Press Release: Launch of an ambitious new UK joint venture challenging established manufacturing methods
5th June 2018
For Immediate Release
Two innovative UK manufacturing companies are excited to announce that they are setting up a Joint Venture called Q5D Technology to launch a disruptive new technology that could change the way products from white goods to cars and aircraft are manufactured. Most of the products that we use today are built by machine, but one part eludes automation: the wiring. This is still done by hand, in distant factories, where nimble fingered workers create wiring looms on peg boards. These are then shipped and fitted, again by hand, into the car or other product. It is expensive, inflexible and time consuming.
CEL-UK Limited is an engineering firm based in Portishead near Bristol. It is expert at the design of equipment for mass manufacture. They make and sell highly regarded 3D printers under the Robox® brand. Chris Elsworthy the Managing Director explains “By combining existing technologies we are making a new breed of machine that is able to create polymer parts with embedded wiring and electronics of any shape that can an assembled autonomously as part of the manufacturing process”.
M-Solv limited is an Oxfordshire based high-technology company which makes machine tools for the rapidly growing printed electronics market. “This new technology will be able to make lighter, cheaper, more complex components that will enable engineers to go from concept to product much more quickly” explains Phil Rumsby the Managing Director of M-Solv.
Stephen Bennington of Krino Partners Limited “These two companies each have unique technology as well as the depth of experience and access to the markets that will ensure that this new venture will be a success”.
Notes to Editors
CEL-UK has considerable experience and expertise in the design of tools for mass manufacture. They started by designing and selling award winning power tools, but now they are best known for the Robox® series of 3D-printers. These machines pack innovative technology in a beautifully designed and easy to use product that would cost many times more from any other manufacturer. They have expertise in mechanical, electrical and software design as well as mass manufacture.
Contact: Chris Elsworthy (Managing Director)
M-Solv is a world leader in printed electronics and laser micro-machining. They design, manufacture and sell highly innovative machine tools, but also do contract R&D and mass manufacture printed electronics components.
Contact: Phil Rumsby (Managing Director)
Krino Partners Limited
Krino is a consultancy that provides assistance to UK technology start-ups. Stephen Bennington is a visiting professor of physics at University College London but has spent the last 8 years running and/or assisting technology businesses with planning, interim management and fundraising.
Contact: Stephen Bennington (Director)
Robox AutoMaker software update is now live. Start your AutoMaker installation to find the update automatically or download it from here www.cel-robox.com/downloads/.
Your firmware will need to be updated as requested by the software, please note that the Robox will restart when the firmware update completes so be sure it has finished printing before allowing the update.
When you connect a Root or Mote device it will require an update to be able to communicate with AutoMaker, this will be shown as a button in the Network menu in AutoMaker preferences page.
- Support for RoboxPRO
- Support for SingleX head
- Macro improvements across pre and post print along with maintenance functions
- Major overhaul Root UI and backend to improve connectivity and transfer
- Lots of functions added to Root
- New SmartReel profiles and fixes surrounding programming locally and via Root
- Linux settings page fixed (was blank)
- Translation UI issue fixed
- Reprint functions improved
- Hardware warnings for abrasive materials dependent on head fitted
- Lots of small changes to improve UX
A big welcome to our new software developers Tony and George, this is the first AutoMaker update they have worked and is just a small step on the path toward a lot of new content.
If you have problems a clean install might help.
Please create new posts for any problems you have.
Our Robox 3D printers and the CEL UK-based support team have been superb. Students of all ages, from our primary school partners to Post-16 students, have all been able to access and use the Robox software and hardware systems effectively. They have inspired students and led to numerous STEM Big Bang competition wins. Further to this, our work as a community Fab Lab has allowed organisations and individuals to develop ideas on a personal level or commercially.
The Robox technical support team are second to none and offer excellent training materials to ensure systems are kept up and running. CEL are always keen to support users with emerging applications of their machines and illustrate their forward and positive principles.
I would recommend Robox to any educational establishment looking at purchasing 3D printing systems.David IrishHead of Design & Technology
Enhancing Tour De Force capabilities
They already use Robox and RoboxDual to manufacture parts, but TDF's founder and managing director, Matt Faulks, is taking 3D printing to the next level with RoboxPRO.
