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corngolem

Ultimaking could learn from Leapfrog

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Creatr: aluminium frame, heated bed, 13662cm3 build volume

- assembled: 1250€ available in 14 days

Ultimaker: wood frame, no heated bed, 9370cm3 build volume

- kit: 1194€ available in 20 days

- assembled: 1699€ available in 25 days

Prices without VAT.

Both companies are from the Netherlands, so if Leapfrog can do it...

P.S. for shipping fees however Leapfrog could learn from Ultimaking:

- assembled Ultimaker to Europe: from 26,50€ to 67,50€

- assembled Creatr to Europe: 223€

 

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First off, if the LeapFrog prints, it prints like crap. We've seen them at the 3D print event in Eindhoven. They where suits without a clue on 3D printing. Ultimaker has 2 years of solid experience now.

Secondly, they do not give support or even answer the phone anymore.

(I had the chance to talk to 3 of the LeapFrog customers at RapidPro. They all want to get rid of their machines, as they cannot get them to print at all.)

Price is not everything.

 

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Also, the 14 day delivery time is a lie. It took them 6 weeks according to one of the customers I spoke.

There are quite a few other printers out there. But if you get a LeapFrog then you are NOT getting anything worth your money. You are better off with a printer from 3dprinter4u.nl for example. If you do not want to pay the Ultimaker price.

 

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I asked Leapfrog for a printed sample (before I bought the UMaker), it was a small keychain

fob. The quality was about the same as any generic home-made reprap (fairly poor).

Also the cheap machine they do, is limited to 0.3mm layer height as a minimum. (thats the main reason I gave up on it).

This is because their big "pro" machine that costs about 10,000 has the same electronics so they just

limited the capabilies of the small machine - otherwise nobody would buy the big one (because they dont

want people to realise that the big "pro" machine is just exactly the same as the small one, but with a big shiny

case and a larger bed).

So, no...dont get a Leapfrog.

Having said all that....its time to make myself un-popular (again), by saying that I believe that although UMaker

is great...as a company they have been far too slow to update the machine mechanical design.

I wont go into guessing all the reasons for that, because I dont know. But while we CAN sit here and with justification

point and chuckle at the Leapfrog....I think there are plenty of others that will put UMaker to shame in the imminent

future unless they find a way of devoting some more serious time to mechanical research and development. UMaker will for sure, not get away with selling "beta" kits without warranty, having no 2nd extruder and no heated bed for ever and ever. Although for sure I hear rumours that there are some really good software developments due from CURA in the near future. Which is very good to hear.

I hope they DO achieve that, because I like the machine and the comminity alot ! (hint hint, 2nd extruder :mrgreen: )

Anyway, as of this moment I would still not buy anything else....I hope UMaker make sure I can say the same

in 12 months !

C.

 

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UM generally appears to introduce hardware changes when they come up with the right improvement. That is, it needs to be backward compatible, affordable and work. A good example is the V2 hotend. They were offered plenty of ideas from some people with different designs that required a fair bit of change to the machine or may not work that well in the long run etc. Eventually they came up with a different idea to everyone else that totally works. Though some will still argue with that.

I can see why they would have such a delay with a Hot Bed design. You have to deal with power supply, high current or high voltage wiring and extra electronics for the user to add. You will most likely lose some build height, it won't be cheap and if you don't come up with the ability to get prints to constantly stick you will have many complaints.

 

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Oh, yes. You could describe my reaction as hate.

Because they are ruining the image of 3D printing. If you are showing off prints that are worse then the average RepRap produces.

And if you have people telling you "I have a leapfrog, I want to get rid of it because it doesn't work. And I want to buy an Ultimaker, because I know I will get support, unlike LeapFrog who doesn't have a technical support staff". Then you are bad for everyone's view of the current state of desktop 3D printing.

There are lots of options for printers. With different specs. But so far everything I've seen and heard about LeapFrog is just bad to worse. Yes, Ultimaker is expensive. We know that. We're also not trying to be cheap. If you want cheap, a printrbot jr is only $400: http://printrbot.com/

Quality, speed, software-support. Building good products. That's what we offer.

 

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I joined their forum, as I have done this one ... in order to find out what support and feed back was going on.

I do not currently own a 3D printer.

I found nothing but one issue after another. (@ leapfrog) With regard to the creator model ... by memory ... one guy had to take to his machine with a grinder and cut a hole in it as the metal frame was touching the spool or interfering with the filament in some way ... something else about needing bearings. These issues have nothing to do with any type of learning curve.

