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Emma Elsworthy

Who gets your Vote?

By | Design, News | No Comments

So today is the day, the time is ticking – who gets your vote in today’s General Election?  Do you want a Tory, Labour or Lib Dem led government?

If you haven’t yet decided, but want to have your say, we at CEL Robox can help.

We have created 3 new political party pledge stones, each of which depicts the main pledges of the three traditionally ‘leading’ parties.

Our stones are based on the now infamous ‘Ed Stone’ which hit the headlines over the weekend as Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiled his 6 key pledges in the form of a giant stone tablet, seemingly suggesting that once the pledges were in stone, they could not be broken.

But not everyone follows Labour, and here at CEL Robox we wanted to give people a fair chance to air their views, and at the same time peruse the three main party’s pledges before placing their votes today.

Anyone can access our designs of the stones to download and print out, by visiting the Tinkercad links below:

https://tinkercad.com/things/hYiaIUUfPz2

https://tinkercad.com/things/htep0DQ6uDt

https://tinkercad.com/things/7yvE9jv2ZKD

The ballot boxes close at 10pm tonight – that should give you just enough time to print out your favourite stones and make your mind up who to vote for!

3D Printed Birds of Prey Ward off Pigeons

By | Design, Press | No Comments

The skills of our in-house service technicians extend far beyond expectations on a daily basis here at Robox HQ, and indeed this past couple of weeks our very own Martin Moore demonstrated his CAD capabilities once again by creating 3D hawks and owls for an international media story (his previous skills saw Jeremy Clarkson depicted as a ‘Hungry Hippo’)

The purpose of the prints was to capitalise on the world-wide hatred for pigeons and in doing so, demonstrate the capabilities and day-to-day uses of the Robox.

Martin set about designing the birds from scratch, his only brief was to create these known enemies of the pigeon so that people could print them off and place them on ledges outside their windows or in their gardens to scare pigeons away; we wanted them to be useful, funny and decorative.

hawkpic1

And now all the hard work has been done for pigeon-haters across the world as the designs are now available to print from myminifactory.com.

birdspic2
Already the story is gaining traction, with The New York Observer being the first to cover the news:

“A 3D printing company may have just launched one of NYC’s most successful advancements in the fight against pigeons.

A company called Robox created 3D printing designs for pigeon scarecrows that have already proved successful at keeping away the urban birds.

The designs include an owl and a hawk, both printed at a smooth resolution of .2mm. Robox themselves have been printing the mock predatory birds with PLA-composit and placing them around the city. They’ve found that pigeons are so frightened by the watchful and intimidating gazes of the 3D printed birds that even the incentive of food isn’t enough to convince stray pigeons to stick around in their presence.

“If you find that pigeons are plaguing your stoop, rooftop, or garden, you can print either one of our hawks or owls to keep them, and their ‘gifts,’ at bay,” Chris Elsworthy, CEO of Robox, told The New York Observer.”
Read more at http://observer.com/2015/04/3d-printed-scarecrow-owls-are-successfully-ridding-nyc-of-those-godawful-pigeons/#ixzz3ZGaPZv9A

owlpic1
3DPrint.com also followed suit, illustrating just how annoying these birds can be to city dwellers:

“The human population of New York City is fed up with the population of pigeons. Flat out. Finally. How to battle them, without bringing on legions of PETA members? And what might scare a pigeon? How about the thought of a bird of prey snatching them up in their claws, carrying them away to their city lair? Or a predatory hawk? Pigeons don’t stand a chance. At least that’s what the folks at CEL, who created the Robox 3D printer, want them to think, as they’ve used 3D printing to employ an age-old method: the scarecrow.

Soon, you may be seeing colorful 3D printed birds of prey scattered around areas heavily infested with pigeons, who will have no choice but to flee to other cities with less creative and technologically savvy citizens. The 3D printed predatory birds can be placed on the ground in city parks to thwart the scavenging, pooping pigeons, and can also be placed on decks, window ledges, doorsteps, and a variety of other platforms.”

Read more at http://3dprint.com/62231/cel-3d-print-birds-of-prey/

For now, Martin is back in our technical suite, perusing the coverage which drops in as a result of this particular campaign, servicing our valued customers and awaiting the next ‘design challenge’!

CEL takes over at Gadget Show Live

By | Exhibiting | One Comment

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.
original stand

In addition, we were lucky enough to have the support of our good friends Kitronik, who were actively promoting the Robox on a third stand in the same hall.
kitronik stand

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.
kid1

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.
dd1

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.
grant1

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.

KITRONIK AND ROBOX PARTNER UP TO APPROACH 5,000 SCHOOLS

By | News | No Comments

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.

Combining Expertise

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.”

Classroom Suitability

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.”

