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Emma Elsworthy

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 ® launches first dual-material 3D printing head

By | Chris Elsworthy Design Blog, Design, Exhibiting, News, Press Release, Prototype Build | 12 Comments

At last we’re delighted to announce the launch of our dual-material printing head that will allow users to print in two different materials simultaneously for the first time. The new 3D printer head is available for pre-order today to both new and existing customers as an upgrade option.

Loyal customers who pre-ordered the new head months ago will be the first to receive this new technology.

The new 3D printer head retains the same form-factor as the existing Robox head and uses CEL’s proprietary needle-valve system, allowing it to start and stop printing better than any other printer head on the market.

This latest addition to CEL’s market-leading Robox 3D printer means users can print designs that were previously unprintable, as well as creating models using two different colours or even two dissimilar materials.

This also means the Robox can now print a softer scaffold material around a harder material, allowing users to print items with, for example, a small footing or complex designs that would have been previously impossible. Users can therefore print items such as plastic lids with rubber seals, coloured logos, light pipes, flexible watch straps with pins, or axles with bearing surfaces.

Many other printers have lengthy and material wasting processes in place to stop cross infection of materials, but the Robox system shuts off the material flow without the need for wiping, retracting or cooling the heads. The existing nozzle technology prevents ‘ooze’ or ‘stringing’, ensuring speed and quality of the print whether you’re printing in different colours, different materials or both.

The dual-material head uses two completely separate melt chambers and 0.4mm nozzles for optimum balance between speed and accuracy.

Both material reels can be hung on the side of the Robox device, with the addition of a simple adaptor, allowing the printer’s intelligent reel system to still recognise exactly what material it’s working with. This, in combination with the Robox’s closed-feedback loop and dual-pinch wheel extruder system makes sure that each filament is fed to its respective nozzle evenly.

Chris Elsworthy, CEO of CEL, commented: “3D printing has the potential to change the way we design and create products and the launch of our dual-material head means another step change in the complexity of items our users are able to print with Robox.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this new 3D printer head to our customers and allow them to create new prints they never could have dreamed of 3D printing before! Users will still get all the reliability and quality they have come to expect from a Robox printer, but now with the ability to print in two materials at the same time.”

To hear Chris talk about the dual material head in more detail at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, watch the video below:

RBX01-DMKitExisting Robox customers can upgrade their printers for £199.00 +P&P.

 

We’ve also launched a new pair of service options for customers wanting to get their Robox printer checked over and upgraded to the latest specification. These options start at £79.00 +P&P for single material printers and £99.00 +P&P for those that purchase the new dual-material head.

3D PRINTER GUIDE – SHOULD I BUY ONE?

By | Stuff and Things | No Comments

Thinking of buying a Robox, or another 3D printer, but not sure if you really need one? Then read our guide to help you make your decision.

Here at Robox we are the first to acknowledge that 3D printing is not for everyone, and unlike many other manufacturers of this exciting new technology, we’ll also be the first to dissuade you from buying our printer if we don’t think it’s for you.

A year ago we may have said differently, but a year on from the launch of the Robox 3D printer and we’re a little wiser about our customer base and who will and won’t benefit from owning a 3D printer right now.

Our conclusion is that while 3D printing IS making its way gradually towards the masses it’s still a long way off – and while the Robox printer is closer to being suitable for mainstream consumers than any other on the market we’ve still some way to go.

Don’t actually know what 3D printing is?

Then buying a 3D printer definitely isn’t for you. Don’t buy a 3D printer because it’s the latest must-have gadget and you want to see what the hype is all about, because hype soon wears off and you’ll be stuck with a purchase you never really wanted to make.

ColorFabb_XT_tinkerplay_dino_front-copyAre you a dinosaur when it comes to technology?

Do you still own an old Nokia 3210 mobile phone, and dismiss the latest smart phones as a fad? Do you feel the kitchen calendar is a more reliable way of tracking the family’s movements than the home computer? And do you long for the days when watching television meant tuning into four simple channels and to record the latest episode of Corrie you simply popped a video cassette into the VCR? In that case, we’d suggest moving forwards with some of the other technology in your house before investing your hard earned cash into one of the newest technologies currently on the market.

