2015 was the sixth year the CEL team visited the Gadget Show Live, and many loyal customers and visitors to the stand commented on how much we’ve grown since the early days. Our very first stand was manned by just two members of staff and we sold just one range of power tools. This year we had two stands at the show, with some 14+ staff members circulating and working their magic, demonstrating our expanded range of tools and the new Robox 3D printer.
Despite interesting competition from other 3D printing exhibitors at the show, our stands always seemed the busiest, and comments from visitors were extremely positive.
The Gadget Show Live is a family show, which is why the Robox had such great appeal – children and their parents were able to come and have a play with our Automaker software, have a go at using Tinkerplay and walk away with a 3D printed Minecraft figure, a souvenir carabineer or better still, a Robox logo t-shirt! The wonderful thing is that children ‘get’ the Robox – their excitement is infectious and they intuitively know what they would do with a 3D printer if they had one in their home or school.
And on the tools side, the response was as encouraging as ever, with customers returning to add to their existing Ion Pro tool set, or to invest in our new 14.4v range. Some customers just wanted to come back for a chat with Chris Elsworthy, with many remembering our MD’s stint on Dragon’s Den and finally purchasing the much-talked about POWER8workshop.
In addition to the presence we had in the hall, this year we were also asked to provide presenters to talk to audiences on the How it’s Made stage. Our experienced senior engineer Chris White entertained audiences on the Saturday, while sales manager Grant Mackenzie made his presenting debut during the week, to a fantastic response.
All in all the show was another success and we hope our customers left our stands excited about what we’re trying to achieve with both sides of the CEL business.
10.04.2015 – Chris Elsworthy at GSL
09.04.2015 – Kitronik & Robox Partner
09.04.2105 – Robox offered to Schools
09.04.2015 – Kitronik Distributes Robox
3D Printing Industry
08.04.2015 – Chris Elsworthy at GSL
Kitronik and Robox to work together to increase accessibility of 3D printing in UK schools.
The potential of 3D printers in the classroom inspires partnership which could deliver 3D printers and associated educational resources to up to 5,000 secondary schools.
Kitronik and Robox have announced that the two companies will work together to deliver the RBX01 Robox 3D Printer and a range of associated educational resources to secondary schools across the UK. In total, 5,000 schools are being contacted regarding the partnership between Robox, one of the UK’s leaders in 3D printing technology, and Kitronik, specialists in providing electronic project kits and supporting resources to educational facilities and people interested in making their own electronic projects.
Engineering Enthusiasm for D&T
The use of 3D printing in manufacturing and in the home, together with the amount of press coverage surrounding the possibilities of this new technology, has resulted in an increase in interest in 3D printing, both amongst students and teachers. 3D printing provides a fantastic way for students to turn their CAD designs into real objects.
Inspiring a new generation to become interested in digital technology and engineering subjects has been a national priority for many years. This has resulted in numerous high profile initiatives such as the ‘Make Things do Stuff’ campaign launched by George Osborne in 2013 and the ‘Make it Digital’ campaign launched by the BBC last week (of which Kitronik is a partner organisation).
The Department for Education has previously trialed the use of 3D printers within the curriculum. Following a report into their use which found that “3D printers have significant potential as a teaching resource and can have a positive impact on pupil engagement and learning”1 the Government invested a further £500,000 in extending the trial where the power of the 3D printer as a powerful teaching tool was widely recognised.2
Kevin Spurr, Co-founder of Kitronik comments: “Inspiring people to create their own electronics products, especially younger people, is a founding principle of Kitronik. We think that creating products in the classroom through a combination of Kitronik kits & resources and Robox 3D printers can also help pupils become interested in technology, make 3D printing a practical reality for schools and motivate pupils to take their interest in technology further.”
Kitronik and Robox are working together due to the suitability of the Robox 3D printer to the classroom and the home hobbyist market, and Kitronik’s expertise in providing products and resources to schools across the UK. Kitronik recently sold its 1 millionth electronic project kit and works with over 3,000 schools and provides project resources through its website.
Kevin Spurr adds: “In our view the Robox 3D printer is perfect for the classroom and also hobby 3D printer users because of its affordability and two year warranty, but also due to its unique features. It has a dual-nozzle system which allows printing in an extremely wide range of resolution and at print speeds up to 300% faster than the closest competitors. It also features the ability to pause and resume print jobs, meaning mistakes can be corrected without having to start again, perfect for school use.”
