Kitronik is focused on filling any void they can find as far as supplying and making technology and electronics accessible to those who need it–and putting 3D printing tools into the hands of kids and expanding the minds of young students is obviously a win all around. Kids are enthusiastic to learn about the new technology but often it’s cost-prohibitive as schools cannot work the purchasing of equipment into their budgets. Even if they could, many are skeptical as to who would teach it—as many of the teachers are not yet educated comprehensively in both digital design and 3D printing, as well as maintaining and operating the equipment.
Kitronik has a background in supplying technology comprehensively to curricula. Founders Geoff Hampson and Kevin Spurr actually got their start with Kitronik after creating a line of customized electronic project kits for the National Curriculum programs of study for Design and Technology at Key Stages 3 and 4. From this journey, they began also completely connecting the dots, evolving into supplying products to the hobbyist and enthusiast market as well.
“We wanted to work with Kitronik as they have always impressed us with their enthusiasm for inspiring young people to become interested in electronics and design and technology,” said Chris Elsworthy, managing director of CEL Robox. “The company has a fantastic resource base and range of projects available which is why they are so popular with schools across the UK. Pooling our resources and products together will enable people to express their creativity and develop really interesting 3D printed projects.”
Kitronik is composed of a team of enthusiastic and ‘keen makers,’ so 3D printing and design is a hot topic all around at the company, where sixty percent of the products they sell are actually from their own designs. They can also boast sales of over one million project kits sold to date.
Robox, home to the RBX01 Robox 3D Printer, is one of the leaders in Britain when it comes to 3D printing technology. Because both Kitronik and Robox cater dually to educational settings and the individual hobbyist, shaking hands on a deal to work together makes perfect sense with Kitronik’s current experience in matching over 3,000 schools with resources—and the incredible, high-quality hardware resources that Robox has to offer kids and teachers, as well as hobbyists.
“In our view the Robox 3D printer is perfect for the classroom and also hobby 3D printer users because of its affordability and two year warranty, but also due to its unique features. It has a dual-nozzle system which allows printing in an extremely wide range of resolution and at print speeds up to 300% faster than the closest competitors,” said Kevin Spurr, co-founder of Kitronik. “It also features the ability to pause and resume print jobs, meaning mistakes can be corrected without having to start again, perfect for school use.”
The RBX01 Robox 3D printer is available through Kitronik in the UK for £833.25 excluding VAT (£999 including VAT). Included in that purchase are:
- RBX01 Robox 3D Printer
- One reel of filament
- Instruction manual
- Two-year warranty
- AutoMaker software
- USB stick and cable
- High temperature lubricant
“The printer is constructed very well and it has a closing lid which is essential for classroom use as it will be used by children,” continues Spurr. “During the printing process, this lid locks into place which is important as the print bed and head can get extremely hot. This reduces the risk of accidents and also the print process from being affected by drafts from open windows in the classroom.”
The ultimate hope for all, aside from good business and establishing partnerships as well as supporting innovation, is that all involved are able to enjoy a sense of responsibility in helping to turn out students who are well-rounded with comprehensive training in the curricula which will make their résumés appealing to employers after graduation. It’s not lost on many of us these days that employers are seeking those with talent and skill in the areas of technology like 3D design and 3D printing, and that currently many of those seats are empty, waiting for skilled young workers.
Aside from business partnerships, school and student accolades, and talk of graduates and résumés, there is also just the pure joy and reward that kids get out of creating and innovating—and watching an idea turn from concept to 3D design to a tangible 3D print that can work as a functional tool, or part of one, if desired.
“Inspiring people to create their own electronics products, especially younger people, is a founding principle of Kitronik,” said Spurr. “We think that creating products in the classroom through a combination of Kitronik kits & resources and Robox 3D printers can also help pupils become interested in technology, make 3D printing a practical reality for schools and motivate pupils to take their interest in technology further.”
So far, 5000 schools in the UK have been contacted regarding the program that will result from the partnership between Kitronik and Robox.