Monthly Archives

April 2016

Coverage Round Up Jan-Apr 2016

By | News, Press | No Comments

It was always going to be a little ambitious reporting on our coverage monthly, and as 2016 has been as busy, if not busier than any other year so far, we’ve failed spectacularly to shout from the rooftops about the ongoing coverage we’ve been enjoying across the widest-read online 3D printing publications.

 

At Robox we’re always trying to use our imaginations to secure coverage which is a little different and an opportunity came up last month to get involved in an event run by UK Coffee Week.  The Robox team were keen to get involved and so designed some unique limited edition coffee stencils of Stephen Fry’s face to be distributed during the week.  Luckily for us, this also resulted a nice bit of exposure online too.

IMG_2464 IMG_2576 IMG_2523 IMG_2537

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20160407-grab-a-coffee-with-stephen-fry-thanks-to-3d-printed-coffee-art.html

 

https://www.3printr.com/3d-printed-coffee-stencils-used-launch-uk-coffee-week-1537722/

 

http://microfabricator.com/articles/view/id/57063194e44fa14665c03d15/cel-teams-up-with-uk-coffee-week-to-create-3d-printed-coffee-stencils?ev=10&evp=tl

 

In addition to quirky ‘stunts’ and piggybacking news events we’re also passionate about getting Robox more established in the education sector.  We’re already making great progress with the 3D printer now present in many schools across the UK and we’re working closely with the James Dyson Foundation to promote STEM in schools.  This is why MD Chris Elsworthy was more than happy to be interviewed by Education Technology for a piece on technology and innovation in the classroom.

Dyson_Foundation_Writhlington-19

http://edtechnology.co.uk/Article/all-in-the-planning

 

Chris has also been talking to ITProPortal about how small businesses can use and make the most out of 3D printing, which has resulted in the following piece of coverage:

FineThread_Stainless

http://www.itproportal.com/2016/04/10/how-small-businesses-can-get-most-out-3d-printing/

 

And of course, part of the reason we’ve been so busy this year is following our attendance at CES and the launch of the dual material head, which is currently being rolled out to loyal customers who placed back-orders – both of which secured a wealth of good coverage.

RBX01-DM_HEAD_LOW_ISO

https://all3dp.com/rachel-park-ces-sets-scene-2016/

 

http://www.3dprint.com/113996/robox-dual-material-print-head/

 

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20160106-cel-unveils-dual-material-3d-printing-head-for-robox-3d-printer.html

 

http://www.tctmagazine.com/3d-printing-at-ces/cel-first-dual-material-3d-printing-toolhead-ces-2016/

 

http://microfabricator.com/articles/view/id/568d7a483139441c668b4567/cel-debuts-first-dual-material-3d-printing-toolhead-at-ces-2016?utm_campaign=comments&utm_medium=external&utm_source=disqus

 

https://www.3printr.com/robox-launches-dual-material-3d-printing-head-4933273/

 

https://all3dp.com/robox-3d-printer-gets-dual-material-printing-head/

 

http://www.3dshook.com/2016/01/3d-printing-at-ces-2016-a-personal-review-day-1/

 

https://all3dp.com/3d-printing-ces-2016-need-know/

 

http://www.tctmagazine.com/tct-events/simple-dual-material-3D-printing-by-robox/

 

http://www.cnet.com/pictures/3d-printers-of-ces-2016-pictures/17/

 

https://all3dp.com/rachel-park-ces-sets-scene-2016/

 

 

Robox has become the leading 3D printer in schools

By | Education, News | 5 Comments
 

Learning about insect anatomy

10-year-old pupils at Blackfield Primary School use Robox to model and print insect anatomy.

 

Getting to grips with 3D design using free software

Martyn Hendry at St Andrew's Primary School takes a group of 10-year-old pupils through the process of designing custom name tags using Autodesk's browser-based Tinkercad software.

 

Working in partnership with the James Dyson Foundation

Gears are 3D printed on Robox in a Year 10 James Dyson Foundation project.

 

Designing and making a more inclusive society

15-year-old students discuss their GCSE James Dyson Foundation projects aimed at aiding people who experience physical disabilities.

 

Engaging young people in STEM

9-year-old pupils at Blackfield Primary School learn to combine multiple models for printing in two materials.

 

Understanding the additive manufacturing process

Students of all ages at King Edward VI Community College and its feeder schools use Robox in combination with other manufacturing processes such as cold casting.

 

Complexity made simple

Robox can print in two materials at the same time, allowing more complex geometries to be printed with ease using dedicated support materials.

 

Inspiring a new generation

8-year-old pupils in Blackfield Primary School use free Tinkercad software and Robox to create stationery organisers for a school project.

 

Mendip Studio School

Year 11 students discuss their GCSE projects.

 

Ashlyns School

A student upgrades his A-Level project with Robox.

