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Emma Elsworthy

Currys and PC World stock the Robox

By | Stuff and Things | No Comments

So if you haven’t already seen the news, we’re delighted to announce our newest partnership with DixonsCarphone, which means the Robox will now be stocked via the Curry’s, PC World, and PC World Business websites.

We’re happy to say DixonsCarphone share our enthusiasm, as Category Manager Rachel Wareham commented:

“With Robox you can go from unboxing to printing in a matter of minutes and the software even integrates one of the biggest libraries of 3D models on the web, so there’s no searching around for models to print, either.

“Robox has the potential to be a mass-market product – it works like magic, looks great and is incredible value-for-money.”

For us, Dixons’ decision to stock Robox—the only 3D printer available on the group’s websites—is a fantastic validation of what we’ve envisaged and how far we’ve come. But reaching this milestone does not mean it’s ‘mission accomplished’ for us here at CEL; we’re continually improving Robox’s hardware and software, we’ve got some fantastic new accessories due to be released later this year, and more orders to fulfil than we thought possible at this point in time.

It’s great to add Currys and PC World to the list of our supporters and with their help we feel more confident than ever that we will soon see 3D printers in homes and schools as well as workshops and offices.

We’re pleased to be adding these household names to our rapidly increasing list of stockists – which includes the likes of Kitronik, CREAT3D, 3D-PrintWorld, PrintMe3D, Maplins and Farnell Element 14.  To find out more about these stockists please visit our ‘where to buy‘ page.

And to read more about the partnership take a look at some of the great coverage popping up today:

http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/00033-robox-wars-dixons-ward-off-competitors-by-remaining-techsavvy

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2015/02/26/currys-pc-world-now-selling-robox-3d-printers-to-the-uk-and-ireland/

http://microfabricator.com/articles/view/id/54ef463a6983c59242ab0fae/robox-home-3d-printer-to-be-stocked-by-currys-pc-world#comments

http://www.tctmagazine.com/3D-printing-news/currys-pc-world-stocks-robox-3d-printer/

http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/dixons-carphone-ceo-s-children-convince-him-to-stock-new-product/035696

 

Dance like a Robox

By | Stuff and Things | No Comments

Here at CEL Robox we’re always on the look-out for new reviews of our 3D printer, so were pleased to stumble across the following review courtesy of Dominic Morrow (@ChickenGrylls) on behalf of Kitronik, who are now stocking the Robox….

http://dominicmorrow.org/2015/02/20/dance-like-a-robox/
First off I think I’ll declare my interest here, Kitronik are good friends of mine and I occasionally do work for them, so they are my recommended retailer for the CEL Robox 3D printer if you are thinking of buying. They are very nice chaps and very earnest in their desire to provide good products. I’ve been lucky enough to see the team at Kitronik weighing up different machines to support and can see they have thought very carefully before choosing the Robox. They offered to let me borrow their evaluation and support machine for the weekend so I thought it was a good opportunity to do a review!

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Unpacking, downloading the software and uploading an .stl file I had already took less than 10 minutes. The AutoMaker software, which will run on Mac, Windows and Lunux is very intuitive and well laid out, it reminds me very much of how simple and easy it was to download and try the Sillouette Studio software for my vinyl cutter. You can download and play about with it without having to have a machine.

The overall build quality is very high and unfussy. The machine ships very well packaged with it’s own tote bag as well as a nicely made tool kit for maintenance. From that point of view the Robox is everything a RepRap isn’t it really is a “take-it-out-the-box-plug-it-in-and-off-it-goes” machine. If tinkering endlessly with bed levelling and calibration IS your thing, this machine will be disappointing for you. The Robox has an auto purge at the start of the print and a 9 point bed levelling check.

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Whilst the Robox has “smart reel” technology you’re not limited to using their filament, you can wind you’re own filament onto their reels if you want too. If you do so though you loose some of the functionality which the smart reel provides (which is mostly tell the machine what type and colour of filament it is and what temperature to work it at). The smart reel is also capable of telling the AutoMaker software if you’ve enough plastic to do the job you’ve sent it. When I used it I was using Robox, “Highway Orange PLA” and “Chroma Green ABS”.

