Leapfrog Bolt 3D Printer Efficiently Prints Utilizing Verbatim’s Plastic Polypropylene Filament –

leapfroglogo3D printer maker Leapfrog, known for its Creatr range of 3D printers, unveiled its latest desktop 3D printer, the Leapfrog Bolt, a few months ago. The Bolt has a built-in camera, activated HEPA carbon filter, and has multi-color and multi-material 3D printing thanks to its set of twin extruders. Now the bolt can add a new material to its wheelhouse – it has successfully 3D printed using plastic polypropylene (PP) filaments provided by materials and filament experts Verbatim, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group. Verbatim, once known for its data storage and LED lighting systems, officially made its big entry into the 3D printing materials market a few years ago and recently unveiled some new high performance filaments at the TCT Show in the UK.

RapidproLeapfrog and Verbatim will both be exhibiting at RapidPro in the Netherlands until today, March 9th. When you’re there, stop by and check out Verbat 3D’s polypropylene filament. You can also watch this 3D time-lapse video of a Benchy boat printed in PP and see how well it holds up to a 3D boat printed in PLA (Note: the PLA boat started to deteriorate after two hours while the PP boat was still pending).

PP has a wide variety of consumer and industrial uses with high chemical resistance and mechanical properties and is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. It is FDM certified and therefore ideal for the packaging industry. Since it can withstand bumps without breaking, it’s a perfect material for children’s toys and car bumpers. Compared to PLA, it is more prone to bending and is better able to withstand deformation under load. These properties, coupled with its high strength-to-weight ratio, make lightweight PP a sought-after 3D printing material, especially with regard to functional chemical 3D prints. Although we’ve seen 3D printing materials that simulate polypropylene, it was next to impossible to successfully use the material itself in 3D printing jobs.

Veratbim-3d-pp-sample-angle reflectionUnfortunately, it is difficult to control the results of 3D printing with the material because PP is severely warped during the process: it is a semi-crystalline material, which means that it cools and solidifies differently than amorphous polymers like ABS and PLA. This property means that when 3D printing the material is subjected to much more stresses, which leads to warping. But Verbatim and Leapfrog put their heads together and figured out how to successfully 3D print this material on the Bolt 3D printer.

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leapfrog_3d_printer-bolt_verbatim-ppVerbatim PP 3D printing filament developed by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group is available in both 1.75mm and 2.85mm and has the right properties to achieve a perfect result on Leapfrog’s Bolpf 3D printer. As shown in the video above, two Benchy boats were 3D printed, one in blue PLA and one in transparent Verbatim PP. While Verbatim instructed Leapfrog to print the PP filament at 220 ° C, the 3D printer manufacturer found that a temperature of 170 ° C gave better results. The stud has a heated print bed and closed chamber that allows it to keep track of the print temperature and prevent the print from warping. According to Leapfrog, its direct drive enables “optimal control for printing PP filaments”.

Bank boat, PLA filament

Bank boat, PP filament

After the Bolt 3D was printed with Verbatim’s polypropylene filament, Leapfrog conducted successful 3D printing trials with nylon, polycarbonate and flex materials and can confirm that the desktop 3D printer is suitable for any type of 3D printing material is. In this video you will learn more about polypropylene and its 3D printing process on the Leapfrog Bolt:

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