 

Safety and Security

Robox is the only 3D printer with an interlocking safety door to prevent accidental injury.

 

FAWE School, Rwanda

Students from Writhlington School provide 3D printer workshops to Rwandan students.

Robox began to make real inroads into key markets last year following the success of our Kickstarter campaign. The desktop 3D printer market has grown strongly and matured since the first commercial Robox units went on sale in December 2014 and I’d like to share some of the valuable insights we’ve gained into how 3D printers are being used today. This is the first in a series of blog posts I’ll be writing on the subject and my inaugural post will be focusing on the education sector.

As CEL’s Robox sales manager, I can be found either in our head office near Bristol, which is packed full of 3D printers and some of the latest Robox tech being developed by our R&D team, or travelling the country supporting our resellers and their customers. As 2015 progressed, I found myself visiting schools using Robox more and more frequently, talking to teachers and students about 3D printers and learning about the innovative ways many schools use Robox in the classroom.

Robox’s success in the education sector follows two projects in recent years funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to identify good uses for 3D printers in schools. In 2012-13, 21 schools were asked to explore innovative ways of using the technology to help with teaching complex scientific and mathematical ideas. Feedback from this project confirmed that 3D printers have significant potential as a teaching resource and, as a result, the DfE funded a more detailed project in 2014-15 exploring how 3D printers can be used to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching. While still highly encouraging, the results of this more in-depth study highlighted the degree to which positive impact on pupil engagement and understanding relies on 3D printers being used in lessons in effective and meaningful ways.

3D printers are almost exclusively used in design & technology (D&T) departments in secondary schools because they’re naturally a great fit for the subject, helping to break down barriers between designing and manufacturing, inspire young people to invent and think creatively. Although there will be opportunities in the future for 3D printers to be used in other departments such as geography and history – to create 3D maps and recreate historical artefacts, for example – the benefits of the technology are seen most acutely in classrooms with D&T teachers that are confident using new technology and combine elements of science, technology, engineering and maths in their lessons.

We work with the James Dyson Foundation to promote STEM in schools and our partner schools have done an excellent job integrating Robox into their curricula to enhance teaching in these subjects. They increasingly see Robox not only as a valuable learning tool, but as a means of exciting students and engaging them more effectively with STEM subjects.

The new National Curriculum for D&T, which has been updated for first teaching in 2017, places a strong emphasis on the use of cutting-edge equipment to inform pupils’ understanding of industry and provides ample opportunity for students to learn about 3D printing.

Part of the reason Robox is proving so successful in schools is because it’s the only desktop 3D printer with an interlocking safety door, making it the safest option for use around children. It’s also compact and a number of schools using Robox are taking advantage of its form factor to benefit from the dramatically increased capacity and speed enabled by the use of multiple units at the same time. Robox’s cost-effectiveness, both in terms of initial investment and ongoing material costs, plays a critical role in making it a feasible option for schools considering such an investment in building their 3D printing capacity.

As schools decide which technology in their classrooms to procure and how best to spend their overall budgets, the ownership costs of any new technology over its lifetime should be considered carefully. Even if a school were to use only three 3D printers (some schools are using as many as 10 Roboxes), it would stand to make significant savings with Robox to the tune of £thousands while also benefiting from the platform’s enhanced safety features, accessibility and professional quality.

3D Printer Ownership Costs in Schools

Although other 3D printers may at first glance appear to be better value for money – boasting either a lower RRP or cheaper filament – when both initial and ongoing costs are taken into account Robox always comes out on top (the chart above doesn’t even take into account that, unlike the vast majority of 3D printers, Robox doesn’t lock users into using specific consumables à la HP in the 2D printer world).

We’re really excited to be having such a positive impact in schools around the country with Robox and in partnership with the James Dyson Foundation. If you’d like to learn more about Robox or what we’re doing, or if you have any comments, please feel free to get in touch.

Note: 3D printer unit costs based on on MSRP. PLA filament costs obtained from manufacturer websites or recommended reseller websites if manufacturer does not sell directly to customers in the UK. All costs correct at time of writing on 20 April, 2016.

CEL Robox in Ashlyns School

By | Design, Education, Robox User Blog | No Comments

“Sir, is that a 3D printer?” I enquired, “Yes Al, let’s unpack it and see if we can get it working. Are you free after school?” That was the start of it. We took the Robox out of its packaging followed the quick start-up guide and 3D printed our first ever product in under an hour. The product itself was a very small pyramid from the sample files but it was a very definite, very successful start. I’m liking this already!

Like most D&T departments in state schools, the acquiring and implementation of new technologies and equipment is something that has to be carefully managed and justified in budgets. One of the first markers for whether a piece of equipment is worthwhile is the question of impact. On Open Evening Al chose to run the Robox for 4 hours producing a much larger and more complex model. The interest from prospective students, current students, parents and staff was incredible. The feedback sheets from the evening consistently noted two amazing things seen at Open Evening; the brand new sports hall and the 3D printer in D&T.

