British tool manufacturing company CEL is on a mission, and has been since 2012, to create a simple, affordable and reliable 3D printer called Robox. It wants one in every home and school as it plans to bring 3D printing to the masses.
CEL currently makes tools, which is a good thing as it proves a track record of making hardwearing precision hardware. Accuracy is hugely important in 3D printer manufacturing - especially in building one that doesn’t need to be maintained and modified like many on the market right now do.
The Robox, which will be going on to Kickstarter for additional funding soon will print to 20 microns accuracy (MakerBot Replicator 2X does 100 microns), offers single or dual extrusion, automatic bed levelling, is AutoMaker software compatible, and has a replaceable print head.
Thanks to the use of AutoMaker friendly software the printer should be easy to use in just a few clicks. Auto material recognition and bed levelling mean very little preparation work is needed by the user. Things like the plastic being fed to the head evenly is also addressed using a closed feedback loop, dual-pinch-wheel extrusion system. All this brings us closer to making 3D printers as simple as current 2D printers.
CEL claims the Robox will be 300 per cent faster than other printers on the market now with one nozzle printing details as the other fills. It’s also future proof as the heads can be replaced when needed.
CEL’s Robox will cost £850, making it one of the most affordable 3D printers you can buy. Robox will be demoed at CES in January 2014 - check back for our hands-on from the ground.