The machine has a door which helps keep the temperature inside the machine even which is something that causes problems on other unenclosed machines. This is a useful feature for Kitronik as they are catering primarily for schools and educational users. The door is a glass clear plastic and allows a good view of the work piece, a side view panel enhances viewing even this further. The build area is 210 x 150 x 100mm which is okay, perhaps not as tall as some would like.

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Printing in draft mode is quick and the quality is really very good, the Robox has twin nozzles with needle value control. These nozzles are 0.3mm for fine printing upto 20 microns and 0.8mm to splurge our draft quality prints and provide infill. Filament is shifted through a dual pinch wheel to feed it into the hot end. Extrusion is performed in the case somewhere so the moving head only has the twin nozzles and hot end making it lighter than other travelling parts on 3D printers.

I’m told that there will be head upgrades for twin colour printing or dual material at a later date. I noticed that the feed in from the reel is marked extruder 1 and extruder 2 so hopefully the machine can be upgraded to that with the it’s clip-on-clip-off head (that’s not what they call it).

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For me, beyond prototyping in draft, I’m still a little uncertain what 3D printers are for. However I do see that they add a valuable “I really designed and made this thingy.” element for CAD and design education. I think scanning, assuming people who allow it to happen, could make a great way of tailoring clothing and in my case producing a miniature me to help me understand by weight and get a realistic body image.

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Stuff magazine 5* review

By | Stuff and Things | No Comments

As you can imagine, anticipation for the Robox and its capabilities is at an all time high at the moment, with reviewers nationally and internationally queuing up to get their hands on a unit.

Not content with just plugging in and pressing play, reviewers look closely at both the hardware and the Automaker software, and as well as judging us on price, appearance and the quality and speed of prints, also look at the finer details such as how well the filament extrudes,  whether the ABS or PLA is adhering to the bed, nozzle function, how the door shuts, how easy it is to import files, whether the user manual mirrors the software, how well the graphical user interface works, how the Cartesian action performs etc.

We have no control when the Robox is in the reviewers’ hands – we send out a unit, and then sit back and wait for the final verdict.  Often this will be one or two month’s later, when the full review is published  online or in print – either way very much in the public arena – and there’s not a thing we can do to change a word.

Which is why, when we opened this month’s Stuff magazine we were thrilled to see that not only had we received a glowing review, but we’d also been awarded the coveted ‘5 STARS’.

Indeed, Jools Whitehorn had the following to say:

“3D printing has broken my heart before, but every time I hope it’ll be different.  And with the Robox, it feels like it is.  3D printing needs to offer a straight-out-of-the-box printing experience, and consistency rather than big promises and failed prints.  There will always be issues related to unsuitable model files, and no relationship is without its hiccups, but thanks to the Robox I think I’m ready to trust a 3D printer again.”

Happily, the reviewers at Stuff acknowledge our efforts to bring 3D printing into the mainstream, which means we’re one step closer to our ultimate goal of seeing a 3D printer in every home and school in the country.

Automaker Version 1.01 is released!

By | News | 4 Comments

CEL traditionally is a hardware development company and the Robox project has been treated no differently; with the main focus to date being to get the hardware into the market – i.e. Robox.  All the software versions which have been released to date have been focussed on the development of the hardware.

We have just released a new version of Automaker which changes all of this – Automaker 1.01.

All the interactions which happen between the user and the Robox goes through the software, so it needs to reflect the innovation as much as the hardware does.  The software is no longer just a development tool for the hardware, it is as big a part of the project as any other aspect of the Robox.

MyMiniFactory

One of the foremost questions we get asked by news user of 3D printers is “what would I print?”  And they are quite right to ask this question as most people in the past have bought items for the house, replacement parts, artefacts etc and not even considered making them themselves.  This hasn’t stopped people with the ability to draw their own 3D models to do so, but not everyone wants to or can draw in 3D dimensions, so to answer this question we have teamed up with MyMiniFactory, Europe’s largest curated repository of 3D printable designs. This enables people who can’t or don’t want to learn how to design 3D models themselves, to go into the library and select designs to download and print without having to do any of the design work. This puts the Robox project into a new category of 3D printers.  We are now amongst the very elite systems on the market, and we are closer to our ultimate goal of everybody and anybody using 3D printers in the future.