Stage one, impact, tick!

“Stage two Sir?”, “Yes Al, stage two”. Can I use it in class as a useful piece of equipment in the Product Design students’ tool box? The department already has a small laser cutter and a vinyl cutter that are used relentlessly. In order to test this out Mr Nicholson ‘gave me the keys’ to take it for a proper spin, designing and making. I’m on the AS D&T Graphic Products course and I’m at the design stage of a project to design and model an ‘outdoor’ classroom to be set in the school grounds. I downloaded a free copy of Autodesk-123D and set about the scale model. The bed of the Robox is about A5 and my card model was considerably bigger. The 3D print would be too small if I made it fit the bed so I chose to use the 100mm Z axis and the A5 bed as a start point. I split the model into 8 pieces, 6 of which were doubles (keeping the design modular really helps when you’re using CAM!). I ran the Robox all day and overnight, carefully removing the pieces from the machine’s bed. I used a 10% infill for the blocks so that they would be rigid but not use up too much of the PLA filament. I could stick them together to form the completed model but it’s more useful at the moment for me to have them in smaller blocks so that they fit in my school bag!

I’m not used to D&T being quite this straightforward!

At the point where a number of schools were considering the future of their D&T departments, for financial reasons, Ashlyns were determined to keep the breadth of curriculum and the enrichment that D&T offers. The subject was allied into a Faculty structure with Computer Science and Business Studies. The cross-linking between these three quite different subjects is growing by the day and at its heart is creativity and enterprise, ably assisted of course by control technology, software and CAM. The Faculty’s results have gone from strength to strength as the interest builds and the ‘newer’ technologies are introduced and take their place alongside the traditional. I use the word ‘alongside’ for various reasons. Can I afford a whole class of 3D printers? Would I want to? The answer to both is no. Firstly, I could have bought 10 Robox machines for the price I paid for the laser cutter but then students make so much use of the laser cutter, so quickly and with such a variety of materials. Secondly, every new piece of technology adds another dimension to the subject and doesn’t need to replace anything, older methods often employ a more appropriate level of technology.

However, ask me the question “Would I like more Robox machines in my classrooms?” the answer would be 100% “Yes!”

Most D&T A’ Level courses still have a 50% restriction on how much of the final work can be manufactured using CAD/CAM. Possibly to make sure that traditional skills are still developed or to enable a more level playing field for students from different socio-economic backgrounds, the restrictions are there and may well still be there after the introduction of the new specifications. Has that stopped us from using other forms of CAD/CAM in the past? Of course not, life without the laser cutter doesn’t bear thinking about and as the necessity to increase the students’ exposure to newer technologies for example through the NC 2014 it will need to become part and parcel of what we do. With the NC 2014 in mind, the opportunities to develop some designs based on biomimicry is next on my list!

Before getting the Robox I used to trot out a number of reasons why the department wouldn’t need a 3D printer, mainly based around speed, size restriction, cost but the truth is that you just need to be a bit creative with how it gets used and as always the D&T community is full of ideas and ways forward. The following are a few that have sprung to mind. Firstly, everyone designs and then the class vote for which one gets made (and sometimes those still interested can come back at lunchtime or after school to get theirs made!). Secondly, smaller multiple designs that can fit on the same machine bed. Thirdly, increase the number of machines. I already have systems in place to help replace cookers and sewing machines so I just need to add them to the list and buy half-a-machine per year (or ask the school association!). Lastly, the Robox is a very portable machine and has already been at home with me.

The rapid set-up and zero clamping means that the files just need to be left to get on with manufacturing!

It has to be said that the efficiency of the material consumed is financially useful and the outcomes even on draft resolution are easily enough to portray the detail required. With new materials coming online, that go beyond the already available plethora of colours, such as rubber and dissolvable media, the future is brightly coloured and very flexible!

Ashlyns_school_logoMark Nicholson and Al Cox
Ashlyns School
Berkhamsted

Robox in Blackfield Primary School

By | Education | No Comments

“We’ve been using our CEL Robox for about a month now and in that short space of time children as young as 8 have been able to design, create and print 3D models from their own imaginations. The AutoMaker software supplied with the printer is clear and simple to operate with the time of print, price and weight a fantastic feature for education settings. The children have got to grips with it so quickly and can now work independently on their designs. All of this combined with hardware that’s incredibly safe and user-friendly to operate, the CEL Robox is exactly what our academy needs to take our Design and Technology to the next level.”

Blackfield Fawley United AcademyJosh Rigby
Year 6 Teacher and Design and Technology Lead
Inspire Learning Federation