Leapfrog Creatr XL Review Results
At first glance, the Creatr XL's unprecedented 23.6”-tall build space is enough to pique any maker's interest. Most consumer printers max out around 10” tall, and even other 'high capacity' printers are well under 20”. Have you been eyeing this extra-tall, 3D printer for your collection? In today's Leapfrog Creatr XL review, we'll find out if this printer is a great investment or if it's all height and no bite.
Leapfrog Creatr XL Review Basics
Let’s address the giant in the room first: the Leapfrog Creatr XL supports an amazing 1975-in³ (32.4 liters) total build space over 23.6×7.9×10.6-inch dimensions. This printer features dual extrusion, but if you just need one extruder, the available print area grows to 23.6×9.1×10.6-inches.
The uncommonly sized .35mm extruders are capable of printing at resolutions between 50-350 microns, and list max printing speeds at 60mm/s. Move speed is particularly impressive, zipping around at up to 350mm/s between printing.
Those who like to experiment with different filament types will love the Creatr XL’s versatility. It comes with a heated glass printing bed, and the nozzle heats up to 275C. That means you can use standard ABS, PLA, as well as nylon, wood, brick, and many other uncommon filaments.
Be careful, though – the open-frame design won’t protect your prints from environmental hazards like temperature changes, arrant breezes, or curious pets. Connectivity options are slim, too – you must connect this printer to a computer via USB for the duration of the print.
Leapfrog Creatr XL Review Pros
Unparalleled Build Space
This printer is BIG! The Creatr XL stands 23.6×19.7×35.4-inches, and features a nearly two-foot-tall build area. Few other consumer-grade printers come close to this towering height, and even fewer surpass it. We also appreciate that Leapfrog made it easy to remove the second extruder in order to expand your build space even further. If you feel restricted by your current printer’s insufficient build height, the Creatr XL will set you free.
Dual-extruders and Great Filament Compatibility
With dual extruders and versatile filament compatibility, the Creatr XL allows you to print with two different colors or with soluble support filaments. Articulated projects or unstable shapes can be printed much more easily with soluble support filaments, making this a must-have feature for working prototypes and other ambitious projects.
Use any brand of filament and experiment with an extensive list of exotic and uncommon filaments.
Leapfrog Creatr XL Review Cons
Slow and Imperfect Printing
The Creatr XL’s listed maximum print speed is 60mm/s, but if you want your prints to be recognizable, you’ll have to cut that speed in half. And while 30mm/s isn’t a snail’s pace, it will feel like it if you plan to test the limits of this printer’s build space.
Extra-large and -tall prints require more time to print, and with the Creatr XL, that can mean days. That’s a lot of time and opportunity for things to go wrong, commonly leading to imperfect prints. The thin aluminum chassis also tends to shake during operation, steadily vibrating your prints and causing those dreaded waves.
Days-long printing sessions may not be so bad, even with imperfect quality. Unfortunately, the Creatr XL also lacks wireless connectivity options like SD cards, USB flash drives, or WiFi. Instead, you must dedicate a computer to be tethered via USB to the Creatr XL for the whole print. This is a glaring design flaw.
Leapfrog Creatr XL Review Verdict
The Creatr XL benefits from the fact that few other 3D printers can match its enormous build space. Competition is scarce, and compared to other extra-large printers, it performs well enough. Unfortunately, when compared to smaller, more affordable printers, the Creatr XL falls short in speed, quality, and reliability.
Flaws like the thin, shaky aluminum chassis and poorly seated parts, along with the open-frame design take a toll on the final print, resulting in frustrating imperfections. A little more attention to detail from Leapfrog would have made a huge difference in this printer’s success.
That said, if you absolutely need the 23.6”-tall build space, it’s worth taking a look at the Creatr XL. No 3D printer is perfect, and they all require tweaks and mods to reach their full potential. Just make sure you have an extra computer to dedicate to every print if you choose to buy the Creatr XL.