Leapfrog’s Xcel: The Tallest 3D Printer Of Them All

By on June 1st, 2016 in printer

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 The new Leapfrog Xcel 3D printer: super tall! 
The new Leapfrog Xcel 3D printer: super tall! 

One of Leapfrog’s new products seems to hit a milestone by offering what might be the tallest build volume yet seen in 3D printers. 

The Xcel is actually not a desktop unit, unless you plan to raise the ceiling in your workshop to accommodate the incredible height of this machine. It’s strangely skinny build volume is 530 x 500 x 2300mm (and slightly less wide for the dual extruder version).

A machine with that size is large, and the Xcel’s exterior dimensions are 945 x 1030 x 2900mm. Yes, this machine is almost 3 meters tall! Not for desktops, obviously. You’d best check your workshop’s ceiling size before ordering one to ensure it will fit! 

The Xcel is a premium machine with plenty of features. Some highlights include:

  • Dual extruder option
  • Enclosed build volume to capture heat
  • Heated granite-composite print surface (to 80C, a bit less than ABS requirements)
  • Large nozzle option, up to 1.2mm for speeding up larger prints
  • Automatic bed calibration
  • Integrated WiFi networking
  • Integrated Linux OS to manage print operations

There’s one other thing: the Xcel prints only PLA plastic. 

Now, you might think that’s a problem, but I don’t believe so. That’s because for prints of this size, you really cannot expect success using any warp-prone plastics like ABS. PLA’s extremely low warpage makes it the ideal material for a machine like the Xcel. In fact, other very-large-scale 3D printers such as BigRep or 3D Platform also use PLA exclusively. 

By the way, the integrated WiFi is used to provide a link between the onboard operations and remote control. Leapfrog is providing a means to monitor and control the Xcel’s operations from laptops, tablets or even smartphones. 

 A stylish 3D printed lampshade printed on the new Leapfrog Xcel
A stylish 3D printed lampshade printed on the new Leapfrog Xcel

Using a machine like this will permit you to print functional furniture-sized objects, such as this abstract lamp shade. 

 A 3D printed chair, produced on the new Leapfrog Xcel
A 3D printed chair, produced on the new Leapfrog Xcel

Or this fully-functional chair, made entirely of 3D printed PLA plastic. 

As you might imagine, this machine carries a premium price. I can’t say specifically what it might be, as you’ll have to contact them directly for a quote. That’s always the sign of a higher-priced machine. 

Via Leapfrog

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!