element14 launches affordable 3D printer from kickstarter project Robox

element14 has today launched the first truly plug and print 3D printer from Robox. The Robox printer is ideal for rapid prototyping in the electronics design and test environment.

A proprietary dual-head print nozzle design improves print speeds by up to element14_logo_It Voice300% compared to other printers. One nozzle is designed to print in detail, while the other is able to ‘fill in’ larger areas at much higher speeds; the Robox’s needle-valve system stops ‘ooze’ and ‘stringing’ from the nozzles, ensuring speed and quality. The Robox can print super-fine 0.02mm layers.

Multicolour printing: Robox users can pause a print part-way through and swap out the filament being used – allowing for multi-colour 3D printing.

The smartest print bed around: a proprietary bed probing mechanism automatically detects and corrects the gantry to ensure it is always parallel and the first layer of whatever is being printed adheres evenly; the bed itself is made from a unique material, which adheres to the hot plastic while a print is taking place, but allows the user to ‘pop’ the printed object off when the plastic it is made of cools and shrinks slightly post-print.

A super-intelligent reel system: microchips on the rolls of filament let the printer know exactly what material it’s working with; a pioneering closed-feedback loop and dual-pinch-wheel extrusion system makes sure that the filament is fed to the print-head evenly.
Supremely easy-to-use software that means it really is plug and print. Users simply ‘add’ .stl models to an on-screen visualisation of the print bed and hit ‘print’; the software also allows users to create 3D printing projects incorporating multiple print jobs represented on a range of ‘tabs’

Future-proof design: the Robox has space for a second extruder that will eventually allow dual-colour printing and/or the ability to print with different materials simultaneously. Its unique HeadLock system means that different heads can be quickly assembled to perform a range of different functions, meaning that the Robox is more of a micro-manufacturing system than a 3D printer.

Chris Godfrey, Global Product Director Test & Tools at element14, said: “3D printing is an exciting new technology that has many implications for the electronics sector. 3D printing allows short production runs to be more efficient than ever before facilitating rapid prototyping in design which reduces the design engineer’s time to market.”

The Robox 3D printer is available from element14 in Europe and It will be on the element14 stand at electronica Hall A5:558 on 13th and 14th November for visitors to see it in action.

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