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January 2017

CEL RoboxDual 3D Printer Review: Dual Extrusion Redefined

By | News, Robox User Blog, Stuff and Things | No Comments

A glowing and very detailed review of RoboxDual from All3DP.com – All about 3D printing.

Images from All3Dp.com

Alastair Jennings from All3Dp.com writes:

early comparisons against the UM3 show that the RoboxDual’s dual extrusion system is far quicker.

The quotes keep coming, we read the comprehensive review with glee!

If you’re looking for a quality desktop 3D printer for the home, office or classroom, then there’s little not to love about the formidable CEL RoboxDual.

Quality-wise, single extrusion prints are as good as you can get from a fused filament fabrication (FFF) printer, and ABS print quality is almost identical to that of the Ultimaker 3. Dual extrusion prints are equally impressive, mixing materials and colors well.

Filament from any manufacturer can be fed into Robox, either directly from the source reel or wound onto a SmartReel with a custom profile written to the EEPROM memory on the reel. This gets around the initial worry that you’ll be locked to high priced filaments and any limitations of range.

If you’re looking for a quality desktop 3D printer for the home, office or classroom, then there’s little not to love about the formidable CEL RoboxDual.

Unlike many competitors such as Lulzbot and Ultimaker, CEL have from the outset aimed to create a printer that could be used by anyone safely and without the need to tinker. The Lulzbots and Ultimakers are fantastic class-leading machines, but the RoboxDual offers something a little more refined.

For this reason the RoboxDual is a very different machine from others in its class, as it utilises custom electronics, extruders and hot-ends. These components aren’t designed to be tinkered with, which makes that RoboxDual one of the few printers out there that really should find wide appeal in workplaces and schools rather than just the maker community.

Ultimaker, Lulzbot and Makerbot might be better known brands, and there’s no doubting their abilities and quality when it comes to printing. But the RoboxDual and Robox have both been designed as a usable mainstream printer, much in the same way as any 2D printer of old.

From the outset, everything about the CEL RoboxDual shows that this is the work of engineers rather than hobbyists, with a set of design and development features that are not slapdash but carefully considered.

What did they think about the price?

Why block up one large printer when you can print on multiple? The downside is of course the cost; more printers means a greater outlay, but then the Ultimaker 3 is more than double the price.

The filament is also provided by some of the best known filament providers in the world, including ColorFabb and PolyMaker, and there’s a good selection available. If you want to use your own filament then you can, either by feeding it in and telling the software which filament profile to use, or by loading it onto an empty SmartReel and updating the circuit info through the AutoMaker software. The system is open and easy to experiment with.

In a busy design technology classroom, the noise from the RoboxDual at full print speed is unnoticeable, and even when printing in the office the noise is perfectly bearable.

Print extraction from the platform is the fight that folks least enjoy about 3D printing, whether that’s trying to extract a model from the perforated base of the Zortrax M200, lever a print from the glass base of the Ultimaker 2, or dunk a resin-coated masterpiece from a Form 2. With the RoboxDual (RBX02), however, is a print platform that we can learn to get along with.

Stop! You are embarrassing us…

It’s been designed by engineers as a tool, something to be used on a daily basis without issue. In those terms we would say that this is the first 3D printer that truly mimics the ideology of a standard paper printer. It sits there in the corner of the room and prints without any fiddling or calibration, it just gets on with it.

As innovations go, the RoboxDual is packed with features that constantly reveal themselves the more you delve into settings and options.

Dual extrusion 3D printers are becoming more prevalent, and the market in this sector is rapidly expanding. At this point in time, the RoboxDual offers a printer that is cost effective, reliable, and offers great quality beyond any other dual extrusion printer on the market at this price.

Factor in the pricing, innovation and future modular expandability, and it’s difficult not to recommend the RoboxDual.

Running Man!

Kickstarter launch of Root, Tree and Mote is now live!

By | AutoMakerNewsflash, Design, Kickstarter, News, Prototype Build | No Comments

For the next 30 days we ask that everyone shares our project with as many people as possible. These new tools, particularly Root, make the use of Robox even easier and more flexible.

Root™ adds network access to Robox. The way this has been implemented can allow a huge range of web based tools to provide alerts, control and much more. Put Root in your garage and connect up to 9 Robox units to it or share multiple Robox so your colleagues can also use these resourses. You will still control Robox via AutoMaker in the same way, loading models, choosing settings and pressing Make! The slicing will happen locally on your powerful system, the sliced code is sent to the selected Robox via Root. AutoMaker will find and allow connection to any Root devices on a local network and any Robox which is directly connected to that computer.

Root can run on a lot of hardware, we have designed it to run on a Raspberry Pi 3. Our partners RS Components are supplying hardware packages for the pledges which include hardware to keep cost as low as possible and supply certain. The case for Root is by Robox designer Chris Elsworthy and will be printed on Robox using materials from our other partner in this campaign, Polymaker. We intend to print the cases using their Polysmooth material which can be smoothed using their Polysher IPA print smoothing system.

