Leapfrog announced the Creatr HS, an evolved version of their Creatr 3D printer.
The new machine differs from its predecessors in a couple of ways, but the two most notable are speed and size.
First, the speed. Leapfrog has reduced the weight of the extruder mechanism, which permits more rapid extruder movement. Basically the speed limit is determine by the ability to stop the momentum of a rapidly moving extruder. Too heavy and precise stops or movement changes become problematic. Not so in the Creatr HS, which can now reliably move at speeds up to 300 mm/sec during print operations. Leapfrog says this is up to five times faster than previous machines.
The second major improvement is the build volume. The new machine boasts a rather large volume of 300 x 230 x 180 mm (on the single extruder machine; the dual extruder version loses some mm’s on X and Y axes). This is a significant milestone as it means you can print items 30cm long - and even longer if you orient them along the diagonal.
The HS’s specifications indicate a 10 micron layer resolution, or 0.010mm, which is very accurate. One fear we have of the HS is that large, fine-resolutioned prints may take a very long time to complete, even with the added speed.
The HS is configured to print ABS, PLA and water-soluble PVA plastics with the dual extruder configuration. The PVA is interesting because it permits the printing of virtually any geometry. Warping is kept in check by a heated glass print bed.
You can order a Creatr HS now at a cost of €1,799 (USD$2,435).