An example of a completed radio that has been produced using a 3D printed case, for which the print files are available from My Mini Factory, and Kitronik’s FM Radio Kit can be seen here.

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
  • Tweezers
  • High temperature lubricant
  • Tool

For full details on the RBX01 Robox 3D Printer please click here.

ENDS

Kitronik becomes a Robox Affiliated Reseller

By | News | No Comments

We are in the very early days of launching our Affiliated Reseller Scheme here at CEL Robox HQ, but already the likes of Stampede, CREAT3D and 3D-Printworld have attended the course and are almost as Robox-savvy as our very own technicians!

Another of our valued customers Kitronik attended the course last week, and they were kind enough to share their experiences on the following blog:

https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/kitronik-becomes-robox-affiliated-reseller

This is their take on the week –

Last week March 9th – 11th, Rhodri and Aaron from the Kitronik team were invited down to CEL headquarters in Portishead, Somerset, to experience first-hand the building process of the CEL Robox RBX-01, so we can pass on the best information to you and be recognised as one of Robox’s affiliated resellers!
kpic1
To begin the three day course on Monday morning, we were handed a box of parts and told that by Wednesday we would have built our own fully functioning Robox 3D printer to keep. It would have been easy to laugh and walk away but here at Kitronik we like a challenge, especially when there is new technology to play with.
kpic2
The first stage involved constructing the chassis of the printer casing and the mechanism on which the PEI board moves, immediately providing an insight into how simple and functional each part is, especially when compared to the prototype models also sat in the office.
kpic3
Not only did we get to look at the full printer, we were also lucky enough to build the extruder and a print head from scratch, meaning we could see each stage of the filament cycle, from Smartreel through to print.
kpic4
In the image above you can see a printer head that we dismantled to explore further and fully appreciate how small and precise the mechanism is (inside the silver block is even more!). As we found when given some past samples which had severe leakage, it is vital that you take extra care of the head by ‘purging’ excess material through it, ensuring no more is left in the machine to affect future prints.
kpic5
Alongside building the printer, we also attended sessions on the technical aspects of the Robox RBX-01, so you can be confident that if ever you have an issue with your printer or Automaker software that needs troubleshooting, we are fully prepared to do so with as little hassle as possible; though hopefully you won’t have to encounter any technical issues anyway! As an extra bonus on completion of the course, we even got to keep the affiliate exclusive clear printer that we built, that you can expect to see more of in our forthcoming video tutorials!

To learn more about the Robox RBX-01, it’s capabilities, and why everyone from hobbyists to schools should be considering purchasing, you can head HERE

Robox press coverage March 2015

By | Press | One Comment

20.03.2015 – Jezza need be hungry no more
City AM

19.03.2015 – 3D Printed Jeremy Clarkson
Huffington Post

19.03.2015 – Jeremy Clarkson Immortalised
The Guardian

19.03.2015 – Hungry Hungry Clarkson
The Metro

19.03.2015 – Clarkson ‘fracas’ inspires ‘Hungry Clarkson’
The Telegraph

19.03.2015 – In Support of Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson
3DPrint.com

19.03.2015 – Hungry Hungry Clarksons
Evening Standard

19.03.2015 – 3D printing firm creates Hungry Hungry Clarkson
Toy News

19.03.2015 – Now you can play too
Jalopnik

19.03.2015 – Hungry Hungry Clarkson finally gets fed
Gizmodo

19.03.2015 – Top Gear fans urged to 3D print
Man Monthly

19.03.2015 – Clarkson gets his own game
Breaking News

19.03.2015 – 3D Printing Celebrities
IBT

19.03.2015 – Robox make a 3D Printed ‘Hungry Clarkson’ game
Tech Digest

19.03.2015 – You’ve never played a game quite like this one
Irish Examiner

14.03.2015 – Hands On with CEL Robox
Tech Digest

06.03.2015 – CEL Robox 3D Printer Review
Element14 Community

04.03.2015 – Robox Plug and Print for Home
GeekDad

01.03.2015 – 3D Printing Software & Hardware
3DPrint.com

element14 community RoadTester ‘Workshopshed’ reviews Robox

By | News | No Comments
We’re always on the look-out for reviews of the Robox 3D printer from people who understand evolving technology, and who have a real knowledge of the 3D printing industry and what is already available on the market.  It is important to us that people recognise that in our attempts to make the Robox printer future-proof things are changing all the time and some of the more innovative features are yet to come. This means the Robox should be seen as an investment piece with longevity.
Farnell Element 14 have a community of people who road test new products, comparing them against competitors, and who spend hours getting to grips with new technology.  One such RoadTester ‘Workshopshed’ has put together a comprehensive review of the Robox; the key points are below but please visit the Farnell Community for the full review and links to tests which were carried out.