If your computer crashes are you more likely to opt for ‘impact technology’ (beating the cr*p out of it), phone your dad in a panic (because you literally have no idea what you are doing), or take it back to the shop (because it’s a pile of cr*p obviously)?

If you fit any of these descriptions DO NOT buy a 3D printer. We want our purchasers to be lovers of technology, and not go into a meltdown at the slightest hiccup. Remember, 3D printing is a NEW technology, every single machine on the market fails at printing sometimes and finding a fix can be part of the enjoyment. If your computer crashes and you a) try to sort it out yourself by reading the instructions or b) phone customer service for help, you might just be ready to buy some new tech.

When you have some spare time on your hands are you more likely to gravitate towards the pub with your mates, the arts and crafts cupboard with your kids or the sofa with your partner?

3D printing is perfect for anyone who loves to use their hands, and who gets pleasure out of model making, designing, painting, drawing, sculpting and so on. If you’re the sort of person who loves nothing more than welding together bits of scrap or sifting through the recycling bin for plastic bottles and cardboard boxes for the kid’s latest homework project, 3D printing is likely to be right up your street. What’s more, the children will probably understand and want to use the tech quicker than you!

Are you familiar with the terms ‘filament’, ‘support material’, ‘raft’ and ‘guide hole’?

Think a ‘raft’ is something you float in and a guide hole is where Girl Scouts hide? Then perhaps you’re not quite ready to enter the world of 3D printing. However, if you’re genuinely interested in the technology, and you’re not willing to let a few confusing words put you off, you’ll learn fast if you read the instructions which come with your unit. You might also benefit from reading a handy glossary such as the CEL glossary of terms or http://3dprintingindustry.com/3d-printing-basics-free-beginners-guide/glossary/

Exploded-Assembly_overlay-for-websiteDo you worry you’ll have no idea what to print?

Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy a 3D printer.   Look around your home right now, if, in the next 10 minutes you can identify more than 10 things you think you could print, you might just be the perfect 3D printer owner. And if you’re still at a loss (what about those door handles, coat hooks, cup holders, pen pots, cookie cutters?) why don’t you try looking at an online repository such as www.MyMiniFactory.com which has tried and tested objects suitable for printing and free to download! Or visit our own Printables page.

If you’ve read through the above, and you’re sure you still want a 3D printer for your home, here’s our final tip:

DO YOUR RESEARCH –

£999 is a lot of money right? It’s not an impulse buy, it’s a considered purchase, so don’t buy any 3D printer on a whim. Do your homework, work out what you want, read guides such as https://www.3dhubs.com/trends which compares over 20,000 printers over 150 countries each month (Robox comes 6th this month in case you’re wondering).

And then if you’re still not sure, or have any questions about the Robox 3D printer in particular, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

NEW PRODUCTS, NEW SERVICES

By | News, Robox User Blog | No Comments

We are delighted to announce 3 new services to ensure our existing Robox customers continue to experience the best with their units, by having access to the latest hardware and software without having to lift a finger.

Our priority has always been to try and provide good customer service, and find ways of making the whole 3D printing experience smooth and straight-forward for Robox users. We’re hoping that by introducing these services we’re making another positive step in that direction.

Full System Overhaul Service

The complete system overhaul is for customers who want to benefit from the latest Robox parts and upgrades, without having to do any of the work themselves.

The research and development team at CEL HQ are constantly making improvements, upgrades and tweaks to both the Robox hardware and software to make the printing experience better and better.

Our expert engineers will completely strip your Robox unit back to the bare basics, and assess it for any possible wear and tear or damage. A customised action plan will be created for the unit depending on its requirements, including a bespoke new parts list.

Once our team has installed the latest hardware parts they will conduct a string of tests and ensure everything is running smoothly alongside the latest version of the Automaker™ software. Finally, the unit will be cleaned up and sent back out to you, good as new!

Dual Material Upgrade Service and Full System Overhaul

This package includes everything we’ve detailed above, and more. The service is specifically for those customers who have invested in the brand new dual printing technology, but don’t want to install the new head themselves.

While our research and development team have designed the Dual Material head to be relatively easy to install, we acknowledge that not all of our customers will have the time, or the technical know-how, to carry out the upgrade themselves.

Within a few days our team will ensure your Robox is capable of producing top quality prints with any two materials at a time, but in addition, our expert engineers will also carry out a Full System Overhaul.

