- It possesses independent dual extruders
- Enclosed chamber
- The built-in camera along with the custom Octoprint plugin for enabling remote monitor and control
- Recording of automatic time lapses
- 7″ touch screen display
- Extruder priming and wiping before every new print use
- Direct filament feeder
- Assisted dual-head calibration
- Enhanced cooling fans setup
- Users have reported of filament tangling when spools with too much filament is used
- Times taken for heating is more than 5 minutes
- Manual bed leveling
The company from the Netherlands, LeapFrog has come up with its latest Bolt Pro 3D printer equipped with advanced and unique features for best print results.
This FFF 3D printer has been designed to help professionals achieve high-quality print results. The company claims that the printer has been designed taking the end customers into considerations. Hence, fulfilling the smallest of the expectations for increased reliability.
With easy packaging and a hassle-free setup routine, one can get the printer work its first magic. If you haven’t been aware of the fact, LeapFrog was the first manufacturer of 3D printers to ship assembled machines to the users.
The company has gained huge exposure in manufacturing smart printers. LeapFrog Bolt Pro seems to embody almost every good that the company has experienced so far.
Hence, let us review the 3D printer and assess how far the claims are justified.
Beginning with the features that the printer boasts, let us explore what all functionalities one can expect from LeapFrog Bolt Pro.
The first thing to notice about the printer is its sturdy body. The 3D printer frame is made of high precision laser cut aluminum and the parts are connected with the help of interlocked joints. This further increases the accuracy and precision of the models printed inside the rigid frame. Giving the overall design the much-needed stability.
Large Build Volume
This isn’t a small 3D printer, however, it isn’t too bulky as well. The moderate size of the printer is due to the massive print volume that the machine exhibits. The printer boasts a 330 x 320 x 205 mm build volume and is capable of printing most of the designs in one go.
Remote Access to the Prints
The company came up with this custom OctoPrint user interface plugin. This plugin is helpful in letting users monitor the entire print progress even when not close to the printer.
One can even control the print process remotely. All you need to do is enter the printer’s IP in the chosen device of yours with a browser to manage the print process remotely. One can start, pause as well as cancel the prints. However, one must be sharing the same WIFI connection as your Bolt Pro.
The good news is, users can follow a live stream. This live stream generates time-lapses all by itself. These things come handy when you wish to show someone in the print process. It could be your client or anyone you like to show the print progress to.
Independent dual extruder system
Dual extruders aren’t a very fancy addition these days. A lot of companies offer the feature tagged in their 3D printer, however, not like what Leapfrog has.
Apart from printing with two different materials or colors, the extruders can print independently from each other. With independent extruders, these can be moved separately from each other.
This also helps in saving the prints from issues such as oozing. The inactive extruder moves to the side. This ensures that there isn’t any dripping or oozing on the print area where the object is being created.
Moreover, the nozzle before getting into the action, primes, and wipes the nozzle. To do this, the 3D printer moves the extruder over a piece of flexible plastic.
Sync Mode and Mirror Mode
In the case of identical models, one can cut the time into the half when printing with both the extruders simultaneously. This can be done by syncing one extruder to the other using the OctoPrint UI.
Likewise, the mirror mode is helpful when printing the left-right parts of an object. Using mirror mode, one does not need to create a mirror design. For example, when there are two with opposite replicas, slice one, and mirror another one using the second extruder.
Hence, the feature comes in handy when working on low-volume production or various prototyping jobs.
Swappable Hot Ends
Did you know that the printer also allows the swapping of hot ends? And, it is simple to do that too. By only unplugging and unscrewing the bolts, one can easily replace the other one in place without investing much time and effort.
Bolt Pro has got two different types of hot ends. One is made of stainless-steel nozzle. This is suitable for printing with abrasive materials such as carbon. Another one is a 0.8 nozzle. This is to ensure quicker prints with extra durable parts.
Compatibility to Wide Range of Filaments
The Bolt Pro introduces you to a wide range of filament choice. All because of its high-temperature hot-end. The temperature attainable is up to 360 °C. Hence, one can even print with various specialty filaments that are not possible to be used otherwise.
Heated Bed and Enclosed Chamber
The 3D printer ensures that all the requirements are met to ensure the best quality prints when printing with the specialty filaments. Hence, it comes equipped with a heated bed as well as an enclosed chamber which helps in maintaining a consistent temperature. Further enhancing the print quality of the models.
Direct Drive Filament Feeder
One more thing that makes the operation easy going is the involvement of a direct drive filament feeder.
Activated HEPA carbon filter
Here is another feature that makes this printer worth the budget. It boasts an activated HEPA carbon filter which can the efficiency to eliminate over 99.9% of harmful fumes generated during printing with specialty filaments. This helps in keeping the air surrounding the machine non-toxic.
