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DAB PrintBot Jr. Update.

Posted by DAB Top Member Dec 29, 2014

Hi All,


I finally got a good print yesterday.

It turns out that Slicer will over ride you printer settings unless you explicitly tell it not to.

I also reduced the verticle slice size and increased the extruder temperature.


I also set up the printer for 80% fill for the open areas and this gave the final print the solidity I was looking for.


Now I can start the process of looking at designs to try for the neck brace.


More later.




This Roadtest has been done on an "Engineering Release" version of the product so there may be differences to the released product


For my first few prints I thought I'd make some toys for the family, the results would not be critical and they should give the printer a bit of a work out.


Before each print the printer does a short purge of the print material and cleans the tip using the little wiper at the front, it's important to clean this off periodically otherwise the nozzle will grab take this blob of plastic away with it on the next print and that will make a right mess.


Train Track


As this print started up, I knew that I did not have good adhesion to the bed but I thought I continue anyway as so far I'd not managed to print anything at all.


Although this was a bit touch and go to start with but the nozzles did not snag on the flapping ends.


The bridging for the trackbed was successful and the part infill worked well, however as the part continued to print the corners started to lift off the bed.


However, given that this was just a toy the end results were not too important, the end results are below.

Top, side and pre-tidied bottom. Once the "brim" had been trimmed off with the supplied chisels the bottom of the part looked pretty respectable.

FinshedTop.jpg FinishedSide.jpgFinishedBottom.jpg


Balanced Die


This part was selected to check dimensional accuracy, I'll be writing a further post on that once I've printed some other parts.

I scaled this model so that it would be 30mm so that I could then measure that it was accurately reproduced. There was good adhesion to the bed and it seemed to start ok, however as the print progressed it was clear that the corners were curling up again as the printer was rubbing against these as it printed the perimeter. Apart from this the print went well.


The One was the Top of the print with the Six being the layer lying on the bed.



Motorbike Jigsaw


The model told me that it was going to take 7hrs to print so I thought I'd scale it to 50% that also allowed me to put all of the parts on the bed rather than having it split over three prints, as previous mentioned the software did not managed to auto layout the parts.


Before I printed this one I had a horrific noise from the printer, it sounded like the extruder was slipping, I managed to pause before any serious problem occurred. The filament would not feed after this so I ejected it chopped off everything that felt rough and re-fed the filament, the printer seemed to load correctly after that. However, it turned out that all was not fine and my bowden tube had popped out of the printer and the filament rather than going into the head was spooling out into the build chamber.


CEL responded quickly to my twitter message and are sending me an upgraded tube which looks a bit like the following.



Robox to the rescue

Posted by dougw Top Member Dec 25, 2014

Christmas day - my daughter closes the car door on her coat which has her cell phone in the pocket. This kills the phone. I happen to have an slightly older unlocked phone that I use less than once per month so we simply swap SIM cards right? - but the cards are not compatible. She has a Micro SIM card and I have a Mini SIM card. It is Christmas Day, so no stores are open to buy an adapter. But Wait, I'm just road testing a Cel Robox 3D printer - why not print off an adapter. Great - 3 minutes later I have clear PLA micro to mini adapter and instantly the old phone has all my daughter's contacts in cool is that? - awesome.

So suddenly everyone is a big fan of the new 3D printer.

Merry Christmas is back on!


I have been road testing a Cel Robox 3D printer for a few days now and having a great time exploring the possibilities and printing interesting items.

In keeping with the season I thought I would print a star for our Christmas tree. It came out great, so I stuck it on a plastic rod so it could be secured to the tree. However as soon as my granddaughter saw it she immediately transformed it into a magic wand and it never did make it to the tree. The great thing about having a printer is that you can just print another one, so I modified it a bit and reprinted.

Both stars are printed with "clear" PLA and both designs have embedded light pipes in their design which are visible in the picture below, even though internal lighting has not been added yet.


Here is a shot of the Magic Wand:


You can see my review of the Robox here:

And some other 3D printing projects here:

Tangible Badges - The 3D Tangible Badge Project

and Here:

Tis The Season For Arduino

and here:

Sudden Impact - Crown Tools and Heart Reactor - updates 1-39

and here:

Robox to the rescue

and here:

Enocean 3d Printed Cases


This Roadtest has been done on an "Engineering Release" version of the product so there may be differences to the released product


The Robox case and mechanism feels very robust, with a mix of metal and plastic, it's held together with lots of hex socket screws. The case is split into two parts with the reel and electronics on the left and the printing space on the right. The top, front and right side provide great viewing area to see the printing in process.