Safety a priority
Kevin Spurr explains why safety is crucial for use in the classroom “The printer is constructed very well and it has a closing lid which is essential for classroom use as it will be used by children. During the printing process, this lid locks into place which is important as the print bed and head can get extremely hot. This reduces the risk of accidents and also the print process from being affected by drafts from open windows in the classroom.”
Innovative software and access to downloadable designs
The RBX01 is controlled via Robox’s AutoMaker software which is included with the printer. This is very easy to use and lets the user control every step of the print process. It also allows a user to control multiple printers via one computer and also features direct access to My Mini Factory, an online library of 3D printed designs which can be downloaded to the printer.
Kevin Spurr adds: “This fast access to a huge catalogue of designs is something we think will be very popular with both school users and the home hobbyist.”
Chris Elsworthy, managing director of CEL Robox, comments: “We wanted to work with Kitronik as they have always impressed us with their enthusiasm for inspiring young people to become interested in electronics and design and technology. The company has a fantastic resource base and range of projects available which is why they are so popular with schools across the UK. Pooling our resources and products together will enable people to express their creativity and develop really interesting 3D printed projects.”
The RBX01 Robox 3D printer is available through Kitronik for £833.25 excluding VAT (£999 including VAT). This includes everything required for schools and home hobbyists to create a 3D project. Specifically, this includes
- RBX01 Robox 3D Printer
- 1 reel of filament
- Instruction manual
- 2 year warranty
- AutoMaker Software
- USB stick and cable
- High temperature lubricant
For full details on the RBX01 Robox 3D Printer please click here.
We’re pleased to announce that AutoMaker 1.01.03 is now ready for release.
This version adds the following key features and fixes a number of minor bugs.
The release includes an update to v721 of the firmware which includes…
- Beta feature – double-tap the eject button to reprint the last job with a computer attached. We’re still working on this one…
- Change in default steps per unit to improve part accuracy
- Improvement in auto-levelling for long extrusions
- Load Robox project files (from your CEL Robox/Projects directory) by dragging and dropping files onto the layout screen
- Print job / firmware transfer speeds significantly increased
- Resume failed data transfer added (allows unplug/replug during transfer)
- Auto-display scale added for displays less than 800 pixels high
- Fixed an issue when filament slip is detected during purge – options were switched over
- STL load optimised
- Language files updated for German, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Traditional Chinese – added Spanish
- Added drag and drop for Robox project files
- Fixed minor issues on About page – added copy buttons for serial numbers
- Allow 1 decimal place for scaling operations
- Fixed issue where print status disappears when filament is ejected and reloaded during a print
Safety Feature Control
You can now choose whether AutoMaker will insist on the door being closed before prints and cool down before opening the door.
One of the major changes in this release is the segregation of certain features into an advanced mode that must be enabled through the preferences panel.
When we first released AutoMaker many of the advanced functions were necessary to allow people to experiment with the printer. Robox and AutoMaker have evolved so that many people never need these features. In addition, users who aren’t aware of the consequences of making extreme changes to detailed configuration can shorten the life of some of the printer components inadvertently.
We believe we offer a market leading warranty and that continually improving the reliability of our product is essential. We also want a wide range of users to enjoy using their printer as we develop and grow the available functions that Robox provides.
Advanced mode allows experienced users to adjust settings and use custom filaments just as they could in previous versions. All we ask is that customers using advanced options read and accept our warranty terms and conditions.
That’s not to say we don’t want to allow people to access these controls – more that they aren’t needed by many users and shouldn’t be the first things they see.
So in summary – the warranty warning is really a ‘don’t abuse your machine’ kind of statement. Just like the kind of warranty statement you’d get with most products. We’ll always honour warranties where there is a manufacturing defect or where components fail in normal use.
That’s about it for 1.01.03. Your version of AutoMaker should automatically update, but here’s a link to the download page just in case: http://www.cel-robox.com/downloads
We’re already working on the next release which includes features like raft controls, independent scaling and rotation of models and a time/cost display, so expect more updates over the next few weeks.