The feature enriched 3D printer has tried harder to make everything easier for the user from feeding the filament to the final processing.
As mentioned before, the 3D printer isn’t a small printer, however, occupies a volume of 723 x 831 x 801 mm. With 61 kgs of weight, it won’t be easy to move the printer too often. So, make sure to decide on a place before you unbox the Bolt Pro.
The build size available for the dual extruder is 320 x 330 x 205 mm. If one of the extruders is inactive, one can utilize the entire space with a single extruder as well.
The printer has two extruders with swappable hot ends. And, the layer thickness achievable is between 0.05 mm to 0.35 mm. The company has provided advised printing speed (DW) of 6000 mm/min while the maximum travel speed (DW) is attainable is 15000mm/min.
The printer has a heated print bed made of high-grade glass. One can print with different materials and the third party materials are also included in the list of compatible filaments.
The 3D printer is available for € 6,499 from the manufacturer. This makes it an infeasible option for home users. Taking into consideration the high-quality features and build size, it anyway won’t fit a small house ecosystem. It is more like a machine designed for professional use.
This is a completely assembled machine and comes packed in a wooden box. The weight it carries won’t be adjustable inside the cardboard box. The sturdy packing helps in keeping the machine safer inside the package. And, the best part is the thoughtfulness of the company to ensure there isn’t any issue taking the printer out of the wooden box.
The box has got a few screws at the bottom. After you unscrew them, the entire cover comes out smoothly and the printer peeps from inside wrapped inside a plastic. The printer is available in the starter pack and the value pack.
With a starter pack, the machine comes with a few other accessories and tools apart from the 3D printer. It contains the 3D printer and the slicing software, Simplify3D.
Apart from that, it includes three Leapfrog MAXX Essentials PLA, three Leapfrog MAXX Essentials ABS, one Leapfrog MAXX PRO PET-G, one Leapfrog MAXX PRO Hybrid, a Spare hot-end set, Leapfrog Toolkit, and two Leapfrog Essentials 3D Spray. It also has a USB stick.
The setup process is very easy. The printer isn’t just fully assembled, but also calibrated. There is no need to calibrate the machine for starting the first print. By just feeding the filament and making few more arrangements here and there, one can print the first model only after 10 minutes of unboxing.
The printer is an FDM/FFF machine. Hence, the operation cost related to the filaments and operation is considerably cheap than any other 3D printing process. One can also choose the cheap filament options from the third-party vendors, however, that may bring a difference to the printed model.
The print quality is decent as it would be expected from an FDM 3D printer. The precise accuracy and smoother surface with the involvement of water-soluble support would certainly woo the audiences.
However, it has been noted that there was some color bleeding visible when working with two different color PLA material, as reported by a few users. However, that could be corrected by optimizing the temperature inside the build space.
Apart from that, the parts are decent and printers with good quality results. Also, using the spray include with the machine, one can count on the reliable bed adhesion.
The company offers the Simplify 3D software along with the machine. This is a very popular application and is recommended by many 3D printer manufacturers around the world.
You can work wonders when using this software. From slicing to optimizing the parts become easier when working with the user-friendly UI available with this machine.
The 3D printer comes with a long three years warranty. This is an industrial-grade 3D printer and the company maintains competitive customer service for addressing the needs of its customers.
The tutorials and instructions provided are ample. Users can find all the important queries related to the printer on the website of the company. The large community of the 3D printer is also available in case of any question that may need different perspectives.
Parameters Influencing the Buying Decision
The 3D printer has many good things about its results, however, few limitations as well. Hence, it may not fit every user’s aim. Let’s have a brief look at the different parameters that must be visited before deciding to spend thousands of dollars on this 3D printer.
3D Printer cost: The 3D Printer isn’t cheap when considered for home use. However, it is within the affordable range of companies and businesses.
3D Print quality: It provides decent print quality. The printer can print with different materials and colors simultaneously as well as can achieve a later resolution of 0.05 mm providing the cleaner surface finish.
3D Print speed: The 3D printer possesses high speed and can complete tasks faster than most of the 3D Printers within the same budget.
3D Printer capability: The printer is capable of multitasking and is very useful when producing similar or mirror models. The work can be accomplished in half the time that most of the other 3D Printer would take.
3D Printer Practicality: One can use the printer for small productions as well as for making prototypes. It can also be used for various commercial applications.
3D Printer User expectations: Apart from the manual bed leveling, the company has introduced almost every feature taking the end-users into consideration. Hence, it fulfills the expectations by far.
LeapFrog Bolt Pro is one of the best 3D printers within its budget range. It carries with itself the most important features from an intuitive interface to independent dual extruders, making the entire printing operation easy and smooth.