CURA

Robox’s hardware is so new and innovative there is no existing software package that can drive its hardware, and because of this the quality of prints have not been all that they should have been so far. Although the hardware is ready and able to produce extremely high quality parts, the software and the control has been a limiting factor to date.  We have worked hard on Automaker to overcome this and by introducing a new slicing engine we have taken a huge step up in the quality of parts.  CURA has been specifically designed to drive bowden tube printers which in its most basic element is what Robox is.  CURA’s handling of models and settings helps many aspects of the 3D print results; unsupported structures can be more defined, print speed can be increased, surface detail is improved, imperfections and slicing time are dramatically reduced.

During the integration of this software we have opened up Automaker for all future slicing engines we may want to integrate.  So today customers can choose from Slic3r or CURA but Automaker is ready to accept other slice engines as and when we want.

Development

There has been a huge amount of background work inside Automaker; this is apparent with the new readiness for mobile devices, development boards driving Robox units, and remote access, enabling us to start the next development stage of the software.

There has also been a dramatic change to the look and feel of Automaker, the new GUI is easier on the eye and easier to navigate, we have started to introduce an expert system for diagnosing and calibrating the Robox, and the platform has been readied for all future integration and features.

Although most of the work done on Automaker won’t be visible to the user, it has enabled our software engineers to increase the efficiency of maintaining the Robox and adding new features. With these background improvements new features and functions will come thick and fast.
101 pirate snipped

 

 

Christmas Print Competition Winner

By | Competitions | 2 Comments

It has taken us a little while to announce the winner of our Christmas 2014 Print Competition, but that’s because we had some fantastic entries, and even CEO Chris Elsworthy found himself competing for the prize!

Now that we have broken the news to Chris that a Robox customer has ‘out-designed’ him, we can reveal that hobbyist Dave de Fijter is our final winner of 2014 with his brilliant LED Christmas tree ornament.

tree_printing_preview_featuredtreecapture1

Full instructions on how to make the little trees appear here on thingiverse but essentially users simply need to print a base and the tree, all of which takes about 30 minutes to print with a 0.3 layer height and 40% infill for the tree.

We loved the trees and had them all over the CEL UK office in the week leading up to Christmas (as well as a few decorations courtesy of Chris).

A bundle of gifts will now be on their way to Dave, what a great way to start 2015!

Robox press coverage January 2015

By | Press | No Comments

27.01.15 – The 100 Best Things in the World
GQ Magazine
20.01.15 – From partwork 3D printing to robot tables
The Guardian
16.01.15 – Hi-tech toys of 2015
The Telegraph
15.01.15 – MyMiniFactory’s Universe of 3D Models
3D Printing Industry
15.01.15 – CEL Launches Free Automaker Slicing Software
3DPrint
15.01.15 – CEL Automaker 1.01 Software launch
Geeky Gadgets
14.01.15 – Robox 3D printer software integrates with MyMiniFactory
TCT Magazine
14.01.15 – Robox desktop 3D printer gets software upgrade for Automaker
Develop3D
13.01.15 – Robox 3D Printer Review
tobuya3Dprinter
09.01.15 – Robox inventor hopes 3D printing will help everybody become a maker
The Guardian
07.01.15 – CEL Robox 3D Printer – Review
Element14

Robox Reviews

By | News | No Comments

The CEL Robox is currently undergoing numerous reviews with various different people – ranging from journalists who know very little about 3D printing, to those who have experience road testing new technology.

Needless to say, this is a nerve-racking time for us, expectations of the Robox are high and we are being compared to the likes of Ultimaker and Makerbot on a daily basis – multi million pound corporations which function slightly differently to us (we were working from a garage 6 years ago!).

So every time a review comes out, we click on the link or turn the page with bated breath as we wait to see if the reviewer has had a positive experience.

Largely we’ve had pleasing results so far; since reviewing the printer the journalist on The Register has purchased his own Robox for personal use. A glowing reference if ever we had one.