Tree is a racking system for Robox. There are 3 shelf and 5 shelf systems which are available in raw Birch ply or Laminated Black ply. These have a small footprint for desktop of floor setup and allow full access to Robox while keeping everything neat and tidy. Root can be mounted to Tree to provide control and network sharing of attached Robox units.

Mote is a simple touchscreen interface for Root. You can control Root via AutoMaker, your smartphone or tablet. We found that having a dedicated control device ready and waiting right next to the printers allowed us to work more efficiently. This was particularly useful in our office where several printers are shared for when the printers on each persons desk are busy.

Please share this project with anyone interesting 3D printing, considering a purchase or who perhaps decided not to buy Robox because it did not have wifi.

New Robox Kickstarter Project Launch Today

By | AutoMakerNewsflash, News | No Comments

Kickstarter offers early access to exciting new Robox tech to improve 3D printing workflow and productivity

 

We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new Robox Kickstarter campaign today, Wednesday 11th January, centred around three new accessories: Root, Tree and Mote.

 

Why are we developing these new accessories?

 

Wireless access and control devices have been common feature requests since Robox launched in late 2014. In fact we hinted at control devices for Robox as part of our first Kickstarter campaign but deliberately chose not to include control hardware and a user interface built into Robox hardware to prevent that hardware from limiting the potential of the basic functions of Robox’s XYZ motion frame.

By keeping control hardware separate, we’re able to alter and improve it without disrupting that simple and robust system. This separation helps to reduce cost, keeps development simple and fast, and allows great flexibility.

Robox’s AutoMaker software can already be used to connect multiple Robox units to a single computer via USB, but with the Root update users will now be able to connect to multiple Robox units remotely opening up new opportunities for productivity.

 

What are Root, Mote and Tree exactly?

 

Root is a small device which, when connected to Robox, allows control and monitoring of prints via a wired or wireless network. Root also includes a web service which can be accessed via a mobile device.

In a business environment, or where there are multiple Robox units available, these new systems will make prototyping and development much more efficient. Root will allow designers to connect remotely to multiple 3D printers, empowering them to be more creative and progress through design iterations faster. Each Robox connected to Root can be visible to others on the network, so an office full of individually controlled printers is also a networked print farm.

Tree is a compact furniture system to house multiple Robox units in a small footprint and improve productivity though enhanced workflow and throughput. This configuration of 3D printers running in parallel allows Robox to outperform larger, more expensive systems in terms of speed and reduces the risk of total part failure with RAID-like redundancy. Tree utilises Robox’s compact form factor to deliver maximum efficiency. Printers working in this parallel configuration means much faster printing while also adding redundancy and increased flexibility. Choosing Robox keeps cost low and productivity high.

The final piece of this system is a simple, dedicated, low cost, touchscreen interface for Root. We call this Mote and it can be integrated into the Tree hardware to act as a control panel.

Together, these three new Robox accessories will allow Robox users to share hardware more conveniently and carry out multiple jobs faster with increased reliability.

Visit the Kickstarter campaign page for the full story with graphics and photos:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robox/root-tree-and-mote-for-robox-micro-manufacturing-p

 

Partnerships to strengthen the campaign

 

We’re partnering with local makers and services globally to produce and distribute Root, Tree and Mote. We’re also partnering with global electronic parts supplier RS Components and 3D printer material specialist Polymaker to ensure the best quality components for these new accessories.

Using Polymaker’s innovative new PolySmooth materials and PolySher product in the production of the Root accessory, we will be using Robox to produce production-grade parts from our UK head office. And with RS Components providing the hardware for all of these new accessories, users can feel supremely confident in their finished quality.

 

RS Components is the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, RS offers more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping more than 44,000 parcels a day. RS products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

RS Components has also created an online community for engineers, DesignSpark, which is a repository of free tools and technical resources to help designers to make those big ideas happen. The community has already assisted a few tech start-ups like PiTop to quickly bring their ideas to prototype and proof of concept.  In addition to using the suite of free professional CAD packages, the RS DesignSpark community gives start-ups access to thousands of technical articles, including reference designs and product reviews.

 

Polymaker is a company committed to innovation, quality and sustainability in the pursuit of producing safe and clean materials for the 3D printing industry.

With an eight-step quality control process, Polymaker’s filaments are not only guaranteed to have the best quality standards but also provide innovative properties that help yield a better overall printing experience, ensuring the efficiency of 3D printers and empowering consumers to create strong, functional 3D printed products. With a rapidly growing portfolio of materials, Polymaker will continue to bring new performance enhanced materials to the 3D printing community.

 

Why should you pledge?

 

This Kickstarter campaign offers an opportunity for you to gain early access to new technology that’ll improve your productivity and 3D printing experience. You’ll be joining a community of backers able to offer direct feedback to us and help steer the direction of this technology’s development. You’ll also be gaining access to all of these new technologies at a huge cash discount!

Our last Kickstarter campaign was a huge success and we hope you can help us make this one a success too. Even if you don’t back us, you can help spread the word by sharing news of the campaign with your friends. After all, it’s 3D printing we’re talking about! Who won’t be interested?