Leapfrog Creatr HS Review
Thursday, 26 March 2015 | Sabina Gonzalez-George
Ever since receiving our new Leapfrog Creatr HS desktop 3D printer earlier this year, after its long anticipated wait, we have been putting it through its paces.
The Creatr HS is Leapfrog’s newest addition to the family. High-speed, with a large build volume of up to 14.1 litres (290mm x 270mm x 180mm with a single extruder print) and its standalone functions, it has a number of enhancements over its predecessor.
The Creatr HS’s dual nozzles offers plenty of 3D printing flexibility, not only in the range of materials it uses, but also offering the potential for soluble support material. We have been doing some experimenting with different support materials, read on for our thoughts…
The Leapfrog range can use PVA as soluble support material. PVA is great because it dissolves in hot water, but it can also be a bit trickier to print with. What we found is that the PVA takes on moisture from the air very quickly, so if left out on the printer for few days, it becomes too pliable and bendy to print successfully with.
So, we then experimented with HIPS. Whilst the downside of HIPS is that it doesn’t dissolve in hot water (instead dissolving in Limonene slowly), it doesn’t take on as much moisture from air as PVA does. And we’ve had some great prints with it.
We used the dual nozzle facility at both 100 and 200 microns layer height. HIPS works well on the same standard settings as PLA, so there is no need to change settings on the Creatr HS or in the software. We found that HIPS prints consistently with little warping, is a stable and solid material and therefore provides a good base as support for print surfaces to go on to.
And if you don’t want to leave it dissolving in Limonene, we’ve also found it works well just pulling it away with your fingers without the need to dissolve it at all.
In our opinion, the HS ticks a large number of boxes as it is fast and accurate with a large build volume, is a standalone printer operated off USB stick with a large colour screen, and it has dual nozzle capabilities for dual colour, dual material and soluble support, all for just £1,550.00 ex. VAT.