solvent free gluestick instead of ABS yet? The printer stickers are indeed useless, when you print with ABS the sticker doesn’t hold the print down, but the print lifts the sticker from the glass bed. Beside that I had to use strong chemicals to remove the sticker, just glass cleaner (leapfrog’s recommendation) didn’t work at all. Try upgrading the firmware to get accurate temperatur readings and make sure, that the thermistor is screwed in correctly. What materials do you use for the HS and with what settings are you printing? For print time estimation you can check, what Simplify3D calculated and add a few hours (Simplify3D doesn’t calculate with acceleration, which means, that the real print time is longer than the estimated one). Cheers, Marius Breuer PS: an alternative might be the ultimaker 2 or the lulzbot taz. Or go with delta style printers, there are some good ones out there.

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I’m getting the best results with my HS printing around 9000 - 9500 mm/min (150-158 mm/sec) just regular PLA, with a slightly higher temperature (210-220 C)

Thanks Marius,

I will attempt to upgrade the firmware, but there don’t seem any clues on the web site telling me how to do it!

I did not have much success with glue sticks but Cube Glue worked quite well.

The PLA in the left extruder worked quite well with the flaws in the walls reducing (from an unacceptable level) to reasonably acceptable when the primary print speed was dropped to 6000 mm/min and the shells printed at 50% of that speed.

I have fitted ABS to the right extruder, and this is the one that is trying to extrude at 180C which obviously doesn’t work. The machine seems to warm up, then the extruder and bed heat switches off. The bed temperature freezes, and the extruder gently cools down to ambient temperature.

Not much use really!

I would appreciate your profiles sent to chris@3formuk.com as I had intended this machine to replace my Cube Pro as the primary production tool.

I am getting great results with the print stickers that come with the printer (printing mostly with PLA, but also with ABS in the past). I found out that you can buy the same stickers at a much cheaper price if you look around on the internet. They are the Avery J8567. I can do a great amount of prints with one sticker so I really like these stickers.

I think most problems with the print not sticking to the sticker are about the glass bed being very curved at my HS, and print settings. I print a thicker first layer to compensate for the curve, and also extrude more plastic for the first layer. Furthermore I make sure that the printhead is actually closer to the bed then what I set my first layer thickness to. This can be done by using a negative offset in Simplify3D. Finally, I put my temperature quite high for the first layer, like 235 degrees Celsius for PLA.

Great insights guys!

We’ve printed a good looking Marvin Using
Temperature : 205
Fan speed : 50%

BedTemp: 20

And everything else on default. The default temp for PLA was set to 185 degrees, which obviously wasn’t working at all. So not a lot of tweaking was necessary :slight_smile: There’s still something wrong with the left extruder… Hope to fix it soon to start combining materials!

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Hi Arnoldas, I am a proud owner of an HS myself since some months now.

Funny enough, after some months of use I came up to exactly to the same filament load procedure you describe above.

All in all I am very satisfied with the printer and can agree with all your observations: it requires somehow an investment to get it “full pedal” but then the reward is there. I agree on your preferred range of printing speeds too.

I have noticed too that the Leapfrog profiles for the printing are simply “unrealistic” :slight_smile:

Also, while the frontend LCD panel and control is so neat and promising, I find it of very low usage… and as you say it is a must to have a laptop connected for common setup operations; anyhow I usually print from USB and have to say I had never a pb with that.

I personally get the best results in sticking combining the std stickers and adding a thin layer of UHU glue when appropriate… and I agree with the others that good leveling and calibration of the bed is essential and most important.

I have a couple of questions for you or any other kind enough to answer based on your stronger experience:

- do you know exactly what is the firmware update procedure and downloadables? Not easy to find a good reference for that in the Leapfrog site (at least for me)

- Are you using Simplify3D or any other SW? I am using Simplify3D (both windows and Linux versions), but I’d like to try Repetier as an alternative, only issue is that in Linux I am not ableto get the Repetier manual control working (the printer seems connected but does not react to manual controls).

Hey! Thanks for the great observations! As I mentioned @bgreenslade is the author of this post so He’d be the best to also address these I guess.

I, after having the printer for a week , am getting more positive about it for sure. We’re getting used to the software and the Printer slowly. The Simplify 3D softwware is really helpful for sure!

However, I do have an issue with the LCD panel- I dislike using it. I feel it’s much to responsive and not user-friendly :frowning:

Hi,

I’ve started to work with my HS for more than month. I seems to be a very promising printer but need to have the right settings in Simplify 3D.

Could you please send me your settings because the ones provided Creatr seem to be not optimized :wink:

Thanks,

Olivier