C Enterprise Ltd. (CEL) recently debuted a new desktop 3D printer and micro-manufacturing platform. Powered by an Atmel | SMART ARM-based MCU, the Robox was designed by its creators to “demystify” the 3D printing process.
“We wanted to produce the most reliable, stylish and easiest-to-use 3D printing solution available. What we’ve done is more than that; with the HeadLock system, Robox can operate with different heads, which means different tools that can perform a whole range of new functions from stylus cutting to paste deposition, and coming soon, 3D scanning,” the C Enterprise Crew explained on its Kickstarter campaign page.
“We have future-proofed the platform so that it is ready to take immediate advantage of new additive and subtractive manufacturing processes as we develop them, making the Robox platform not only the most accessible 3D printer but a complete micro-manufacturing system. We’ve designed the whole product from the ground up; the frame, electronics, software and firmware are all tuned to ensure that all the innovation we’ve added works seamlessly to give you the best possible user experience.”
Perhaps most importantly, Robox includes a proprietary dual-nozzle system which is said to improve print speeds by up to 300%, while a single material feed can be directed out of one of two nozzles – with a 0.3mm or 0.8mm extrusion diameter.
In addition, the printer’s “SmartReels” are capable of recognizing every reel of official Robox filament which includes an EEPROM chip storing all the details about the material parameters. For instance, it lets the printer know just how much filament is remaining, warns the Maker that there may not be enough to complete a job, among a number of other things. This allows for instant machine set up when it is installed in the dock.
Meaning, Robox is capable of producing highly detailed exterior surfaces and then quickly filling the object using the larger nozzle multiple layers at a time — without affecting part strength or detail.
Additional key features and specs include:
- Automatic material recognition
- Quick-Change print-head
- Replaceable, ‘tape-less’ and removable PEI bed
- Enclosed build chamber
- Expandable for 2 extruders
- AutoMaker proprietary software
- Minimal inertia
- Large high torque stepper motors with high resolution axes
- Separate build chamber and electronics enclosure
- Automatic build platform levelling
- Extruder construction and feedback loop
- Nozzle valve system
- Integrated cooling
“[3D printing] technology has the potential to disrupt traditional manufacturing processes and even the way in which products are bought and sold. It will enable people to bring manufacturing back to their local economies and reduce reliance on imports – shipping only raw materials, not finished products,” the CEL crew added.
“There is also the potential of the technology in developing economies, where communities will be enabled to produce appropriate technology for their environment using locally available resources – think printing a water turbine from recycled plastic. We want Robox to be part of this revolution – bringing micro-manufacturing to everyone.”
Following last year’s impressive Kickstarter campaign where it nearly tripled its original £100,000 goal, the last batch of crowdfunding units were shipped to their loyal backers earlier this fall. At this point, the team believes that their hardware has reached a point where “they are happy with the build quality and print quality,” and CEL is currently accepting pre-orders for the holiday season.
Interested in learning more about Robox? You can check out the Atmel powered printer’s official page here.