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.”
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
- High temperature lubricant
For full details on the RBX01 Robox 3D Printer please click here.