Until now, 3D printers have been an extremely niche product in the consumer gadgets world, but a familiar brand is now hoping to bring 3D printers to a wider audience. On Tuesday, April 6, Anker announced the launch of a new 3D printer under its AnkerMake brand — the AnkerMake M5. For now, the product is only available via Kickstarter, but within hours of its launch, the campaign was already fully funded. As of 2 p.m. ET, more than 2,800 backers had pledged $1.6 million to the project.
The best 3D printers offer some pretty neat opportunities for creative expression. Wouldn’t it be cool to print yourself a phone case? Or perhaps a small knob or fixture that broke? Even though it’s still largely a niche hobby, companies have been perfecting and evolving the design of 3D printers.
However, one of the biggest problems preventing their widespread adoption is the time it takes to print. Even for small creations, users have to wait a substantial amount of time before their object is ready, which is why Anker’s new 3D printer is mighty interesting. Anker is already known for its fast-charging solutions, smart home devices and dash cams, and now the company is offering a more consumer-friendly 3D printer.
Anker claims that the new AnkerMake M5 is capable of 5x the printing speed of the competition. But more importantly, this product has the potential to bring 3D printing to the mainstream. Right now, the AnkerMake M5 3D printer is available through Kickstarter in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany; Anker says it will be priced at $499.
SPY had the chance to see the AnkerMake M5 printer in action at a recent press event in New York City, and you can check our video of the printer and our initial reactions below.
AnkerMake M5: Specifications
- 5X industry average print speed (250 mm/s in standard print mode)
- 2,500 mm/s² in accelerated print mode
- AI print monitoring with auto shut-off
- Integrated HD cam with remote viewing
- Supports WiFi and USB connectivity
- Weight: 12.4 kg / 27.3 lb
- Measurement: 502x438x470 mm / 19.76×17.24×18.50 inches
What We Love About The AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
We got a first look at the unit in action at an event in New York City. From what we saw, it didn’t disappoint with its fast 3D printing speeds. Anker claims that it’s been designed to reduce printing time by up to 70%. Most of today’s consumer-grade 3D printers operate at slower speeds, due to the precision and accuracy that’s needed.
Needless to say, we were pretty surprised by how fast it was printing. At certain points, the movement of the AnkerMark M5 seemed to shake the table it was on due to how fast it was moving, but it didn’t affect the results. Although, it’s worth mentioning that it features an aluminum alloy die design to increase the weight of the base — which helps to reduce its center of gravity.
It still takes a decent amount of space on a table, but Anker promises it to be one of the most simple and intuitive 3D printers around. We’re told that the entire setup can be done in three steps and within 15 minutes, since it comes with many user-friendly features like 7 x 7 auto-leveling, PEI soft magnetic printing bed, and much more.
Anker clearly designed the AnkerMark M5 with consumers in mind with other additional features such as an HD camera to monitor issues that arise with the printing. It’ll be useful to watch out for problems like layer splitting or the nozzle plugging. This is helpful because it’ll stop printing to prevent wasting even more time and materials. Furthermore, there’s a webcam that users can access to livestream its printing process, or even create nifty time-lapse videos to share later.
Pricing and Availability
Anker’s entering a new space it hasn’t explored before. That’s why the company has a Kickstarter campaign right now for the AnkerMark M5. If you’re interested, you can snag it for the super early bird price of $429. But just remember that this is a pledge and not a guarantee, so you’ll want to be mindful about that before making a decision.