I got the same type of experience with Leapfrog.
I also had an Creatr Dual extruder. It took me 2 years to figure out how to properly print with it. Then I could happily print for about a year. (Note: without using the dual extruding feature because it is near impossible to mount right and also with the glass bed being slightly warped).
However in November last year I let it print a long print and thus the machine was printing through the night. Somehow it lost its connection after a failed print and the heaters stayed heating, this in turn almost set fire to the filament. I woke up because my firealarm in that room went off. So I ran over to the room and saw a lot of smoke comming from the machine. I pulled the cord and removed the filament. Then removed the firealarm and pulled the battery to make it shut up. On that point the second firealarm in the corridor went off because of the smoke now able to make its way to the corridor. I silenced this one too. Made sure the nothing was hot anymore and went to bed. My girlfriend was still sound asleep…
God knows what would have happend if I slept through the alarm… or if there was no fire alarm in that room.
The morning after i screwed open the electronics cover and the internal USB cable was completely fried, the external one was soldered inside its connection and my pc gave a notification it had shut down the USB port because a too high current was drawn from it. (If it hadn’t it would probably also killed my PC motherboard). There were also scorch marks on the frame and plastic covers.
So… I contacted Leapfrog service department:
Why this could have happened? - there is a fuse in the power module of the printer which regulates the voltage delivered to the printer and makes sure the electrical components are not
overloaded. If that fuse failed it can explain everything that happened.
Now to fix the unit from the pictures and information you provided the following would be needed:
1. A new board - based on what you told us the board was affected as well which is why the hot ends start to heat up as soon as you power the board;
2. A new power module and power cable;
3. A new internal USB cable;
Now this is just the initial parts as until we have a fresh board which can control the unit we do not know if anything else was affected;
Also please share a picture of the invoice for the unit so I can check if the printer is still within the first year warranty.
If you do not want to fix the unit and want to make sure that it is stable I can also offer the option of the carry in warranty. For more information see the PDF file attached (if the printer is under warranty all you would have to pay for would be the shipping costs and the repairs would be covered by leapfrog)
If the unit is no longer under warranty I am afraid you would need to purchase the parts but I will ask management to consider giving you a discount on the parts and hopefully they will.
So I was like:
WTF, Your printer nearly caught fire, probably because of a flaw in your power supply fuse which should be a safety feature… and I …maybe get a discount…
It’s not like this is an expected mallfunction or normal wear and tear. Please talk to your management.
Plus if you’re Dutch there is this law called:“Recht op een goed product”. Which basicly means when the product shows non conformities in its expected lifetime (A 1800 euro 3D printer is not expected to fail within 3 year, and certainly not this kind of failure) you are entitled to a free repair, a new product or your money back.
So within the same week the commercial director called and offered 3 things
1. free repair
2. A discount on a creatr HS (2400 ex VAT)
3. A discount on a Bolt (5000 ex VAT)
And I got a tour of their facility.
I was a bit tempted to go for the HS, but after reading your story I’m happy I didn’t.
I went for the repair and dropped my printer off at their facility.
1,5 monts went by and they concluded the printer was not repairable anymore (which is not the case, replace all components but the frame and the printer will work, but this was from a financial point of view).
So they offered me a discount on a CREATR single extruder.
After not agreeing to this because I still think I am within my rights asking for a refund/New printer I called in some legal help.
They sent a couple of letters but leapfrog keeps ignoring them.
Also I have to prove the non conformity but the businesses who can do this are quite expensive and a new 3D printer is cheaper.
So long story short, in my experience:
Do not buy a leapfrog printer as a consumer. They simply do not care about you and care even less for guaranty/consumer laws (see their 1 year waranty policy).
Leapfrog offers a limited carry in warranty (“Warranty”) that the Hardware will be free from defects in workmanship and materials under normal use (“Defects”) for a period of one (1) year from the date the Hardware was purchased (“Warranty Period”) unless an extended warranty has been purchased by the Client. With the exception of the duration of the Warranty, all terms and conditions of the Warranty apply to any extended warranty. All sales of products sold as Refurbished will have the same carry in warranty for a period of 90 days from the date the Hardware was purchased.
They are trying to focus on the professional market and simply not gonna trouble themselfs with fixing printers they will probably not support for a very long time in the future.
- Do not spend any more money on your Creatr HS…If it does not print properly with PLA to begin with it will probably also not work with all the other materials. Is it possible to reset the firmware update?
- Buy a smoke detector (general good advise for every 3d printer btw)
- Certainly do not give up on your hobby, this would be a shame all because one compagny deceives their customers. I have been to the point you are right now many time with the Creatr but eventually allways found a way to fix it. However in this case it might be buying a new printer ;).
- (Eventually) Buy a Prusa i3 MK2, prints extremely well and is updateable every time they fix something new for it. Almost got bored when I didn’t had failing prints all the time.