The brake pot hanger is a real production part printed in ABS.
Before being machined in metal, TDF create a rapid prototype of the brake bell with Robox.
Printed in ABS, the switch box is an end-use part fitted into this Sauber C30 F1 car.
The rain light cover looks just like any other production part on this BAR Honda F1 car.
The steering wheel plate was manufactured very cost-effectively using Robox 3D printers.
Design Engineer Matt Scott uses Autodesk Fusion 360 to design parts and Robox 3D printers to make them. He’s looking forward to using RoboxPRO to manufacture larger, structural components.
The CEL Robox and RoboxDual 3D printers have been a revelation to us, and an absolute pleasure to work with over the past year. We currently have two Robox machines, which have over 1,000 hours of combined printing time. This has been achieved with the upmost reliability, with both 3D printers requiring nothing more than minimal maintenance.
As a result, we can confidently leave components printing overnight, returning to work the next day with high quality parts ready to use. The impact of this to our business is immeasurable. Not only have we seen a massive reduction in lead times (in some cases from months to the same day), we have also entirely eliminated rejected parts, reducing our costs massively. The reason this was possible is down to the high quality and tolerance control of the Robox prints. We can be sure that if a trial print fits, the same component when machined will also fit.
On top of this, we use our 3D printed components directly on historic Formula One cars, which has enabled us to achieve race victories at the highest level of Motorsport.
In short, CEL and Robox are now an integral part of how we operate as a business, and a major key in our success. The quality, consistency and cost effectiveness of a Robox 3D printer is unmatched. We are soon to add a RoboxPRO to our line-up, and eagerly anticipate what the future holds for CEL and their 3D printing technology.Matt ScottDesign Engineer
RoboxPRO is on the cover of Develop3D April 2018 magazine!
On the 4 page spread inside you will learn about the CEL development of Robox and how we are proud to see that so many of our early innovations have been so widely duplicated in competitors to improve the ease of 3D printing for everyone. In a market where so many machines shown no innovation at all over the past 5 years, Robox has lead the way in terms of new features. Such as dual material printing and material control, adaptive bed levelling and automated setup, filament delivery sensing and error response, reel recognition and simplified user interface.
Read the article to find out why CEL made a 3D printer and the key design intent for the development process and how we used our manufacturing experience to offer a machine with such advanced features at such a low price.
Find the April 2018 edition here, free if you are registered from the UK. https://www.develop3d.com/downloads/index.php
You can also read the web article here https://www.develop3d.com/profiles/the-reel-deal-CEL-Robox-desktop-3D-printing-engineering
The big change with this machine is that it is manufactured not in the Far East, but in CEL’s Portishead factory near Bristol.
CEL is the manufacturer of a range of low-cost power tools and the hugely successful POWER8 Workshop, an award-winning cordless benchtop power tool innovation originally featured on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. As a manufacturer, we did all the CAD work but, like most, would outsource the manufacturing of the prototypes to 3D printing service bureaus or contract manufacturers.
After growing increasingly frustrated with the high costs and delays experienced with outsourcing, we made the decision to bring prototype manufacturing in-house by developing our own 3D printer with help from open-source RepRap designs from the University of Bath. We developed and added new technologies and features to work with these designs, sourced the highest quality components, and, after many design iterations, we decided to bring the 3D printer we developed to market as a new product itself: Robox.
As a small, resource-limited manufacturer, we certainly didn’t want to develop a 3D printer that was time-consuming to start, operate or maintain. To us, a 3D printer isn’t a gadget, novelty or toy; it is a manufacturing tool whose sole purpose is to bring virtual designs into physical reality. Since deciding to bring the 3D printer we initially developed for ourselves to market, we’ve spent a great deal of time and effort streamlining the software workflow and developing automatic hardware calibrations in our efforts to make the 3D printing process as simple and fast as possible (Robox 3D printers have won several awards for their user-friendliness).
We’ve benefited hugely from taking the decision to bring both the design and manufacture of our prototypes in-house. 3D printing technology has dramatically reduced our costs while improving our rate of innovation and, ultimately, the quality of our products. With Robox, we wanted to show other manufacturers that they too can take full control of prototyping and reap these same benefits.