The printer has an RGB light at the top and I was initially a bit sceptical about the use of this. However given that you could run multiple printers from the same computer it could be useful to colour code each one as the colour is displayed both by the light and on the software so you could use them for identification.



The door lifts up and out of the way and has a good thickness to it so also feels robust.

RoboxDoorMechanism.jpg RoboxDoorLock.jpg

The door locking mechanism is quite elegant in that it is opened by moving the bed all the way to the front. The software won't let you unlock the door if the bed or heat are too hot and a warning is displayed on the screen.


The reel holder has a large spindle with locking pins to hold the reel in place. There are two lots of contacts on the reel so it's not possible to mount it incorrectly, the smart reels seem to have a small chip (eeprom) that stores the settings for that material. The middle of the spindle acts as a status light and control button, one press to pause and a long press to eject the filament. The holes for the filament are large and funnel shaped so it's easy to load the filament into place.

RoboxSpoolHolder.jpg Spool.jpgSmartSpoolElectronics.jpg

The bed is moved with a belt as is the X axis, all three axis are supported by metal rods and linear bearings. The Z axis is driven by a screw thread.


The bed itself is heated with a mains powered heater under the bed, on top of this sits a simple sheet which can be easily unclipped to be replaced or repaired.


The front edge of the bed is a wiper which is used to clean the nozzles before each print. The front of the printer case also unclips so you can tip out any plastic pieces that have fallen off the bed and down one of the slots.


The head has dual nozzles the fine size is used for the outside and the larger head is used to fill the shapes. This means that you get faster printing speeds without sacrificing the detail. These are on a rocker so that the heads move up when not in use. I had to take the head off to upgrade the Bowden tube so here's some photos of it up close.


The head has a fan on the top to control the cooling of the nozzles and filament, there is also a larger fan on the top of the printer by the power supply to rapidly evacuate the hot air once the print is complete. By controlling these two fan the build temperature can be controlled. This is all done automatically for you but you can over-ride the default temperatures if you like.


As you might tell this particular print has an issue with the back edge curling up from the bed so it turned out a bit misshapen. I'll write up another article on the different things I print and any issues I have.


A side effect of a problem I've had with the bowden tube (the tube that feeds the filament) is that I've got some photos of inside the electronics compartment. The brains of this model is an Atmel micro-controller. You can see in the last picture the bowden tube that's no longer attached to the extruder.



This Roadtest has been done on an "Engineering Release" version of the product so there may be differences to the released product

As per the software the documentation looks smart and professional but needs a little polishing to get it perfect. The following might sound a little pedantic but please don't think that I'm being negative, my comments are there so things can be improved.


The first bit of documentation you'll see is the wrapper on the box. That's followed by a couple of quick notes on the flaps to help you get the printer out of the box.

The "quick start" guide repeats these instructions but mentioned a "plastic handle" on the accessories box, this box actually has two finger holes not a handle. There's also a mention of the warranty card on the card insert but a different reference to that being on the printer bed, although in my case a warranty card was not provided.


On the package content there is mention of a axis lubricant and tweezers, neither of these were in the package, I have yet to ascertain if this is an issue but I do have both a variety of lubricants ans tweezers if I need them. Again being slightly pedantic, it's not actually possible to check the contents of the packages until after unpacking which is the next step.


My next issue is slightly more significant, on step 4/5 it was not possible to open the door as the bed had not been homed to the front. This meant that the door latch had locked the door shut. Luckily I spotted this and released the catch (with a selected kitchen implement) rather than forcing the door open. I don't know if this was an issue with the long journey or if the printer had simply not been put away properly as the bed was right at the back.


On step 5 there is a mention of a blue clip for the print head this was white in my version and the print head was not secured to the right as per the diagram but was in the middle. Again I don't know if this is an issue with the transatlantic journey that the printer had undertaken.


A couple of minor differences on the diagram in step 5 is that the microSD Card has a cover on the printer but not in the illustration, the power switch and power socket are the other way around to the diagram.


