A big thanks to Element14 and CEL for letting me road test this printer, it's not arrived just yet so here's a video from the IET about the printer.


Gears, shafts and clock parts


I plan to use the CEL Robox 3D Printer to print gear wheels and components for electric clock mechanisms. The fine resolution print head should allow the detail needed to print gears, screw threads, shafts and hands and other parts. The higher print speed should allow different versions to be made quickly and for larger components to be made. I'm interested in dimentional accuracy of the print so plan to use a digital camera and scanner to test that along with some digital calipers.


Specific features of this model to test are:


  • Speed of printing
  • Quality of finish
  • Ease of deployment and packing up
  • Thin items such as the clock hands to check for warping
  • Moving parts such as bearings and concentric shafts to check for accuracy and surface finish


I've also been warned by Nate about issues with the Bowden tube coming out of the housing for which there is a known fix. I'll check that is in place and retrofit it myself if necessary.

There are also some users who have had blocked nozzles which is something I'd like to avoid.



Using the provided software Automaker is a key part of the roadtest as it controls the setup of the printer. I will likely need other software to create and manipulate models before they are printed.


OpenJsCad is a scriptable STL generator a bit like OpenSCAD but written in Javascript. I've found a gear generator written for that which looks useful.

I've had a quick look at STLView and www.3dvieweronline.com to review files before moving them over to Automaker.



Richard Gain a 3D printer enthusiast has pointed me at some some really challenging prints. Richard printed me some flywheels the other year and I met him briefly at the IMakr London store opening.


Light bulb is a good test of printing overhangs

Temple needs good cooling when it gets to the point at the top

Double helix tests bridging capability


I've also found a nice selection of gears on Thingverse so I'll likely start with those for my test prints before moving onto creating some of my own.


There are also some 3D site which may also provide some models to prints




3D Shapes



One less obvious source is https://market.renderosity.com a site which is more focused on the 3D artist than the 3D printer enthusiast. However they have many files in OBJ format which should be easy to convert to STL. I also have some of my own models from the time when I was making a Flea Circus film which I may try out if I have time.