1 Year Business / Pro User Contract

Many of our customers rely on the Robox 3D printer to carry out their everyday working lives – and if they experience a technical error, however small, this can obviously affect productivity and deadlines.

To ensure our customers can carry on printing, regardless of what is happening with their machine, we have introduced a service contract for business users, who need the assurance that they will have a working machine within a single working day of reporting a fault.

Anyone who has owned a Robox for less than 6 months can sign up for this service. The key benefit is that if a Robox needs to be sent in-house for servicing, we will send another out immediately from our bank of machines, which means customers will be to printing in no time at all.

 

To find out more, or to purchase one of these services please visit the Robox Services Page

 

The key thing to note is that by investing in either of these services, and by sending your Robox in-house for testing and upgrade, you are reducing any risk of damage to the machine, and possible invalidation of your warranty.

 

ROBOX NOW AVAILABLE AT RS

By | News | No Comments

Here at CEL we’re careful about who we work with, as we want to partner up with companies who understand what we are trying to achieve as a business, and which share our passion for raising the awareness of 3D printing.

This is why we are so excited about our new relationship with RS, world’s leading high-service distributor of electronics, automation and control components, tools and consumables, which has made the Robox available to its customers today.

This allows 3D printing fans, makers, people in the education field and engineers – whether electronics, mechanical or product – to benefit from the rapid prototyping capabilities Robox has to offer.

Ben Lawton, Global Head of Tools and Consumables at RS, adds: “We’re excited to be able to offer such a highly versatile 3D printer like Robox to our customers, enabling them to create professional quality prints for rapid prototyping for a range of disciplines. The printer’s ease-of-use, competitive price and future-proof upgradable design potentially makes it the complete micro-manufacturing solution – whether you’re a maker at home, creator at school or professional engineer.”

RS brings great 3D design software, DesignSpark Mechanical, with a huge library of off-the-shelf components to users, which enables engineers to seamlessly design parts and order hardware to finish their projects.

Chris Elsworthy of CEL Robox continues: “We are particularly excited to be partnering with RS, as not only do they allow us to present Robox to customers who have a keen interest in making and design, but they also have a large active community of engineers who are now developing the next generation of products.”

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/3d-printers/9031321/

 

 

ROBOX PARTNERS COLOURFABB

By | News, Press Release, Stuff and Things | No Comments

Perhaps one of our most exciting announcements to date – CEL Robox has partnered with ColorFabb, the Dutch producer of high quality filaments, to bring its range of new filament colours to CEL customers as Robox SmartReels.

The partnership means Robox customers can print with a rainbow of colours in ColorFabb’s co-polyester filament ‘colorFabb_XT’, made from Eastman Chemical Company’s Amphora™ 3D Polymer. The colorFabb_XT filament is available from 30th September 2015 in the full range of colours, including Red, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Dark Green, Light Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, White and Clear.

ColorFabb_XT is made from Amphora™ 3D Polymer, a product of the Eastman Chemical Company, and has a number of advantages over both PLA and ABS materials. For example it is less brittle than PLA, and because of its extremely low shrink rate it is dimensionally more accurate than other materials and has good bed adhesion, with strong inter-layer bonding.

ColorFabb extrude their blend of Amphora™ 3D Polymer in the Netherlands on their high quality manufacturing suite which is specially designed to maintain high dimensional accuracy.

CEL Robox is the first 3D printing manufacturer to have this world famous filament spooled onto directly their SmartReels.

Chris Elsworthy comments: “The CEL Robox project is to build an eco-system around an extremely user friendly piece of hardware and to do this we want to bring together industry leaders to benefit 3D printer users.

“In this case we have the first resin ever developed for 3D printing from Eastman, ColorFabb’s high quality blending and extrusion and Robox’s user friendly SmartReel system.

“ColorFabb_XT is another high quality material that we bring to our users to ensure their 3D printing experience is the best it can be.

“We are particularly interested in using this material in education applications as we feel it improves the reliability of printing and the strength of the end results.”

Ruud Rouleaux, CEO at ColorFabb said: “I first saw the Robox printer in action in 2014 and was immediately taken by the ease of use that Robox offers consumers.