The explanation of the components is clear and everything exists as expected.


As I'd already installed the software from the web I thought I'd uninstall and re-install from the provided USB. The USB has software, models and manuals as well as linked which I checked worked ok.


The screenshot for the final step is also slightly out as there is an option to run the software from this menu. The USB stick had a version 1.1 of the manual on it with several pages reporting that they were not complete, the 1.2 version could be downloaded from the web and had these omissions fixed although they still said 1.1 on the front cover.


The software provided appeared to be a beta version "AutoMaker-beta-installer-windows.exe" but I thought I'd try it to see if the autoupdate worked. The instruction suggest that there will be a language option but on both the provided and downloaded version this does not exist.


The autoupdater worked successfully and downloaded and installed the version 1.00.17 from the web. As mentioned previously the account registration page was not displayed, later when looking at the USB stick there does seem to be a PDF warranty card. The USB stick also contains a manual but there is a newer version on the website.


I continued to the next step and attached the USB and power connectors as mentioned in the instructions the drivers load at this point. I turned on the power and the AutoMaker software prompted me to update the Roxobox Firmware.


The firmware rapidly installed and the printer status was reported.


There was a reel of white PLA and a reel of green ABS provided in sealed but resealable ziplock bags.


I thought I'd try the PLA so I cut the filament as described and fed it into the top slot, the instructions suggested these are numbered but that was not the case for my printer. I fed the filament in and there was a whirring noise but the filament did not get pulled it. I pulled it out and tried again, this time it was pulled so I clipped the reel into place and was told that the reel had been updated and no action was required.


Warning: Don't be too hasty to clip the reel in place, wait till it's finished pulling in the filament before clipping in the reel otherwise it won't let you continue. The printer is not very good at telling you that it's in this state and I did manage to get it into this situation a second time (without trying very hard). I turned it on and off then ejected and re-loaded the spool.


My first print failed to stick to the bed but luckily I spotted that and pressed the pause button in the middle of the reel. I tried purging the head and by the time that had completed both nozzles were sticking correctly. So I then tried to print a little version of the vase model that had been supplied. This also failed with one corner sticking up but otherwise a good print. So my next print I tried another test piece that was provided "test_150sq.stl", this also failed badly with the job not sticking at all.

2014-12-22 21.14.15.jpg

So a poor start, back to the manual to see if / how the bed needs cleaning and also to review the forums to see recommendations for getting PLA to stick to the bed.


The forums are relatively quiet but there is a good support site with detailed walk throughs for various processes such as changing a head or reattaching the Bowden tube. So in summary the documentation is good but some of it just needs a few updates.


This Roadtest has been done on an "Engineering Release" version of the product so there may be differences to the released product


Fellow roadtester dougw mentioned that he'd had to upgrade his video card to run the automaker software so I thought I'd also check my machine which is a Dell OptiPlex 755 from a few years back. It's the ultra small form factor so there's no option to do any upgrades.


I downloaded the Automaker software and it reported a problem.


I had to register online to get access to the support site and then found the following issue:


"I am running Windows and AutoMaker tells me that my computer does not satisfy the 3D requirements"
"AutoMaker runs on JavaFX, which requires a certain minimum level of 3D support on your PC. Please make sure that the appropriate video drivers for your PC are installed and fully up-to-date. We have tested this successfully on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8.1. We expect there not to be any problems with a modern PC but if you continue to experience difficulties after updating your video driver then please contact us."


My machine appears to meet the requirements on paper so it's a bit annoying that this error occurs. I tried Dell, Intel and Windows to ensure I had the latest drivers but no joy. As requested I let them know but it would appear my only option is to use a different computer for this.

Luckily my work laptop did not have the same issue.

For my first experiment with the software I loaded up some motorbike parts.

You'll notice that some of the parts are blue and some orange. This is because the check to determine if parts are overlapping is using a bounding box rather than the actual component. It seems fairly straightforward to move the parts about but when scaling and rotating the parts you need to press Enter or Tab (rather than clicking on the next field) or the changes don't take. You can resize either by typing in new dimensions or by using the transforms, it might be nice to do this using the mouse too. I tried auto positioning these parts but it did not manage to successfully position the seven components on the bed although there was plenty of space when they had been scaled to 50%.


