When the 3D printing movement was just a teenager in 2012, Robo 3D with their first 3D printer got remarkable Kickstarter success. In what doubtlessly became a motivation for several 3D printing startups that would come to count on crowdfunding, they managed to raise an outstanding $650k for their Robo 3D printer. Now, the San Diego manufacturer has come back to its kickstarter roots for the Robo C2 and the Robo R2 smart 3D printers, which are faster, smarter and completely accessibly through an easy and comprehensive iOS app. And they look incredible, naturally.
We can say that, this is certainly the start of a new chapter as well for the spectacular successful desktop 3D printer developer. Similar to numerous people like us, they began as a group of guys playing with hardware in their garage years ago. An outstanding model of its time, the original Robo 3D printer, placed them on a path to success and growth in due course. For Robo 3D, 2015 was a very successful year as their revenues doubled and they even secured a $3.6m investment round with the help of many venture capitalists. They have more than 30 employees in their team at present.
Therefore, it could be expected that Robo was working on something new. Besides, a glimpse of their forthcoming hardware was also shared by them at CES in the beginning of the year. However, the two new additions to their product line look even better than expected. During a back-to-basics, inside-out R&D process expected to create the next generation of desktop 3D printers has been used to develop them both. Particularly, their sleek exteriors are impeccable examples of how a 3D printer should look like anno 2017. In addition to this, it also showcases Robo’s new brand, with a shorter name (previously called Robo 3D), a new logo and a very modern look.
However, it is not exterior that counts when judging a 3D printer, instead interior matters. And there, Robo is betting it all on accessibility in the shape of Wi-Fi connectivity and a platform that is completely controllable through an iOS app and touchscreen. According to its creators, the 3D printing revolution must grow beyond the specialized consumer market and provide a “more inclusive experience regardless of age or skill level — whether the making happens at home, in the workplace or in the classroom,” as per them. “And with the new Robo C2 and Robo R2, that aim is realized right out of the box — giving anyone with an idea, a vision or a purpose the tool needed to help turn their passion into a physical reality, as quickly and as easily as possible right from a mobile device.”
Obviously, that new level of accessibility depends upon the Robo app to a great extent. While some other developers already enable 3D modelling or 3D print monitoring through an app, Robo provides its users the opportunity to interact and control the Robo C2 and Robo R2 3D printers through their iPhones without a glitch.
As they said:
“The app lets you connect and print right from your mobile device, monitor the progress of every print in real time, manage multiple prints and printers at once, connect to cloud libraries and access thousands of 3D models, make in-app purchases (filaments, accessories, print kits and more) and get access to 24/7 support and helpful tutorials.”
The Robo C2 and Robo R2 not only offers smoother user experience, but have also been designed in such a way that they provide a state-of-the-art desktop experience. This implies that increased 3D printing accuracy (20-300 micron resolution), shorter print times (print speeds of up to 16 mm3/s per second), near complete automation and a 12-month Autodesk Fusion 360 subscription. The smaller Robo C2 3D printer features a 3.5 inch touch screen and automatic print bed levelling systems and also offers a compact 5 x 5 x 6 inch print volume. A filament tracking system will let users know when they are running out of filament and dual high-speed fans will ensure print accuracy. Above all, it is compatible with about every filament that doesn’t need a heated print bed. As per its designers,
“Robo C2 is engineered to fit any space with its small footprint, while still delivering a product that can scale nearly any project with the utmost detail and efficiency.”
The successor to the Robo R1+PLUS, the larger Robo R2 offers all of that and more, with a spacious 8 x 8 x 10 build area including a heated printbed. Furthermore, it has enough space for an optional second printhead and is compatible with over 30 diverse 3D printing filaments. Robo R2 is a seamless option for more demanding 3D printing projects combined with its on-board camera for remote print monitoring.
Both 3D printers will provide an extremely satisfactory user experience as per co-founder Braydon Moreno:
“Robo C2 and Robo R2 will continue empowering people to make the imagined real as they bring their ideas to life with our simple-to- use technologies and create anything from prototypes of new products, to household items, to customized and personalized pieces. We know the future of 3D printing is bright and that future’s now with these two new products — coupled with the ride that is the Robolution.”
With the Robo C2 ready to be launched in November and with the Robo R2 hot on its heels in January 2017, you all must be thinking why are they coming back to Kickstarter years after their original success? As unveiled by the Robo team, they want to stay true to their roots and provide their loyal clients exclusive rewards and discount pricing on a limited run of new models. Relying on the selected packages, backers can get a discount of up to $300 on Kickstarter, with the Robo C2 starting at $499 and the Robo R2 at $999.