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Having some serious issues printing my TinkerPlay robot on Leapfrog Creatr HS

Hi everyone,


I have decided I want to print a robot to show what can be done with 3D printing and thought printing a robot would be quite fun, a challenge and invite some further interest from people.


However it's already proven to be quite challenging with unexpected results.


The Approach

I've tried taking two different approaches for different reasons, those being printing pieces horizontally (lying flat on the bed) and vertically (standing up, perpendicular to the bed).

Also I have increased the model size to 200% (double size) thinking, based on past experience of printing a small Marvin that printing bigger is easier.

The Marvin model used as a test print to join 3D Hubs has a lot of curved complex geometry challenging the printer (and user) to produce a good result. Though using the same settings it seems to be a bit much for the Leapfrog Creatr HS even using the same settings....


My Printer & Filament

So I have a reasonably new Leapfrog Creatr HS using only Leapfrog MAXX filament, yellow at present.


The first prints = Feet

Settings; PLA, Yellow, 0.2mm layer, Extruder=220°C, Bed=45°C(1st 5 layers), Cooling fan & desk fan (100% from layer 5), Infill @ 70%, No supports

  • IMG_6568.jpg
  • IMG_6569.jpg


The second print trials = Arms

The seem to have posed a challenge.


Arms - Horizontal (left to right across bed)

Settings; PLA, Yellow, 0.12mm layer, Extruder=210°C, Bed=45°C(1st 5 layers), Cooling fan & desk fan (100% from layer 5), Infill @ 70%, No supports

  • IMG_6555.jpg - looking at arm from looking at top (rounded) side show poor layer quality
  • IMG_6556.jpg - looking at 'ball' at end of arm showing poor layer bonding
  • IMG_6560.jpg - looking at 'socket' at end of arm showing poor layer bonding


I printed horizontally based on the fact that there is a flat side on the arm.  I thought that this might make for an ideal way to orientate the part on the bed.  Also since the layers would run along the arm I thought it would give the best strength.


Arms - Vertical (standing up, socket end on the bed, perpendicular)

Settings; PLA, Yellow, 0.12mm layer, Extruder=210°C, Bed=45°C(1st 5 layers), Cooling fan & desk fan (100% from layer 5), Infill @ 70%, No supports

  • IMG_6561.jpg - looking at arm from looking at top (rounded) side showing extremely poor layer quality:

  1. at the socket end,
  2. in the middle where the thru hole is
  3. at the neck under the ball.


My other idea is that I will have to make many variants of each print which can be time consuming changing and printing one thing at a time to isolate and determine the effectiveness of each change.

When you consider that what may work for one but may not work on another piece adds more challenges.


Give that I could change the following:

- layer height

- speed

- feed (filament extrusion)

- temperature

- material (different colour, I have about 10 or 12, all Leapfrog MAXX Economy)

- Infill (though I'd not thought that this would have a big effect on the outcome)


Given that the first 4 options above are the main ones to adjust to determine the best results can produce many many trials, then there are more when you add in the last two, this will get to be quite time consuming.


I can see when considering printing this.  Logically printing it horizontally, with the flat side of the arm on the bed is the ideal way to go. However printing the near circular (cross sectional) geometry gets a good result when printed vertically though this is not the best, ideal way to print this part.


It would be good to know if anyone else is / has printed the robots and what success they have had thus far?

I will keep trying and post whatever results I get but given like most of us this work / 2nd job happens after our main job and family I will not likely be able to post too frequently.


Thanks in advance for support, tips and good suggestions that help solve this, I would be most interested to know of others trying to print these robots and there successes and challenges.


Kind regards,



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I have a Creatr Dual not an HS. IMHO the orientation isn't causing the problems you're seeing. The orientation will effect the strength of the part and the support structure, if you use any. Beyond that it should have little effect. It looks to me like you are getting a lot of variation in the flow rate of the extrusion. You shouldn't have visible gaps and thin areas. I would say that the filament is slipping in the hog gear. That could be caused by variation in filament size, gear adjustment, drag in the hot end (happens to me often), or a partially clogged nozzle. I've printed the little Marvins before with no problem. Don't have one handy or I would post a pic. Of course the HS has a different type of extruder than the Dual but it still should work.


I agree with Robert. It looks like the filament drive unit may not have enough pressure on on the filament. Slightly hand-tightening the metal pressure ring on the back of the filament drive unit often fixes issues where gaps are in the print. Other causes can be a clogging extruder - I usually printing PLA near the middle-to-high end of it's recommended range of temperature to help avoid clogging. 

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