Robo C2 3D printer review

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The Robo C2 printer is the new addition of the Robo to the 3D printer world. It is small in size so it can fit small spaces in the home environment and operate efficiently in that space.

Like their R1 printer, the first version released is a raw product that can use some “modding” to get it fully useful. The company charm relies on producing open platform with open source software (and hardware). Since it is open, every 3D printer can literally open the printer and change things as they pleased. Communicating with company forums allow 3D printers to share and learn from each other experience.

As with the previous printer they produce, this product starts as “Kickstarter” project. Kickstarter project is a business model where startups can fund their product development by a crowd of people interested in the product and willing to put money upfront and get the product when it is released. This business model allows a startup to operate without funding.

The printer itself is small and compact so it can fit a home space such as shelves. The print volume is small 5x5x6’’ but still be enough for most prints. It comes with WIFI connectivity and an Octoprint over Raspberry pi server installed. This allows accessing the printer from the local network like any other wireless printer and controlling its operation. This is a very significant feature as previous prints required physically connecting to the printer. It also has touch screen control panel and SD card reader – features that were missed in the R1 printer. The touch screen is a resistive touch rather than capacitive. (Resistive screens require a firm press). This is not a significant drawback as most of the printer operation will be done remotely from computers and tablets.

The Raspberry pi is a small open source Linux machine and you can open a session to it using ssh. Doing this you can see that the hardware is using ABL on Marlin 1.1.0 RC6.

Robo starts to ship C2 printer at the start of 2017, and seems to “save” on wide product testing and feedback – results in many printer returns and complaints. This is their go to market approach and it seems to be working. The website’s C2 documentation is not yet available at the time of writing. Some problem reported:

  1. Z axis wizard glitch cause extruder to smash in the printing bed.
  2. The panel does not light up.
  3. The extruder is not secured in place and the filament pushes it out.

The bed is not heated. This is probably the first modding needed. They supply the printer with 9-bed covers that suppose to stick to the model printed. One user reported that this is not the case and he needed to buy blue tape for that. The best modding here is to get the Buildtak sheet and use it instead. Since they supply 6.6×6.5’’ you need to cut 1 inches on every size of the Buildtak sheet to make it fit the C2 bed.

Automatic self-leveling feature measures the bed position in 9 places and calibrates the print for any bed tilt.

The Raspberry pi computer allows adding a camera to it. It works well on connecting. The application does not sense it, but it will be probably done in the future.

The printer is noisy. Some of it comes from the fan. Others come from the bed movement. The printer case seems to amplify the noise. I believe it will be fixed (moded) in the near future.

Robo release cool projects adapted to its printers such as drones. Having such a printer ensures you get many cool projects to print and use.

This printer is very useful to makers and printers wanting to have an assembled base system that can be modified easily when desired. With a price tag of $700, it is a very cost effective printer for home use.

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