We are delighted to announce that we are now official stockists of the Leapfrog Bolt, an advanced Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer which comes loaded with features, unique technologies and one of the best interfaces we have ever used on a 3D printer in the desktop class, courtesy of a 7″ touchscreen. We have this machine on show at our stand (G14) at the TCT Show today and tomorrow, but for those of you who can’t make it, here’s everything you need to know:
Independent Dual Extruders
The Leapfrog Bolt has two extruders that can work together or separately of one another. This setup lets you mix materials to create unique parts – you can load two filaments at the same time, and print a soluble support material for fragile parts.
The key advantage of this setup is that it allows more control over the filament, and it eradicates the risk of cross-filament contamination, which is something that many 3D printers with dual heads face. Ultimately, this leads to less cleanup and cleaner prints every time. Or in other words, greater consistency.
Resolution, Speed and Materials
The Leapfrog Bolt prints at a layer height of 50 to 350-microns (0.05 to 0.35 mm), at a print speed of up to 100 mm/s. That resolution is not the best-in-class, however having tested the Bolt extensively over the last few weeks, we can confidently say that printing at a resolution of 50-microns results in prints that look absolutely fantastic; and better than the prints produced by several other 3D printers, that advertise a lower resolution setting.
In terms of print speed, 100 mm/s is fast for a FFF machine, however you can actually double the print speed with ‘Replicator Mode’, which we will cover below.
In terms of materials, the Leapfrog Bolt is capable of printing with standard 1.7mm ABS and PLA, HIPS, Nylon and all Leapfrog Maxx Essentials and Leapfrog Maxx Pro filaments. It can also print many ColorFabb filaments, such as WoodFill.
Replicator Mode and Mirror Mode
‘Replicator Mode’ is one of the standout features of the Leapfrog Bolt. It lets you print two identical parts at the same time, so it effectively doubles the print speed! This is possible thanks to the Bolt’s dual separated heads.
‘Mirror Mode’ is another fantastic feature unique to the Leapfrog Bolt. It lets you print a mirrored copy of your part. So for example, it can print one right-hand part, and one left-hand part, at the same time.
Modern desktop 3D printers have used touch controls for some time, however the Leapfrog Bolt is a giant leap forward in terms of interface. It has an enormous 7″ touchscreen located horizontally at the top of the printer.
This bright, clear and responsive touchscreen offers an incredibly intuitive way to control the Leapfrog Bolt’s settings. And to further improve control, the software served up by this touchscreen is exactly the same as the software you can use to control the Bolt on your smartphone or tablet computer – and it’s very, very easy to use even for beginners to 3D printing.
Webcam Livestream and WiFi
Another neat feature the Leapfrog Bolt has is a webcam built into the enclosed build chamber. This lets you monitor your prints in real-time, on your smartphone or on any device with a web browser.
The Leapfrog Bolt has an advanced HEPA filter built-in, which is rated to eradicate 99.9 per cent of emissions. This high-efficiency particulate air filter traps particles during the print process. The benefit being that the Leapfrog Bolt can operate in a confined space, without the risk of flooding the environment with particulates, thus improving safety and boosting its potential applications; think school classrooms and enclosed workshops, and you’re on the right track.
Here’s a video introducing the Bolt’s features:
Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF);
Build size: 320 x 330 x 205mm;
Printer size: 723 x 831 x 801 mm;
Resolution: 50 to 350 microns (0.05 to 0.35 mm);
Materials: ABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS and much more.