Beyond business, we have a stake in British education as a British manufacturer. We can use the Robox brand to help the next generation become world leaders in design and manufacturing, by empowering young people to think creatively and not be afraid to make mistakes through the iterative design process. Anticipating Robox being used in education, we included an interlocking mechanism in the door as a safety feature in the original Robox model. Astonishingly, Robox 3D printers are still the only desktop 3D printers that include this critical safety feature.
We use Robox 3D printers in our work with the James Dyson Foundation and partner schools around the country to help improve learning outcomes in STEM. We want to do what we can to play our part in helping Britain grow as a world-leading source of innovation and inspiration for young people.
Since launching the original Robox model, we released an upgraded dual extrusion version, RoboxDual, in early 2017. RoboxDual can print with two colours or materials at the same time while still running on the same award-winning hardware and software platforms. We’re now excited to be launching a new, ground-breaking 3D printer, RoboxPRO, at Bett that offers considerably more advanced capabilities. We look forward to showcasing RoboxPRO and the other 3D printers in the Robox family at Bett 2018 and invite visitors to come to stand B470 to learn more. The show takes place in ExCeL London between 24-27 January and is free to attend. Visit our exhibitor page to find out more:
We’re taking pre-orders now for units from our first production batch, so get in touch if you’d like to be among the first to get your hands on this new Robox 3D printer.
Material development is constantly expanding upon and often stretching the capabilities of 3D printers. Robox features an open material system which gives users the choice of using filament from any source.
We have always advised against using “filled materials” mainly due to the abrasive nature of these materials. We maintain this advice with all of the heads available to fit the HeadLock™ system.
This SingleX™ head is an exception, this head is designed for experimentation. To combat wear this head comes with the very well known Olsson Ruby Nozzle with 0.6mm aperture. The SingleX™ heater block has a M6x1mm thread.
We have removed the needle valve in the SingleX™ head, so if you want to send gcode from another slicing engine you are free to do so. Dribble and ooze are now your responsibility 😀 as is any harm caused by code produced outside of the typical AutoMaker environment. This head provides freedom to use the Robox platform in new ways.
Remaining in place are many of the features which Robox pioneered in 3D printing. Surface mapped bed levelling, SmartReel material recognition and simple 3 click operation. The extruder provides feedback during a print to ensure material is not jamming or has run out, pause and resume at will.
A word of warning…When using abrasive materials, abrasion is not limited to the nozzle. Our testing has shown little wear on filament drive gears and other parts within the filament path after over 3kg of Carbon and Glass filled Nylon, ABS, PETG and other filled filaments but these parts are still considered to be consumable.
The Olsson Ruby
Six reasons to get the Olsson Ruby
The Olsson Ruby will work with a huge range of materials.
PLA, ABS, CPE/PET, Nylon, and composites with abrasive additives such as Carbon fibre, Steel, Wood, Boron Carbide, Tungsten and Phosphorescent pigment, are some of the materials sucessfully tested so far.
Highly wear resistant
The ruby mounted at the tip makes sure that even the toughest materials will be printable. It was originally designed for printing with Boron Carbide (B4C), the third hardest known material in the world.
Excellent heat conductivity
Since most of the Olsson Ruby is made from brass, with its excellent heat conductivity, performance and throughput is first-class.
People all over the world have been testing different iterations of the ruby nozzle since early 2016. We are very happy to have received only good printing results from this community.
By using the 0.6, 0.8mm and High Output versions it is possible to reach a higher throughput and speed than ever before for abrasive materials, while retaining wear-resistance and reliability.
The Olsson Ruby is manufactured, assembled and tested in a high-quality facility in Sweden. This is why 3DVerkstan guarantees the very best quality and tolerances.
Wear resistance compared
Robox is designed to be Plug and Print. We are designers, we created Robox to allow us to spend more time designing, testing and refining our prototypes. Doing our jobs basically. As designers we did not want to spend time levelling or preparing a build plate, looking up or testing settings or tweaking profiles. We wanted a 3D printer which makes printing easy. Robox has won best of Plug’n’Print 2 years running. It is also the only printer which is safe for use in education at all levels.
Learn more here http://www.cel-robox.com/technical/