I have to admit that I got a late start on this article as I got distracted by the fun descriptions of the people who make up the team at CEL-Robox. Ranging from Pete Mayo’s tag as “builder of box forts” to Tony Lynch’s “01100001 01101110 etc.” (guess which one of these guys is the software engineer), it is just about the first time I’ve enjoyed the virtual introduction to a company enough to actually laugh out loud. These cheeky and catchy intros represent a general culture of enjoyment that drives dedication and the type of irreverence that is usually behind true innovation.
The specific innovation of theirs that is making headlines this time is one that is debuting at CES Las Vegas this week in the form of their 3D printer’s first dual-material 3D printing head that allows the machine to print in multiple colors or materials at the same time. The Robox, a young whippersnapper of a 3D printer, came into its own after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013. During that campaign, its creators were able to raise almost 300% of their original funding target of £100,000. This latest addition to the Robox, available now for pre-order, greatly expands the possibilities for creation by its users and is available as an upgrade to those already using the Robox.
In a statement released by CEL, CEO and creator of the Robox Chris Elsworthy shared his enthusiasm for this new addition to their product line:
“3D printing has the potential to change the way we design and create products and the launch of our dual-material head means another step change 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!”
This dual material printer head uses CEL’s proprietary needle-valve system that is credited with giving it superior stopping and starting capabilities in comparison to other dual material heads on the market.
“Many other printers have lengthy and material wasting processes in place to stop cross infection of materials,” the company’s press release states, “but the Robox system shuts off the material flow without the need for wiping, retracting or cooling the heads. The existing nozzle technology prevents ‘ooze’ or ‘stringing,’ ensuring speed and quality of the print whether you’re printing in different colors, different materials, or both…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.”
The benefits of such a printer head are immediately apparent although that doesn’t mean that all possible avenues have already been imagined. Providing creators with further options that truly expand the possibilities for 3D printing in a way that is more than just surface can help but unleash creativity. Discuss this new device in the Robox 3D Printer Head forum on 3DPB.com.