All Posts By

Ian Hudson

e-NABLE – the most inspiring 3D print project I’ve seen

By | AutoMakerNewsflash, Design, Education, Printables | 3 Comments

I was recently introduced to the e-NABLE project by our friends André and Guillaume at Le Comptoir 3D

This is an awesome venture that aims to get functional 3D printed hands to people around the world.  Heard this before? Well e-NABLE takes a different approach… Anyone with a 3D printer can make a difference thanks to the network of e-NABLE volunteers around the world.

These hands don’t replace expensive, highly functional natural looking prosthetic hands – but they’re not meant to. Children who have limb differences can’t always get prostheses (partly because they’re growing) so these hands can make a real and immediate difference to their lives.

Take a look at this video from e-NABLE to see what I mean.

Now tell me you don’t want to use your Robox to make a difference.

Visit http://enablingthefuture.org/ for more information on how to help.

And if you’re a student or teacher reading this then please take a look at http://www.handchallenge.com/ and involve your school in this amazing project.

The story of e-NABLE is inspiring – you can be part of it too.

Here’s my first print of a Raptor hand produced on a Robox – I’ll add more pictures when it’s assembled.

Raptor 3D printed prosthetic hand

Thanks for reading!

Ian

 

AutoMaker update – 2.01.01

By | News, Software Updates | No Comments

We’re pleased to announce that AutoMaker 2.01.01 is now available – this release should not only improve prints but also addresses some of the issues users have raised.

We do read all of your posts and look to include as many changes and fixes as we can. We’re guided by our customers so please keep your comments coming! AM 2.01.01 Forum

The main changes in this release are a completely revised estimated print time calculator – it is now (usually!) just a few minutes out for prints that take many hours, but do let us know if you find a model that gives you incorrect results.

The post-processor has been modified to improve small-section print quality. This improves the overall appearance of the majority of prints and we’re really pleased with the results we’re seeing.

We’ve also added the ability to create spiral prints and improved the support for multiple printers and removed the message telling you that AutoMaker is up-to-date.

The firmware now allows you to resume a print from an error state when you’re not connected to AutoMaker – pressing the flashing red eject button will attempt to resume the print. Connecting to a computer will help you diagnose a problem and may still be necessary in some circumstances.

We’re going to be working on lots of exciting changes over the coming weeks – but a couple of highlights are:

Beta tools – we’ll be introducing open Beta downloads so that anyone who is interested can try out early version of major features. The first of these will be the Robox Root, which will allow users to use their desktop AutoMaker to access and control printers connected to another device on the LAN (e.g. a Raspberry Pi).

Language updates – we’re very aware that the language packs are out of date and we’ll be working with our partners to consolidate languages over the coming weeks.

AutoMaker 1.01.03 – out now!

By | Software Updates | No Comments

We’re pleased to announce that AutoMaker 1.01.03 is now ready for release.

This version adds the following key features and fixes a number of minor bugs.

The release includes an update to v721 of the firmware which includes…

  • Beta feature – double-tap the eject button to reprint the last job with a computer attached. We’re still working on this one…
  • Change in default steps per unit to improve part accuracy
  • Improvement in auto-levelling for long extrusions

AutoMaker updates…

  • Load Robox project files (from your CEL Robox/Projects directory) by dragging and dropping files onto the layout screen
  • Print job / firmware transfer speeds significantly increased
  • Resume failed data transfer added (allows unplug/replug during transfer)
  • Auto-display scale added for displays less than 800 pixels high
  • Fixed an issue when filament slip is detected during purge – options were switched over
  • STL load optimised
  • Language files updated for German, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Traditional Chinese – added Spanish
  • Added drag and drop for Robox project files
  • Fixed minor issues on About page – added copy buttons for serial numbers
  • Allow 1 decimal place for scaling operations
  • Fixed issue where print status disappears when filament is ejected and reloaded during a print

Safety Feature Control

You can now choose whether AutoMaker will insist on the door being closed before prints and cool down before opening the door.

Advanced Mode

One of the major changes in this release is the segregation of certain features into an advanced mode that must be enabled through the preferences panel.

When we first released AutoMaker many of the advanced functions were necessary to allow people to experiment with the printer. Robox and AutoMaker have evolved so that many people never need these features. In addition, users who aren’t aware of the consequences of making extreme changes to detailed configuration can shorten the life of some of the printer components inadvertently.

We believe we offer a market leading warranty and that continually improving the reliability of our product is essential. We also want a wide range of users to enjoy using their printer as we develop and grow the available functions that Robox provides.

Advanced mode allows experienced users to adjust settings and use custom filaments just as they could in previous versions. All we ask is that customers using advanced options read and accept our warranty terms and conditions.

That’s not to say we don’t want to allow people to access these controls – more that they aren’t needed by many users and shouldn’t be the first things they see.

So in summary – the warranty warning is really a ‘don’t abuse your machine’ kind of statement. Just like the kind of warranty statement you’d get with most products. We’ll always honour warranties where there is a manufacturing defect or where components fail in normal use.

That’s about it for 1.01.03. Your version of AutoMaker should automatically update, but here’s a link to the download page just in case: http://www.cel-robox.com/downloads

We’re already working on the next release which includes features like raft controls, independent scaling and rotation of models and a time/cost display, so expect more updates over the next few weeks.

Enjoy!

Ian

 

3D printing and biomodelling applications

By | Healthcare | No Comments

The applications for 3D printing for home users and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are developing rapidly. Over the coming years devices like Robox will encourage users who aren’t engineers or 3D printing enthusiasts to create and manufacture useful objects.

As these excerpts from the article below show – biomodelling is a fantastic example of how a device like Robox can make a real difference to healthcare professionals in their daily work.  It would be great to hear from other healthcare professionals about other potential applications of this technology. Who knows – perhaps Robox can help!

“When Ms. S presented with a missing front tooth after a sport accident, she was concerned and anxious about the process of replacing it with a dental implant. There were many questions and unknowns about her condition. With an in-office Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, the clinical examination could be followed immediately by the 3D radiograph. Within minutes, we knew what bone anatomy was available, and could plan the surgery quickly. We could plan implant position and size using dedicated software. Yet, transposing planning to surgery remains a problem. Third party companies can fabricate a CAD/CAM surgical guide, using 3D printing. However, it takes about a week or more to obtain the guide. In addition, the process is complex: CT data needs to be uploaded, planning needs to be checked and approved, and guide providers often need to be mailed a plaster model for accuracy.”

“… in-office 3D printing is an opportunity to simplify and accelerate the process. At the moment, fabrication of biomodels is simple: CT data is segmented using simple software, and STL files are sent to the printer within minutes. Biomodels allow for visualization, manipulation and communication. Patients can better understand their condition, and general practitioners who are not surgeons can better communicate and coordinate care. If a change needs to be made, re-printing is simple and fast.”

See the full article at –

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/11/20/bringing-3d-printing-biomodels-house-aids-patient-care/

Image of 3D printed jawbone