Chris-Elsworthy- Dyselxia- Inventor-Robox“One of the driving forces behind this project is that my oldest son is also quite badly dyslexic, but he exceeds in making things and he’s already very good at analyzing objects to see how things work – he takes them apart.”

Fernette Eide of Dyslexic Advantage talks to dyslexic CEO inventor of the 3d printer ROBOX to learn how he grew up making things, went on to school in industrial design, worked as a corporate designer, then as a startup, and finally started his own company CEL-ROBOX.

From 3D print magazine: “I have dyslexia. Reading, writing, remembering and organizing are all difficult for me, and for the early part of my life – certainly until I was an adult – people, teachers in particular, labelled me as lazy and stupid until the point I was officially ‘diagnosed’. As such, I struggled throughout school with the more academic subjects, exams were a nightmare and convincing teachers that I was honestly trying hard was a challenge. I hated school and education as a consequence, because years ago dyslexia was not commonly understood.

However, one skill I have always had is creativity, and as I found it harder to achieve great things academFFically I put all of my energy into making, building and creating. I come from a very creative family, so my Dad and I would build and construct anything from cars to model airplanes to DIY projects around the house. What I wasn’t able to learn through textbooks I learned with my hands, tinkering nonstop to uncover the secret anatomy of nearby machines, gadgets, and electronics.”

Chris created ROBOX with dyslexic children in mind: “3D printing,…by its very nature, it engages with minds that are inherently creative, allowing users to create something with extraordinary detail and precision without having the necessary skill set to manufacture with traditional tools and materials. It enables users the ability to edit, recreate, and make a model better and better, allowing those with dyslexia to directly engage with a language they understand—visuals. It’s also a safe medium to let children explore more hands-on technical fields as well. While you can’t give a Stanley knife and a saw to a child, you can give them a 3D printer to explore and tinker, as most come with safety features today that prevent access to components when hot (our printer, Robox, for instance has this security feature).”

Here’s a excerpt of my interview with Chris as he describes how he grew up making things.

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