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CEL Robox

By Steph Grimes / Nov 7, 2016

CEL Robox
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CEL Robox

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Aesthetically speaking, the Robox makes a very good first impression as a well-designed and visually appealing machine. With a sleek blue and black look that made the machine seem friendly and approachable, I was drawn to this printer and eager to begin testing to see if the functionality and quality matched my first impression. Spoiler Alert: My excitement and admiration for this machine only grew throughout testing.

CEL claims that the Robox is a truly “Plug and Play” machine, and I was pleasantly surprised that this claim held true. The setup could not have been simpler and the documentation was detailed and thorough. Features like automatic bed leveling, easy-to-use software, filament auto-load, and SmartReel filament technology made setup a breeze and very beginner friendly.

The Robox AutoMaker software is some of the best 3D printer control software I’ve seen. It’s intuitive, easy-to-navigate, and informative, and all of the advanced settings and features a more advanced user would want are accessible, but “tucked away” so that the main view remains straightforward and simple.

Overall, the Robox produced consistent and reliable prints on the default settings with no tweaks or changes made for fine-tuning. Prints adhered well to the bed during printing, but were easy to remove, usually without needing a tool.

The Robox has quite a few unique features, which enhance the overall user experience and make this machine appealing. One of these features is the SmartReel technology used on Robox filament. The filament spool contains a re-writable microchip that stores data about the filament including material type, color, temperature settings, and how much filament is on the reel. Once loaded, AutoMaker immediately recognizes the material you are using through the SmartReel and automatically loads the proper settings. While SmartReel definitely makes startup easier, users are not locked into using proprietary filament. The Robox is compatible with any brand PLA, ABS, or HIPS filament.

Another unique feature of the Robox is the printer head. The machine ships with a single material, dual-nozzle head, which includes a small 0.3mm nozzle and a larger 0.8mm nozzle all in one. This can be swapped out for a dual material head for printing in two materials, like removable support material or multi-colored prints. Their print head technology is “tool-less”, which makes switching between the two heads as easy as changing out ink cartridges on an ink-jet printer.

The only problem I encountered was with the SafeLock enclosure. The chamber door is locked when a print begins and remains locked until the chamber cools down. It’s all controlled by the software and uses the bed to actually pop the door open. Many times, once a print cycle was complete, the door would not unlock. The “Door Open” option in AutoMaker wouldn’t work either, and I ended up having to do a hard reboot to get the door to finally open. I reached out to Robox support for assistance with this issue and they let me know that there was an advanced option to disable the SafeLock feature in AutoMaker.

The Robox is a great printer for someone new to 3D printing or someone who doesn’t want to become a technical expert to start printing. This machine is also a fantastic fit for educators with its plug-and-play setup coupled with reliable and consistent prints. The dual extrusion upgrade may also appeal to makers and make it worth adding this printer to their workshop.

Specs
CEL Robox CEL
Manufacturer:Cel
Price as Tested:$1,326
Build Volume:210×150×100mm
Bed Style:Heated bed with PEI surface
Filament Size:1.75mm
Temperature Control:Yes, bed (150°C max); nozzle (300°C max)
Print Untethered:Yes (unplug USB after starting print)
Onboard Controls:No (power switch only)
Host/Slicer Software:Cel AutoMaker Software (proprietary)
OS:Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux
Firmware:Proprietary
Open Software:No
Open Hardware:No
Maximum Decibels:70.3

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Why to Buy

The Robox is a great printer for anyone just starting out with 3D printing or looking for reliability and ease in their 3D printing experience. With lots of great features baked in, you’d love having this machine on your desktop.

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Pro Tips

For experienced users or environments where there are no concerns about accessing the heated elements or disturbing a print, turn off SafeLock for easy access to the enclosure.

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