Aug 2, 2016 | By Andre

With all of the desktop 3D printers being released on the market - whether through crowdfunding or more traditional means - filtering out the innovators from the copy cats can be a difficult task. It seems as though every manufacturer promises high quality 3D printing straight out of the box with all the bells and whistles at best in-class prices.

The Bolt 3D printer seems to be promoting just that but unlike so many out there, their unit will almost certainly stand tall as an innovator when all the dust finally settles.

The reason for this is simple in that they’ve already proven themselves in the 3D printer game with a diverse range of machines aimed at a slew of different markets. The Bolt 3D takes this experience and adds a fairly innovative experience with a independently operable dual-headed extruder system, a large touchscreen, custom software and a emission capturing HEPA filter.

The dual-head system allows you to print single items with multiple materials as we are already familiar with thanks to a bunch of 3D printers dating back to Makerbot’s original Replicator Dual. What the Bolt 3D does differently is that the extruders are not tied together but moved apart as the job requires so you are able to produce two of the same object at the same time using the Replicator mode (a bit surprised they went with that name considering the aforementioned 3D printer line by Makerbot). This essentially means you either have one multi-material printers or one that can duplicate jobs at twice the speed.

The Activated HEPA Carbon filter is another feature I would give an innovation award if I was ever to give them out. The most common 3D print materials (PLA and ABS) have been used for years by hobbyists around the world and most studies suggest they are safe. But in reality, the long term guarantee of those claims has yet proven true. Also, with material science developing almost as fast at the type of available 3D printers on the market, there’s even less certainty that small-brand material developers that may cut corners to save cost will be releasing materials safe for human inhalation.

So having a filter system in place that is said to take care of 99.9% of plastic emissions during print should provide a bit of piece of mind to anyone concerned about what is really getting pumped out into the air around us while we experiment with new filaments.

Beyond the above, the Bolt 3D Printer promises simple to use, touchscreen capable and WiFi enabled software that can control a farm of 3D printers under one (or multiple) rooves. Like other printers, an optional heated bed and closed environment should allow pain-free printing of trickier materials such as ABS (which can peel and crack unless envrionmental temperature controls are built-in).

From a technical perspective, the Bolt 3D printer seems to be keeping up with the market as well. With an extruder that can hit up to 360°C you won’t be limited in material choices as most any 3D printer filament on the market today will melt through at that temperature with ease. The build volume comes in at a very generous 32 x 33 x 20.5cm (a fraction less with a dual extruder print), a 50 micron layer height reach, printing speeds of up to 100 mm/s with a heated printing environment capable of reaching up to 80°C.

Leapfrog CEO Sander Adam naturally exudes enthusiasm for the unit by stating: “We are very excited to launch this revolutionary machine. In our vision a 3D printer should be easy to use but also have endless possibilities. The BOLT is one of the most technologically advanced machines available but at the same time it is very reliable and intuitive to operate. So the BOLT brings us closer to our vision and we think will set a new standard for high quality printers.”

All said, the new Bolt 3D printer by Leapfrog is an impressive step in the right direction when it come to 3D printing. And for €4,999.00 (€6,048.79 VAT (tax) included) it’s right-in-line with other 3D printers in the class of printers on the border of consumer and professional type machines. It’s a slick looking machine with all the bells and whistles on the market today. It won’t blow the game wide open but nobody said Rome was built in one day. This is certainly an impressive addition to the crowded 3D printer ecosystem of today.



Posted in 3D Printer



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The truth will out wrote at 8/3/2016 4:09:16 AM:

Innovative? reprap was doing this in 2013! I'm so sick of these companies ripping off others ideas and claim them to be their own and innovative. See

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