Jan 10, 2017 | By Benedict

3D printer manufacturer CEL, maker of the Robox 3D printer, will tomorrow release Root, Tree, and Mote, a three-part system consisting of a remote control, vertical housing, and touchscreen interface for Robox 3D printers. The system will make it easy for users to control multiple Robox printers.

Three years ago, British 3D printing specialist CEL launched a massively successful Kickstarter campaign for the Robox desktop 3D printer. The company raised over £280,000 during that campaign, and more than 10,000 Robox units have since been sold across the globe. CEL has now returned with another Kickstarter campaign, this time for a three-part network system that will make using multiple Robox 3D printers easier than ever.

The new additions to the Robox portfolio are Root, Tree, and Mote, three distinct but interconnected devices that can be used in various combinations. The first item in the trio, Root, is a remote control device which allows users to share, control, and monitor multiple prints via a wired or wireless network. The second, Tree, is a compact, upright furniture system which houses multiple Robox units in a small footprint and improves productivity though enhanced workflow and throughput. The third, Mote, is a low-cost touchscreen interface for the Root device.

When used together, the three new 3D printing accessories will enable Robox users to share hardware and carry out multiple jobs at the same time, at a greater speed and with increased reliability.

“Although a typical user will have just one Robox, Root is a really exciting addition to the system,” commented Chris Elsworthy, CEO of CEL. “Users can remotely start and stop prints even when the printer is in another room. If they choose to open the system to the web, they can access it from anywhere. The system can alert users when a job is complete or of any problems (filament running out or becoming tangled or jammed) so they can resolve the problem and resume the print.”

According to CEL, the Robox 3D printer was originally developed to ensure maximum flexibility and to be future-proof. With the Root and Tree additions, Robox users can now also acquire the speed and reliability of larger, more expensive systems. And with Mote thrown into the mix, the integrated system becomes a stand-alone print farm that can be shared by an entire office. Elsworthy, creator of the Robox 3D printer, sees this newfound business compatibility as a massive step up for the machine and for CEL.

“In a business environment, or where there are multiple Robox units available, these new systems will make prototyping and development much more efficient,” Elsworthy said. “Each Robox connected to Root can be visible to others on the network, so an office full of individually controlled printers is also a networked print farm. More printers allows faster printing but also redundancy and increased flexibility.”

In addition to changing the functionality of the Robox 3D printer, CEL has also shaken up its own methods of production, partnering with RS Components and Polymaker to take the next step into distributed manufacturing. Robox will produce prints, Polymaker will supply innovative PolySmooth materials, and RS will provide the hardware, allowing users to market finished products without the need to outsource production. CEL is also partnering with local makers and services across the world in order to produce and distribute Root, Tree, and Mote, reducing transportation costs and making distributed manufacturing possible.

“Distributed manufacturing gives back to the community,” Elsworthy said. “It unites makers and users with less impact on the environment through reduced transport and inventory built to order, rather than mass produced.”

The distributed manufacturing setup has helped to keep the cost of the new system affordable, though the pricing system is a little complex. That’s because Kickstarter backers have the choice of all manner of combinations, including Mote+Root (£129 earliest bird), three-shelf Tree (£175), and even a complete four-printer office system with Tree and Root (£5,999). Estimated delivery is March to April 2017.

“We’ve seen dramatic improvements in 3D printing speed, reliability, and quality over the past few years, and Robox Tree, Root, and Mote represent the next stage in the evolution of Robox,” Elsworthy added. “None of the development carried out so far on the Robox project would have been possible without the support from our Kickstarter backers; they have become a crucial part of our community and we’re appealing to existing and new 3D printing enthusiasts to help make this next phase a success.”

The Kickstarter campaign for Root, Tree, and Mote goes live tomorrow, January 11.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories



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