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Free Leapfrog CreatrHS - What should I do with it?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:00 pm
by JFettig
A customer of mine had a Leapfrog CreatrHS sitting in his office for over a year, didn't get used, I asked about it and he said he could never get it to print right.... then it followed me home.


What a goofy machine! It has 3 rolled ballscrews for Z axis, and no linear guides of any sorts - it uses the ballscrews AS the guides.


Does anyone have any experience with these machines? I'm trying to decide whether I try to figure out what's up with it or retrofit it with a new controller(and better Z axis!)

The extruders look kind of crappy, do they work ok?

Does anyone know what the specs are on the extruder heaters and bed heater? Volts, Watts, etc? I have yet to find time to turn it on or dig in.


Re: Free Leapfrog CreatrHS - What should I do with it?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:37 am
by geneb
My, that is a funky little box, innit? :)

The Z-Axis should be ok, even though it's kind of weird.


Re: Free Leapfrog CreatrHS - What should I do with it?

Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:14 pm
by JFettig
Found a little time while making parts on the mill to tear down and label wires.
Additionally, someone else has done something similar:

Since I already have a smoothieboard that I tried in a delta(and I hated it!), I'm installing it for now to see if it does better in a cartesian printer(major corner rounding issues in the delta IIRC, I'm sure I posted about it on this forum).

Here is the original control board, it has DRV8825 drivers on it 16x micro stepping

I took lots of pictures so I cold figure out the wiring, it's pretty straight forward - from the link above he measured the motor currents, he also figured out the thermistor calibration but I'll have to dig for it since he didn't post it directly

Under the main board I found this quite interesting, they use an OLIMEX to run the front panel and the USB connections go through it, both in back, and up front.
I plan to power it up outside the printer and see if it's worth messing with for other applications, I don't have any interest in using it for this printer.

Cheapie 24v power supply, S-400-24 meanwell knockoff.

Rough layout

Where I left it for the evening

Z axis is a nema 23 motor so I'll power that with a TB6600 drive. I'm hoping I can add it to the smoothie using some spare pins so I can run both extruders.

X,Y,Extruders are 1.68A
Z stepper is 2.8A

Found a copy of the firmware ... guration.h

Re: Free Leapfrog CreatrHS - What should I do with it?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:49 am
by dc42
A Duet could power that Z motor directly.

Re: Free Leapfrog CreatrHS - What should I do with it?

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:17 pm
by JFettig
dc42 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:49 am
A Duet could power that Z motor directly.
I don't have a Duet in my junk drawer.

It's finally printing. Smoothieware is such a pain in the ass! If you put a '!' in front of the pin assignment to change it's direction, it not only changes it's direction but it's direction is ONE WAY. I found that out after a lot of hassle and annoyance. Additionally in the example config file there is no PID or any other sort of heater control for the bed in there by default - I overlooked it at first, it gave me a ton of trouble.
I'm a little surprised how fast it moves and accelerates. I had to turn it down quite a bit because it would shake my mezzanine! 60,000mm/min I think is where that was and 10,000 mm/s/s acceleration.

The nozzles on this printer are terrible, they're .35mm - so they're a bit small(I usually print with .4mm, not significantly different) but the outside geometry really doesn't allow a nice bead to go down and it picks up anything and everything that might stick up. I might make a heat break so I can use E3d nozzles without swapping out the entire end effector.

I will most likely get a Duet or RADDS for this printer soon - I have a RADDS in my delta and I really like it combined with Repetier Server on a Raspberry Pi.