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 9
Demo was easy to use: 9
Support materials were available: 9
The price to performance ratio was good: 10

Total Score: 57 / 60
  • Workshopshed  Workshopshed
    RoadTester since Mar 6, 2012
  • RoadTest: CEL Robox 3D Printer
  • Evaluation Type: Independent Products
  • Application you used the part in: Review
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes – Everything is in the box to get printing. The link up with MyMiniFactory means that you don’t even need any CAD software to get started printing.
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: Zortrax M200, Flashforge Dreamer Dual Extruders, Ultimaker 2, Cube 3 See http://www.element14.com/community/groups/3d-printing/blog/2014/11/14/cel-robox-3d-printer-roadtest–comparable-printers
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: There were a few issues with the pre-release version but the printer that was returned to me has performed brilliantly. There’s a bit of an issue with the door lock not properly disengaging, interestingly that was something that was better on the pre-production model. I had a problem with my laptop shutting down mid print (as it was on batteries) and the printer paused at that point. However the printer happily restarted once my laptop had been plugged back in and the USB taken out and re-inserted. The software would not run on my older desktop machine which was annoying, luckily I had another machine to work with.
  • Detailed Review:

    A solid 3D printer that’s very easy to get up and working with. I’ve learnt a lot about 3D printing during this roadtest and hope to print lots more different things.

    This roadtest report has been delayed as it was discovered part way through that the model provided was a pre-production model. The printer was recalled and a replacement provided early in February.

    Overview

    The printer is mechanically very well made, obviously a lot of though has gone into making it robust but easy to repair. The software has evolved slightly throughout the test. It is simple to work out and because of the smart cartridges it’s possible to print straight out of the box without needing to understand the different settings needed for different materials.

    Preproduction model

    There were some issues with this model and I managed to pop off the bowden tube connector whilst testing. I also had issues with the filament take up and the material not sticking to the bed. CEL were very helpful and sent me an upgraded tube and also a replacement bed. However once the fan FET popped there was little to be done other than send it back to be swapped out with a production model.

    Production Model

    Cosmetically the printer looks very similar but there are quite a few changes under the surface. I don’t have a detailed list of these but the electronics, filament feed and bed are changed. I’ve only worked with a single material so far but the bed has very good adhesion. The software has been improved since December and is easier to understand what is going on.

    Specific Tests

    There was a few things I specifically wanted to look into to uncover the strengths of the printer but also see how I could use it for my own projects.

    Speed of printing

    The printer is quick to print and the dual nozzles helps with this. However I have discovered that speed is also dependent on the cooling speed of the plastic so you can’t always just print as fast as you want. Typical print times for the objects I’ve created are in the 1-2 hour range, objects such as my lamp housing I’m having to simplify so that the print time is reduced as I don’t really want to leave the printer running all night. It is fairly quiet but in a silent night-time house it is quite noticeable.

    Quality of finish

    The fine nozzle produces excellent prints and there was minimal need for finishing post printing. The draft prints are obviously 3D printed with a the lines of print clearly visible.

    Ease of deployment and packing up

    It’s a simple as using a regular printer in this respect with just a power cable and USB. I have been ejecting the spool at the end of each session and popping it back in the bag so that takes a few seconds more than a regular printer. I think that I did not realise I was using ABS rather than PLA until a long way through the test is a good indication that the automatic settings with the print cartridges are doing their job well.

    Thin items such as the clock hands to check for warping

    My tests on this have demonstrated that you can’t just print small items on their own. I don’t think this is a limitation of the printer but it isn’t just something you can do “out of the box”. I hope to do more tests to print small gears to work out best practice for those kinds of parts.

    Moving parts such as bearings and concentric shafts to check for accuracy and surface finish

    The phone stand had a clip together part and that worked with minimal clean up. I’ve read that you should allow 0.5mm spacing between moving parts as a generic “fit”. I will likely investigate that more in future and look at tolerances and fits for 3D printing on my own Workshopshed blog.

    Models

    The models I’ve used are listed on Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory. The ones I’ve created are at https://github.com/Workshopshed/3DPrinting

    Conclusion

    You can indeed print out of the box and a several of the example model’s I’ve picked work very well in that aspect. I have even managed to print one of the three challenge prints successfully on the standard settings. There are things that are trickier to 3D print and the thin gears that I wanted to check for accuracy seem to be one of those. The accuracy of parts does however seem to be dependent on the heating/cooling characteristics of the material rather than the accuracy of the printer. For example the die I printed did have some distortion and ended up not totally square. The gears also suffered badly from this.

    I do plan to use the printer for a range of other things so if you enjoyed following the blog posts then you can expect a few more in the future with a slightly different title. I also know that a few of the other Element14 members have Robox printers so we can help each other out with any issues.