On the topic of learning curve ... Many of the folk buying into leapfrog don't appear to be as technically minded as those willing to build their own. I can respect this ... however the activity on their forum in extremely slow and the descriptions given very hard to follow ... although to IMHO, I find that in here at times ... BUT ... there are enough people here to re-word or perhaps a large number allow for more patient individuals to eventually get the message through.

There are major complaints about the communication with sale related topics ... I myself will be ready to move on from here if Ultimaker do not respond to me by the 3rd day. I consider my sales inquiry to be very important and will not reward the company if it is not regarded as so. I'm just about to shell out a large quantity on software and am very happy with the quick response I am getting from them!

So ... from someone who is yet to purchase ... I was "bitterly" disappointed" with the complaints and slow activity of the forum (@ leapfrog) as well as what feed back there was.

I guess this whole 3D printing affair is still very user specific ... I agree, there is too much hype with many brands ... but those manufactures that are able to end up making the use of 3D printing User Friendly ... will be the ones that bring it to the masses. Many of us are not wanting a "Linux Experience" ...

Plug & Play would be good! ... Don't get me wrong ... I am willing to learn a thing or two and know I can do it ... eventually ... but somehow it does not surprise me, that so many of the current users say they are, programers, engineers, software developers, and on and on.

If I knew more about 3D printing, the hardware and software ... then leap frog may have something to offer (maybe) ... bit pricy though. But I'll say it again ... when companies are too busy to reply to emails from prospective customers ... well ... then that is when I refuse to spend anything on them. I guess I am stubborn that way. I bet I am not the only one though.

Leapfrog seem to be extremely lacking in this area ... soon it will be 48hours ago that I sent my email to Ultimaker ... and I doubt I will have gotten a response from the sales team here. If buy the end of the third day ... I have still nothing in my inbox (to which I have added to contacts) ... I will go elsewhere ... sort out who is buffering and who is interested in really helping.

In the mean time ... all I have to do is decide weather I will spend more on the software than what this printer is worth. :eek: (but once again ... I like Good Service from the actual sales team as well as technical staff ... if they have any; as opposed to "slow or even, no" service

Community help is one thing ... but you guys are not the ones taking my money, nor dealing with the logistics. Forums will eventually pop up as to will Youtube guides and on and on. I am mearly a home user getting in on the act a bit earlier than anyone I personally know who has not even heard of 3D printing. Hard to believe whilst so many here are in on the act...but it's not really out in the masses yet. Sure there are a lot of Geeks about ... myself included ... but I'm not enough of one to wait and wait and wait for a reply... Grrrrrrr

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It really sucks when you know you should just order, but still waiting for the sales guys to respond. :(

I can't even think straight and wonder if I should hit post ... Bugger it ... "post"

 

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Note, if you want plug&play. I think the UP! printer is the closest you can get at the moment. I wished I could say the Ultimaker would be it, but that wouldn't be true. The UP! does print at a lower quality and at a smaller size.

 

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Hi Fanplastic,

I am part of the Technical support & Sales team, yesterday we replied to all emails that were still open.

Have you received a reply yet? If not, perhaps your email didn't get through..

If you want you can pm me, and we can talk over details, or you can sent a new email using the ticket system on our website.

My apologies if we kept you waiting for a reply.

We intend to answer all emails within 36 hours, of course, sooner is better.

Looking forward hearing from you,

 

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I appreciate your input corngolem ... also your efforts to make the best choice.

I started with the "Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing" I believe 15 well known professionals who'm have bee in the industry since it started some years ago, participated in the testing of quite a few different models currently on the market. I was impressed with the report given on the Ultimaker, but a little worried about the need to build it.

Leapfrog did have more in terms of features ... but I have already mentioned my disappointment with them ... Makerbot ... well I may be off track with my thinking here, but they smell like Apple to me ... I don't like Apple ... and then there is the Cube X ... but at the end of the day ... they smell even worse ... the filaments are way overpriced and everything else seems very limiting ... aka ... Apple ...

Then there are the plug and play that I bantered on about ... whilst I do struggle with software configs and the like ... deep down ... not sure why, but sometimes if feels good to bang my head against a wall. My shrink thinks its ok, as long as I get up and walk away from it a few times and release the acid build up ...

I have tried looking at some other rep-rap designs was well ... but Ultimaker keeps coming up as the most rewarding if one is patient enough. (Not my strong Point) ... but I know I can do it ...

