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creatr HS and PVA

 I have been working on printing with PVA from formfutura for months now trying to get it to work. They say you need to use PVA--G type for the HS. Does anyone know if Maxx PVA is that type? I see pics of prints using PVA on the Leapfrog website, but everyone I know has trouble printing with it.

Here is what I know about PVA. - It can stick to ABS if you run it hot, but not so hot as to burn. I set mine at 215 on the HS. I hear is crackle as it prints.

But here is the setup I have on my HS.

This is all to keep the PVA from getting too hot and soft to move through to the extruder.

First - I noticed my servo for the feed gear gets too hot. so I cut a new back panel with holes at the servo motors for ventilation. I'm thinking of adding a fan over the holes as well.

Second- I printed out a new gland similar like I saw on one of the posts, but this came from Leapfrog. It works much better  than original - less room for filament to hang up in the gear. replaces the metal one at the top of the gear assembly. I used a countersink drill to open the entry hole for easier loading.

Third- For some reason, my left gear has an additional bar in the structure. Since the heat from the servo just transfers over to the gear I use the right extruder - less hardware to get hot. Would like to see a spacer between servo and gear.

Fourth - I run the filament under the platen, not through the feed tube. The tube runs under the plate and through the power source and motherboard so PVA  gets too hot/soft.

Fifth-most important - I adjusted the tension on the feed gear so the filament does not bend/arch as it passes. It need to run as straight through that gear assembly as possible.

Sixth - in Simplify and I think in Repetier as well, I change the Extrusion Multiplier setting from 1 to .25 or .35. This reduces the pressure on the PVA so it doesn't try to backup into the gear as it's waiting to print. .25 worked all the way through an 1.5 hour print. But is doesn't quite produce enough material, so .35 or so might be better. I need to test more.

Seventh-Simplifiy sent me the G-gode to eliminate retraction. If you want that, let me know. I found that with retraction, while that reduces the pressure back to the gear it also creates more grooves in the filament.

Basically I found that as the print time increases, the PVA gets too hot/soft- it wraps itself around the feed gear assembly. So instead of just slowing everything down and printing taking hours, I'm looking to take advantage of the speed of the HS - I bought it so I could produce more in the day.

So far this is working, but any ideas someone has would be great.


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Hello Mark,

It takes a lot of work to get this printer and printer settings to work properly. Too much work actually. (bed leveling, nozzle burn, printer speed, PVA and PLA, sticking to the bed, sticking after a certain height, cooling, not cooling, printer head colliding with the product). 

But the biggest issue right now is that the PVA is not working.

We also concluded that the HS is heating the PVA before it even gets to the nozzle. This creates problems after a few minutes of printing because the PVA filaments curls up around the wheels. (we measured 50°C at the wheels)

Tried different settings. It just does NOTwork well.

We are also waiting for better settings and a solution from Leapfrog.

Hopefully it will come soon. 


does this include using the MAXX PVA brand or every brand of PVA?


I have PVA working just fine now on my Creatr HS. I have run over 5 hours of prints and very little issues using FormFutura PVA. Leapfrog needs to make a few design changes - in my opinion. So hopefully they read these posts as well.
First - they need to add a heatsink between the servo and feed gear for the filament. It just gets too hot there. All they need to do is move the gear assembly/mounting screws over a bit to accommodate the extra space. Next, add more vent holes behind the servo/feed gear for air flow. This doesn't seem to bother the ABS that I run now - see my photos.
Next, make the bowden tubing run above the enclosed motherboard/power pack. There's room under the platen. It gets too hot inside that enclosure as well.
Last- they, Simplify - not sure is it's Auduino software or slicer software or where- but the filament exchange needs to be off and away from the model. Too much oozing and crap gets on model, unless there is a setting I'm missing somewhere.
Hope this helps everyone get going using PVA. Any questions, let me know. - Mark



Hi Mark, 

We use the brand MAXX for filament.

I'm interested in the Simplify3d settings that you used for this print. 

Could you post a 

- .FFF file 

- factory file

- and/or a Gcode

Were not going to re-Build the printer yet. We still have a warranty.But maybe the back cover can be removed..

When we update the software were going to have a try.

Dear Mark,

Thank you for posting your findings regarding PVA printing on the HS. Know that the R&D department is already looking into the PVA filament type you are using and they will make sure to test it and also see how they improve the current PVA settings they are working on with the ones you sent us.

We appreciate the support from your side on this matter and as soon as we have good results we will make sure to post them on the website.

Thank you for your help and happy printing.

Hi Mark,

I just got the news. Your idea of cooling the driving units has been implemented.


For printing PVA on the HS with both Simplify 3D and the Creatr software please see the links below:

1. How to print PVA on the Creatr HS/XL using Simplify 3D

2. How to print PVA on the Creatr HS using Materialise (Creatr software)

Please note that the cooling fans are not a requirement but they do improove the chances of printing PVA.

