The exciting world of 3D printing is becoming increasingly mainstream thanks to desktop printers such as the Leapfrog Creatr. Although the Leapfrog Creatr has been designed for the household market, it offers advanced 3D printing functions that set it slightly apart from competing devices.
The first technical aspect to consider when evaluating the Leapfrog Creatr is that this 3D printer is essentially a stationary robot. This is important to remember because this printer requires owners to submit to a slight learning curve before they can start creating 3D objects.
The creation of three-dimensional objects by means of printing from electronic data files dates back to the early 1980s. Before 2010, 3D printing was mostly an industrial process known as additive manufacturing; in the last few years, however, the advent of 3D printing robots such as the Creatr for household use have made this process virtually mainstream.
What to Expect When the Leapfrog Creatr Arrives
The Leapfrog Creatr is one of the largest desktop 3D printers in the market; it measures 60x50x50 cm. Prospective buyers who cannot pick up this printer from the manufacturer or reseller should expect a wooden crate measuring one cubic meter to arrive at their home or office. Essentially, the Creatr is about as large as an old laser printer, which means that it can be placed on a work table or dedicated printer stand.
This 3D printing robot features smart industrial design and solid manufacturing. One complaint often heard in the 3D maker community is that some desktop printer models appear to be flimsy and hastily put together. Such is not the case with the Creatr, which is a large and heavy device manufactured with quality parts.
The Creatr ships with just the basics: a power cable, USB connector and a nice letter from Leapfrog. The filament “printing material” must be purchased separately. It is very important to handle this device carefully so as not to disturb the hardware calibration profile.
Installing the Leapfrog Creatr
As befits a modern robotic household appliance, the Creatr is controlled by means of an Arduino unit. 3D printing enthusiasts who like to get hands-on with their hardware will enjoy the Creatr’s open design, which makes it easy to observe and access the assembly for maintenance and troubleshooting.
The basic Creatr is operated from a computer; the HS version is a standalone 3D printer with a color display screen. Installation consists of plugging in the power cord and connecting the USB cable to a computer. Manuals can be downloaded from the Leapfrog website, where you can also find installation videos and download tutorials and software such as Repetier Host, Slic3r, Arduino, and Virtual COM Port Driver. The Creatr settings can be determined by following the tutorials and making adjustments on the Simplify3D application.
Setting Up the Creatr for 3D Printing
Although the Creatr appears to feature plenty of space for printing, such is not the case when it comes to loading filament, which is a bit difficult due to the small and confined space. Zeroing or homing the axes of the dual extruders is also an intricate process. Once this is completed, printing PLA or ABS is a smooth experience.
As with other 3D printers in the market, the Creatr may run into some issues with print jobs that require more than an hour; however, the quality manufacturing and design of this device give peace of mind with regard to calibration, maintenance and durability.