Leapfrog Xeed 3D Printer Review
Wednesday, 7 October 2015 | Jon Brydges
The new Leapfrog Xeed 3D Printer: Our Review
Last month, the new Leapfrog Xeed arrived at the CREAT3D Showroom and we have been printing away merrily to see how it performs. Read on for our thoughts and a short review of the Xeed.
Overall, we'd sum it up as a serious business machine, for serious businesses. Why do we say that? In short because the Leapfrog Xeed has:
There's a few more things that we particularly like about the Leapfrog Xeed too...
Good user functionalities
Bed levelling is fully automated and the bed pivots on 3 axes so it can adjust itself. The Xeed also uses the same print stickers as the Leapfrog HS, which combined with the Xeed's granite bed, gives good adhesion to prints.
The 3D printer controls are on the on-board touchscreen and are very easy to use, with different tabs for different sections such as "Temperature", "Controls" & "Print". Whilst the text is a little small on screen (Leapfrog are updating the UI), it is intuitive and straight-forward to operate. The system also has automatic filament detection, particularly ideal for large or long prints.
Advanced 3D printing software
Simplify3D gives the user huge amounts of control over the print, allowing you to choose where support material is placed and gives lots of control over your print settings, whether you want to run off a quick draft print or a high quality print.
The Xeed has dual nozzles and its ability to print in a variety of materials means that using soluble support material is an option with this printer. There are two options for soluble support.
Firstly, PVA which dissolves in water. However, it takes on moisture from the air extremely quickly which makes it bendy and is therefore tricky to print with. It also operates with quite a narrow nozzle temperature window and can block the nozzle easily if it's left to "cook" without flowing through.
Our preferred material of choice for soluble support material is HIPS which dissolves in Limonene. HIPS itself is a joy to print with using the same settings as PLA and printing consistently. It's also super easy to pick away from the finished model leaving minimal scarring, or just submerge the part in limonene for those hard to reach sections.
Xeed for business
The Leapfrog Xeed itself is a solid construction and is great for businesses as multiple users can access the 3D printer remotely and queue print jobs, maximising efficiency. We've been non-stop printing parts, the majority of which have been in PLA with HIPS for support structures, and we've seen good results with a consistent finish.
If you want a 3D printer with a decent build size, options for soluble support material (ideal for more intricate designs), controls that are relatively easy to use, but give you the flexibility to go into a lot of depth if you want to tweak and change the outcome of your prints, then the Xeed is a great sturdy option for Businesses and Universities.