Others at The Engineer have enjoyed playing with the Robox despite never having touched a 3D printer before and admit that while the technology takes some getting used to it is both educational, fun and good value for money.

However, today’s review, conducted by a community road tester ‘dougw’ via Element 14 had us beaming from ear to ear.

Follow the link below to see why we’re so pleased with our latest critique – essentially it’s a very real, step by step guide to using the Robox:
http://www.element14.com/community/roadTestReviews/1928

Very nicely, Doug scores us a whopping 60 out of 60 following his use of the printer:
Element 14 scoring
He also mentions the fact that “since getting the printer running, it has run essentially non-stop for 20 hours on 7 jobs and it will continue for the whole weekend because I have a long backlog of things I want to print, and I can design them faster than I can print them.” which is music to our ears.
Element 14 video grab

Doug also prints some great little models with his Robox, which range from a clear PLA micro to mini adapter for a mobile phone which saves his Christmas day, to tangible 3D badges which he designs himself before printing:
Element 14 badges
There are some great links through the article to projects Doug has completed with his Robox, and he then finally concludes by saying:

The Cel Robox 3D printer is phenomenal. It makes a huge difference in transforming my projects from crude and boring rectangular black boxes into aesthetically attractive and interesting systems. The learning curve is well worthwhile and this machine has been designed to keep it to a minimum. So far I have not had to think about or learn about calibration – I just import an STL file and start printing. As far as cost goes, for most of my work this machine effectively replaces a whole machine shop full of far more expensive equipment. The results are far superior to any other home-made solutions both in aesthetics and functionality, and although the printer can take hours to complete a print, the labour of designing the item is actually less than the labour involved in manually hacking some other enclosure together with appropriate mounting and cutouts (both time-wise and physical effort-wise).

“One general note is that clear PLA is an important material in many applications where lighting effects or internal illumination are desired and it also allows you to see internal hidden fit and tolerance of finished parts.

“If I had known how strong the plastic was and how easy it is to get decent results, a 3D printer would have been much higher on my wishlist. It is already hard to imagine how I could ever get along without a 3D printer. I do dozens of projects every year and this printer will feature in most of them, so stay tuned for future blogs.”

Thank you Doug for a great review….

2014 – The Start of Something Special

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

whole treeWe’re coming to the end of the 2014, but for us all in the CEL UK office, we feel we’re just at the beginning of something really, really amazing.tree2

This year has been a hard slog – our tiny team has worked tirelessly to launch one of the world’s most anticipated 3D printers to market, with pretty pleasing results so far.

We’re delighted to have secured support from some of the UK’s best names in the 3D printing and technology industry; from Farnell Element 14, to Maplin, Novatech, CREAT3D, PrintMe3D, 3D-PrintWorld and The Gadget Show to name but a few.

Internationally, Robox is getting as much acclaim as it is in the UK, with the likes of Stampede, Conrad Group, Dynamism and Wiltronics all stocking the Robox.

Coverage of the product to date has been tremendous, so a big shout out to Diffusion PR for their help in this.

Who’d have thought just over a year ago that the likes of the Daily Telegraph, the Times, Yahoo! and GQ Magazine would all be recommending the Robox as the ultimate buy this Christmas?
When we look back across the year it’s hard to take it all in.

Over the past 12 months we have appeared in 81 publications both online and in print, we’ve successfully completed our Kickstarter campaign with 3 times the expected funding, our UK team has doubled in size, we’ve moved to an office and warehouse twice the square footage of our original office, we’ve attended three of the world’s most popular trade shows and we already have around 6,000 Robox units in circulation across the world.tree3

So what’s for 2015? Next year looks to be a busy one – we will be focussing our attentions on fine-tuning the software, training more staff so that we can provide a top notch service to our new and existing customers and making new developments with the hardware as we move towards making the Robox a multi-fu nctional unit.

All that remains to be said is a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has bought a Robox so far, and by doing so, supporting us and everythingwe stand for. We appreciate that you have spent your hard earned cash on a constantly evolving and ever-changing purchase, and in doing so you have taken one step into the future.

And finally, we would like to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, here’s to a great 2015.