I failed to manage to save the layout as the menu that was supposed to allow the saving did not seem to exist, there is supposed to be a registration screen when the software is first started but that did not appear, the "preferences" button also does not seem to be available.


The "toolbar" buttons along the bottom don't seem to match the manual, with the "group" button missing, some tooltips here would have been nice too.


The right arrow moves you forward in the workflow but disappears if the printer is not ready e.g. the filament is not fed.


The printer status screen allows you to see the temperatures of the bed, head and ambient temperature as well as jog controls for the head position, and switches for the fan and lights. There are some advanced controls on the right that allow you to open and close the needle valves on the head but you should not need to use those.


The other issue I have is that the advanced screen is a bit too well hidden. If you look in the screenshot above you will see 3 small circles between the status pane and printer picture on the right. This button opens up the diagnostic tab with the serial number etc of the printer.


The time estimates for printing seem a little optimistic, the time estimate was 2hrs 30 but the print time was 2hrs 45 although I did not do a particularly accurate timing, a follow up test seemed to be fairly accurate being just a few minutes longer than estimate.


So my first impressions are mixed, the software looks quite nicely designed but perhaps not quite as polished as it needs to be. Hopefully my missing menus will appear once the printer is attached.

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DAB Printerbot Jr. Update

Posted by DAB Top Member Dec 19, 2014

I took this picture to show everyone what I mean when I talk about threading.



The black object came with the printer to show what the printer made before it was shipped.

The white object is my test print.  While they look similar,  I can separate the layers with my thumb nail, so they are not solidly fused as they are with the black print.


So my next print I will adjust the vertical print size so that the layers are more compressed.  From the picture, you can see that I am  very close to having it fully printing solid objects.





DAB 3D Printer update.

Posted by DAB Top Member Dec 16, 2014

Hi All,


I managed to make some time to rerun the 3D printed object with the higher temperature and the default feed rate.


The final print still had a threading texture, but when I looked closely, I could see the separation between each layer.


So at this point, I need to go back and look at the settings for each layer.  Clearly the steps are larger than they should be.


I will post another update after I have some time to look over the settings and double check the printer requirements.


More later,




Another DAB 3D Printer Update

Posted by DAB Top Member Dec 12, 2014

Hi All,


I finally had some time to make some adjustments to the Printerbot Jr.

Unfortunately I changed two things at once, so I will need to run another test.


To recap, the last part print test I ran resulted in a product where the bottom layers did not fuse together, causing the layers to separate.

Following the suggestions from some of the members, I adjusted the injector temperature to 206 degrees.

That change will keep the filament at a higher temperature as it flows out of the nozzle and onto the printed part.

I also changed the federate to 50 instead of 100.  The federate controls the amount of filament that is pushed into the injector.  I now realize that I made a dumb mistake, I should have increased it, not decreased it.


The result was still a little stringy at the bottom, but the upper print looked to be more solid, so I am going to set the federate back to its default value to see if I get a better print.


So I am making progress towards getting a printed part with the correct level of fusion.


Like any tool, the 3D printer takes time to understand and use properly.

From my experience, you need to play with the settings to get things to the point were you like the print.


I was disappointed that there was not a note from the factory identifying the settings used for the test print the shipped.

Those settings would give me a data point for where the printer needed to be set up.

So do not expect an assembled and ready to run printer to be 100% ready.   Yes it does print, but it is not quite ready yet.


More later,


element 14 bestows prestigious badges on members, with different badges signifying various accomplishments.

This project is an attempt materialize these badges, but rather than simply printing out a colour image of the badges this project will design and print 3D medallions.

To showcase the various badges on the desktop, a business card holder was designed that can accommodate up to 6 medallions, one in each of the circular pockets.

Here is an image of the card holder and some images of typical 3D badges:


Hopefully it will be obvious which badge each of these 3D objects represents ....




These objects were designed in 123D Design from Autodesk.

Here you can see some animations of the objects...


Is there any interest in having element 14 supply such medallions?

What size is big enough to showcase the accomplishment without being too ostentatious?

Here is a picture of a first attempt to 3D print the badges - I did not select the correct fill factor, so some parts are not filled in properly - I will post better versions as I get them...and maybe add a little paint.


Update: Here are the same prints with a little paint on them:


These were printed using a Cel Robox printer - you can view my video review and some other prints here:

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