“So when we began looking for a 3D printer to partner with we naturally reached out to Robox to see how we could work together to make 3D printing in a range of different materials more accessible to everyone.

“In Robox we have found a partner that we can work together with to achieve our goal of allowing people to create functional and aesthetically beautiful prints.”

Alex Dudal, market development representative, Eastman Chemical Company, remarked: “Collaborations such as the one between CEL and ColorFabb are why Eastman is involved in the 3D printing market. Working with these leaders in the hardware and filament markets allows us to bring the benefits of Eastman Amphora 3D polymer to a wider audience.”

Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer is a low-odour, styrene-free choice that is uniquely suited for 3D printing applications.

With Amphora, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient, and attractive.

ROBOX EXHIBITS AT THE TCT SHOW 2015

By | Exhibiting, News | No Comments

We are happy to be exhibiting the Robox 3D printer at the TCT show for the second year running, on 30th September and 1st October 2015.

If you want to see the Robox in action, please visit Stand C25 in Hall 3A as we’d be delighted to meet you.

The Robox printer has evolved significantly since its introduction at last year’s show – media interest has reached an all-time high and the product is making its mark as something a bit different on the 3D printing scene.

The key difference between the Robox and other 3D printers currently available on the market is that it is the only multi-manufacturing platform in the world – the unique HeadLock™ system will enable users to change functions from 3D printing to paste extrusion, drag knife cutting, pick and place, plotter pen printing … the sky is the limit.

The very next head will be the dual material head – still within the realms of 3D printing, but again setting the Robox apart from its competitors as it will enable users to print in different colours, and with different materials but without the need to print ‘ooze shield shapes’ and ‘nozzle wipe towers’ which other printers currently need to prevent colour bleeds and oozing filament.

Guests at the TCT show may be offered a glimpse of the dual material head prototypes, which are currently a work in progress and due for launch later this year.

Following the dual material head will be the drag knife cutter, and our demonstrators on the stand would be happy to discuss the benefits of this new head at the show, as well as other plans for the Robox.

Guests who visit the stand will witness first-hand the capabilities of the Robox, including our bespoke AutoMaker™ software, the dual nozzle technology, the smart extruder, the bed levelling and so on.

Hope to see you there!

ROBOX LIVE ON TV

By | Exhibiting, News | One Comment

We are delighted to announce that for the very first time since its launch back in Autumn 2014, the Robox 3D printer will appear live on the television.

Our very own Chris Elsworthy will be demonstrating the Robox and its capabilities on Ideal World, at 10pm on Tuesday 29th September.

This is an exciting opportunity for the general public to witness 3D printing at its best and understand what Robox offers above its competitors – and why it is so different from any other 3D printer currently on the market.

During the show Chris will show viewers how to use the Robox and how to use the AutoMaker software.

We hope the show will be the perfect platform for Chris to not only raise awareness of the Robox, but also to talk about the possibilities and limitations of 3D printing, and also what can go wrong with it, and why. This will mean discussing suitable materials, how to choose print perfect designs, where to source designs from, and what software is available to download for free.

If you would like to tune into the programme to see the Robox in action you can view Ideal World on any of the following channels: Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin Media 747, Freesat 812
SM IDEAL

 

ROBOX NEWS – AUGUST 2015

By | News | 2 Comments

August has been another busy month for the Robox team, while others have been on holiday enjoying the sunshine, our team has been plugging away at getting the next release of the AutoMaker™ ready, while undertaking the necessary updates and tests required for the launch of the dual material head.

HARDWARE UPDATE

This month has seen significant movements with the development of the dual material head, most notably we have made 50 heads on a temporary production line, not only allowing us to test the heads which come off the line, but also to test the production quality as the units are made.

These units are currently being shipped to the UK for further testing alongside the software – this is the final stage in what has been a very long process, but assuming everything goes to plan this will then lead to mass production of the dual material head – taking the Robox to the next level of 3D printing.

As with all plans, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. The whole point of testing the software alongside the hardware is to ensure that when the final product is released it is reliable and efficient, so the next month will be indicative of when the dual material head will finally be launched.

SOFTWARE UPDATE

The software team have been working on the dual-material head workflow and tools that will help users import multi-material projects. Key features include auto-grouping and part separation on load. These features enable multi-material prints to be made using only STL files as input. We’ve also enhanced obj file load so that a single file can properly represent a multi-material print. Separate parts within a group can be assigned to a loaded material within AutoMaker™.

