Jan 6, 2016 | By Benedict
British 3D printer manufacturer CEL, maker of the Robox 3D printer, today launched its first dual-material 3D printing head. The print head, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas, enables Robox users to create multicolor, multi-material 3D prints for the first time.
Flexible 3D printer heads are becoming more and more common as makers look to streamline their 3D printing rigs and produce more mechanically complex and visually pleasing parts. CEL has noticed this trend and produced a high quality, dual-material print head to satisfy the expanding creative and technical needs of the 3D printing community. Its new 3D printer head features the same form-factor as the existing Robox head and uses CEL’s proprietary needle-valve system for rapid stopping and starting.
The multicolor, multi-material capability of the new 3D printer head allows users to produce a range of complex 3D printed components such as plastic lids with rubber seals, colored logos, light pipes, flexible watch straps with pins, or axles with bearing surfaces.
One of the biggest challenges to producing a multi-material 3D printer head is ensuring that the two distinct 3D printed materials are kept separate without bleeding into one another. The Robox head shuts off material flow without the need for wiping, retracting or cooling the heads, whilst the existing nozzle technology was designed to prevent ooze or stringing. The two materials are kept apart thanks to two separate melt chambers and 0.4mm nozzles.
A simple adaptor for existing Robox 3D printers allows users to hang a filament spool on each side of the 3D printer. The intelligent reel system of the printer is then able to recognize the distinct materials and ensure that each is fed to the appropriate nozzle.
The Robox 3D printer was brought to life in December 2013, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over £300,000—triple the initial target. In a commendable show of loyalty, the company is giving those original backers early access to the new printer head.
“3D printing has the potential to change the way we design and create products,” said Chris Elsworthy, CEO of CEL. “The launch of our dual-material head means another step in the complexity of items our users are able to print with Robox. We’re really excited to be able to offer this new 3D printer head to our customers and allow them to create new prints they never could have dreamed of 3D printing before. Users will still get all the reliability and quality they have come to expect from a Robox printer, but now with the ability to print in two materials at the same time.”
Existing Robox customers can upgrade their printers with the new dual-material head for £199.00, excluding postage, whilst customers wanting to get their Robox printer serviced and upgraded to the latest specification can do so for £79.00 or £99.00, depending on which printer head they currently have installed.
Posted in 3D Printer
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B Hudson wrote at 1/7/2016 6:08:50 AM:
It should be noted that the filament reels are stacked on the left side of the machine and are not installed one on each side as stated in the article.