Happy printing!

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User Manual

Quick Start Guide

Installation clips
The following 3 clips will guide you through the installation process of your CreatrXL. By following these, you will be printing within 30 minutes. First start with unpacking the printer. Clickhere to see how you correctly pick up the printer

Part 1 of 3: Unpacking your CreatrXL

In this clip, you will be guided through the unpacking of a brand new CreatrXL. The unboxing along with the location of tie wraps which need to be removed are shown, as well as the process of a connecting the cables to the printer and computer.

Part 2 of 3: Software and configuration

In this clip, we will show you how to install the required software. The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. The next step is to download and install the Repetier Host Leapfrog software or that controlls your 3D printer. We have tried to make this as simple as possible and also provided direct downloading links per operating system.

If you are using the new Simplify 3D software you can follow all the steps except for the Repetier-Host Leapfrog installation and using explanation. Simply download the software via the purchase link and before first use a pop-up will appear showing you the Simplify 3D Quick start guide. You can also download the Quick start guide or access it from the software via help –> Quick start guide. The quick start guide will briefly explain the functions of the software so that you can start your first print.

Please select you operating system and follow the descriptions in the movie.

Operating systemWindows

The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. The next step is to download and install the newest version of the Repetier Host Leapfrog software as shown in the clip. This software allows you to convert your 3D software file [STL for example] to a printable file [G-Code] and allows you to control your printer. The Repetier Host Leapfrog software contains standard CreatrXL Print Profiles. Just select the extruder, the filament material as well as the color and Repetier will automatically select the ideal print temperature providing you the best print quality possible. There is also a Leapfrog support button implemented in the software. A Mac version will be available soon.

If you have followed the installation procedure, but you can’t control your Leapfrog CreatrXL and the “6 commands waiting” message in Repetier-Host Leapfrog won’t disappear, you have to install the 2.8.28 drivers. Please see Solution can’t connect 6 commands waiting in Repetier-Host Leapfrog how to do so.

For a more thorough description of Slic3s settings please check this guide!

Windows 8
To install the Arduino drivers on a computer with Windows 8 follow these steps after downloading the Arduino software.

- Save unsaved work and write the instructions down
[your computer will reboot into startup options screen]
- Press the Windows Key and the ‘R’ key simultaneously
- Copy the command inside the brackets
–>[ shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00 ] – Select ‘Troubleshoot’
- Select ‘Advanced options’
- Select ‘Startup Settings’
- Select ‘Disable Driver Signature Enforcement’
- Install driver as usual via device manager


In this clip, we will explain you how you can generate a STL file using Sketchup. We show you what to download and how to export your design in STL.

Part 3 of 3: Making your first print!

In this final clip, the process of creating your first print will be explained. This starts with removing the callibration print that is already on the print bed. How to insert the filament and operate the Repetier Host Leapfrog software is also shown, which should culminate in your first 3D Print on the CreatrXL!

Google sketchupHow to export STL files from Sketchup

The first step is to download and install the Arduino software to make it possible for your computer to connect with the printer. You will then need to in stall this driver for OSX to recognize the hardware.

The next step is to download the Repetier software as shown in the clip. This software allows you to convert your 3D software file [STL for example] to a printable file [G-Code] and allows you to control your printer. We have developed standard print profiles for the CreatrXL. Please follow the instructions below to install the print profiles for Mac [not yet included in the video]:

- Download This file
- Go to your Home Folder on Mac and select “Go to Folder” from the Go Menu en type “Library/Application Support/Slic3r/” - Unzip the file you just downloaded and dump the contents in the Slic3r folder, it will replace your existing settings. If you want to keep your current settings as well, take the contents from each folder and put this in the same folder in the Home/Libaray/App../Slic3r folder.

Download instructions by Deepak Dinesh Mehta For a more thorough description of Slic3s settings please check this guide!

Troubleshooting Trees

Filament Guide

  • Extrude at ~ 225o C.
  • Requires heated bed.
  • Works reasonably well without cooling.
  • Adheres best to polyimide tape.
  • Filament tolerances are usually tighter.
  • Prone to cracking, delamination, and wraping.
  • More flexible.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives or solvents(Acetone or MEK).
  • Fumes are unpleasent in enclosed areas.
  • Oil Based.
  • Extrude at ~ 180-225o C.
  • Benefits from heated bed.
  • Benefits greatly from cooling while printing.
  • Adheres well to a variety of surfaces.
  • Finer feature detail possible on a well calibrated machine.
  • Prone to curling of corners and overhangs.
  • More brittle.
  • Can be bonded using adhesives.
  • More pleasant smell when extruded.
  • Plant Based.

Demo Print Downloads

Drivers Downloads

Software Downloads

Firmware Downloads

Please request a firmware download via the Ticket System

Creatr XL Video Library