Two features that are useful whether you’re printing with dual materials or not are loose part separation and model z cut. Loose part separation allows you to load a single model file that has a set of physically separate parts in it and then manipulate the parts independently. Model z cut allows you to cut a tall model at an arbitrary height. AutoMaker™ fixes up the two parts so that they can be printed.

The release of the next version of AutoMaker™ (1.02.00) was pushed back to allow us to carry out improvements to small section printing. This was originally scheduled for the dual-material head release but we decided that the benefits were worth the delay. Estimated release of this version is now 14/9/15 – although we’ll release earlier if we’re happy with the results of our tests.

Chris and Ian will be publishing a video discussing some of the changes in 1.02.00 so keep an eye on www.cel-robox.com!

IN OTHER NEWS
smartreel new

We were delighted to announce several additions to the existing SmartReel™ range, including Woody, HIPS and ThermoChrome.

For those of you who missed the announcement, the new materials we now offer are as follows:

High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS):

  • Strong and stiff, less likely to shrink or warp
  • Unique as you can sand, glue, prime or paint prints
  • Allows beautiful, functional bespoke prints
  • Ideal for printing in conjunction with ABS as share similar mechanical properties
  • Uses Limonene as a solvent, leaving a nicer, cleaner finish

ThermoChrome Purple/Pink Thermal Colour Change:

  • Contains an additive which enables a colour changing feature – from deep purple when cold to pink when warm
  • Perfect for printing wearable items
  • Derived from the starch of plants, therefore is biodegradable
  • Good for the environment

Woody:

  • A foamed structure is activated during the printing process which mimics wood aesthetics
  • The foaming agent conceals laminate layers
  • Lightweight – has a density of 8 g/cm³ and is 35-40% lighter than ordinary PLA
  • Composed entirely of polymers – so excellent print quality comes without the risk of nozzle jams, and the surface of the printed items feels textured, resembling real wood

Sky Blue and Slime Green:

  • New SmartReel™ colours available in both PLA and ABS

PRESS COVERAGE
3D Artist review snip

We were delighted to see a very positive review of the Robox appear in 3D Artist Magazine this month, where the Robox received an overall score of 4 out of 5 stars, and the following final verdict:

“A fun little printer that’s perfect for both beginners and intermediate users, with impressively quick print times”.

As well as praising the quick print times, the review is also very positive about the ease of use of the AutoMaker™ software, how quick the printer is to set up, and the quality of the final print. The reviewer also praised the form factor of Robox as well as a build area which is impressively large for its overall compact size. The review also acknowledges how safe the machine is, particularly for children.

All in all the review concludes the Robox is the answer to easy desktop 3D printing and an impressive accomplishment.

INTRODUCTION TO THE CEL ROBOX TEAM: IAN HUDSON, LEAD SOFTWARE ENGINEER
ian

This month we’d like to introduce you to Ian Hudson, our lead software engineer and systems architect for the entire Robox project. Ian is not only the brains behind the excellent and unique design of the AutoMaker™ software, he’s also our IT and telecoms expert.

Two years ago Ian met our MD Chris Elsworthy, who shared his passion for the Robox project, and within a few weeks of meeting decided that becoming a stakeholder and contributor to a fascinating product with a great team was the way to go.

In Ian’s words, “As soon as I met Chris and saw the prototype Robox I was hooked. The opportunity of working with a talented designer who was passionate about not only the product but the influence it will have on society was too good to miss.”

Ian started out as an electronics technician apprentice at a Rediffusion Simulation – a flight simulator manufacturer. During his time he discovered that he was far better at writing software for computers than building them and this was the start of his career as a software engineer. After graduating with a degree in Computer and Electronic Engineering he continued his career creating the instructional systems that control tactical flight simulators.

He continued to build on his software engineering background and moved up the management chain whilst transitioning from simulation to defence then secure hosting and telecoms. He has held roles ranging from software engineer to project and development manager. During his time as a freelance consultant he’s been a solutions architect for large scale telecoms projects.

Today Ian is an integral part of the CEL team, and plays an invaluable role in the development of the Robox and its associated products.