I also know once I commit to buying ... all this angst of the communications and transport. plus good old customs will be a thing of the past. Know doubt I will have better things to get all twisted about.

I have been contacted and now feel so much better! It's just a formality for me now. I will be purchasing Ultimaker and throwing myself at the mercy of this great community ... LOL ... Kiss Kiss ...

Seriously ... I have not stopped since three days ago. I have multi-tasked from one forum to the next ... Googled and researched, watched video after video and read this and that ... I took a few break in between, ate drank and slept as well. I pride myself on making the best decisions ... I know I can't go past the Ultimaker.

In the morning, I will be sitting down with the wife ... to give the whole run down on why it's best to buy the Ultimaker ... if I have to modify later for abs with a heat bed ... then so be it. All my searching is done!

I do however, wish you the very best in your quest to feel assured in making the right decision for you.

Peace bro

Dave.

 

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I've just stumbled upon this post via Google, and registered to give some level of defense for Leapfrog. As a caveat, I have not used an Ultimaker.

Admittedly it took a lot longer than advertised to supply me with my ordered Leapfrog Creatr, but, since it has arrived it works extremely well.

I choose the Lpfrg based on the quality of the build and components. The build is truly rock solid, with full metal chasis, that's virtually bomb proof. In comparison to the BFB-3000 (what I was previously using for my PhD research) and the Fab@Home, i find this a breeze to use and hack.

I can't say anything about the quality of the hot-head, as i removed that straight away and replaced it with a spool valve for delivering thick pastes (ie thixotropic elastomers). and a spray valve for misc low viscosity pastes...

As a machine for hacking, it's really excellent. I achieve 0.1mm resolution in all directions (they may try limit you to 0.3mm via the Repetier software, but that is easy to skirt around - again with a little hacking)

My only major complaint would be the Z-axis stop, which is difficult to (re-)configure accurately.

It depends on what you want from your machine - perhaps but it it's a high quality 3D gantry then there's nothing much wrong with the Leapfrog.

 

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Saying it's good but not tested the hotend... which is a highly criticle part.

0.1mm resolution isn't that greate for accurate FDM printing, and achievable with any RepRap build.

If you wanted a quality build X/Y/Z system, you could have gotten an OrdBot for 1/4 of the price.

 

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"..but it it's a high quality 3D gantry then there's nothing much wrong with the Leapfrog."

I watched a Leapfrog and a number of other printers in action at the iMakr store here in London and wasn't impressed with any of them. They all have the same generic gantry system which looks like a clone of the MakerBot replicator... The Leapfrog in particular looks like a well built piece of kit, but it has no innovation or anything to set it apart from any of the other offers. Seeing all these printers in action has made be a believer in the Ultimaker gantry system. It can produce better results than any other printer I've seen at far higher feedrates thanks to the low moving mass. Not having to move the X motor around means that it doesn't have problems with vibration on fast moves ora lot of inertia to overcome. When you increase the speed on a 'traditional' (Leapfrog / Makerbot) style gantry the quality goes down considerably... I would estimate that I run my prints at 4-5x the speed of what I saw the Leapfrog printing at and still achieve better results.

For CNC machines which have a heavy head to move anyway the Leapfrog style gantry is great, but for 3d Printers it's sub optimal. The Ultimaker design is far superior. Another alternative design that I am a fan of which I think is ideal for 3d printing is the H-Bot design (or CoreXY). I've been experimenting with this system in various forms for a few months now. There is _another_ 3d printer on KickStarter now called the 'Buccaneer' that uses the H-Bot style gantry. I don't intend to back the Buccaneer, but I do have to admit it is sexy. It's the first 3d printer I've seen to use the H-Bot gantry and I like the the idea of the object being lowered to table level when it's complete.

Cheers,

Troy.

 

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Saying it's good but not tested the hotend... which is a highly criticle part.

0.1mm resolution isn't that greate for accurate FDM printing, and achievable with any RepRap build.

If you wanted a quality build X/Y/Z system, you could have gotten an OrdBot for 1/4 of the price.

 

Well while indeed you speak a level of truth - it depends what you want to do. Not everyone wants to extrude ABS / PLA so a hot-head isn't necessarily everyone's be all and end all.

An OrdBot is a fine little (tiny) device, but for example in my case, when suspending a spool valve, spray valve, laser deflection feedback system and UV cure lamp on to the printhead, it requires something with a little more size.

anyway, horses for courses, as they say.

 

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