We don’t often talk about the innovation in Robox 3D printers. I realised that what we use day to day is not so familiar to many users and a lot of features are not common in “typical” 3D printers. We run prints all day every day. We print for our own development and production and as a service via www.cel-cnc.com. All the innovation and technology just works, we don’t notice it. A user of any of the popular consumer printers doesn’t have this luxury and even industrial printers are missing many of the following ease of use and quality of life innovations which we Robox users take for granted.
We have been very lax in showing all this off. There are so many examples I filled a page, I still held back.
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One example is bed levelling, this should not be manual in any printer…it is such a simple thing to automate and is so critical to first layer success. Our first step was to create this automation using a very simple electrical circuit which is broken when the nozzle touches the print surface, this is detected and recorded by the firmware. This allowed us to simplify the frame arrangement for the moving build plate, Y, with benefits to reliability and repeatability. Two independent Z drives gave the system very precise control over the thickness of not just the layer but every area in that layer. The next step was to take this easy to obtain data and turn it into a surface mapping algorithm. We called this adaptive levelling. An array of points generates a first layer with a very consistent thickness. This automated adjustment makes bed adhesion much more reliable and is washed out over a few layers. The best FDM printers copied this innovation.
How we got here
We created the Robox project in response to our own needs back in 2013 and launched after a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. Our first experience using a 3D printer was with a kit, we found it really exciting in the first few weeks but soon got frustrated by the fruitless battles to get quality prints or just to make it move around. It soon became a monument to failure, collecting dust in the corner. We still have it in the meeting room as an example of how difficult 3D printing can be, it still works but is never used. We have extensively used and poked around inside all the most popular printers, we keep coming back to Robox and are very pleased to hear Robox users say the same.
Our aim in the specification and design of Robox was always to spend less time fiddling with the printer and more time doing our jobs, testing and designing products. We automated everything and it just makes so much sense. A tool has to make a task easier, faster, more accurate or more possible. If that tool makes the task harder it does not deserve to be called a tool.
I planned to collect some innovation here but the list got longer and longer so I made a page.
The full list here www.cel-robox.com/innovation/ is long and will surprise many people. Check out a few teaser examples below: