Tree, Root and Mote: Build Your Own 3D Printer Farm with New Kickstarter from CEL Robox

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Multiple Robox 3D printers can live in the new Tree from CEL.

Many Kickstarter campaigns fade into obscurity after they end, while some go on to moderate success, but every so often there comes a company that becomes so successful that it’s easy to forget their humble crowdfunding beginnings. Such is the case with CEL Robox, whose Robox 3D printer raked in £280,891 on Kickstarter in 2013, well over its funding goal of  £100,000. Since then, the company has gone on to sell more than 10,000 of the printers, which have come in at or near the top of the list for Best Plug and Play 3D Printer in the 3D Hubs 3D Printer Guide for two years in a row.

CEL has also begun expanding the Robox line, beginning with the introduction of the RoboxDual, a new dual-material print head upgrade in January of last year. Then, in September, we got to see the unveiling of the Root, a remote control device that allows users to monitor, control and share prints via wired or wireless network, and the Tree, a sturdy shelving unit designed to house multiple Robox printers, at the TCT Show, as you can see in the video below:

Today, CEL is launching the new accessories, along with the Mote, a touchscreen interface for the Root, via a new Kickstarter campaign.

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Elsworthy holds a Root next to a Tree at TCT Show [Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

Each component can be used on its own or with the others, depending on the needs of the user.

“Although a typical user will have just one Robox, Root is a really exciting addition to the system. Users can remotely start and stop prints even when the printer is in another room,” said CEL CEO and Robox creator Chris Elsworthy. “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.

“In a business environment, or where there are multiple Robox units available, these new systems will make prototyping and development much more efficient. 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.”

Root is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, and can be connected to a network via a computer, tablet, smartphone, or the Mote. By attaching Mote to a Tree, a standalone print farm can be created for an entire office, according to CEL.

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Chris Elsworthy shows off the Root at TCT Show in October. [Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

CEL is also getting into distributed manufacturing. The company is partnering with electronics distributor RS Components, as well as filament manufacturer Polymaker, and will be teaming up with local makers and services to distribute the Root, Mote and Tree, reducing transportation costs.

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

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CEL is trying to raise £10,000 on Kickstarter, and is offering plenty of incentives for backers. Campaign supporters can receive the Root for a reduced cost of only £79 or £89, or the Root and Mote for £129 or £139. The Tree is also being offered as a reward at a much lower cost than its expected retail, and comes in either a three- or five-shelf version, with material options of birch or black laminate. Additional package deals are available as rewards, as is the RoboxDual.

Check out the Kickstarter video below:

Discuss in the CEL Robox forum at 3DPB.com.

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