Anker has taken the wraps off the Kickstarter campaign for the AnkerMake M5, designed to be both fast and accessible to users.
Smartphone accessory maker Anker has announced the AnkerMake M5, a 3D printer with some bold claims behind it. With Anker claiming that the AnkerMake M5 will deliver five times the speed of consumer-focused printers, while also being easy to use for beginners.
Anker Promises Blazing Fast Print Speeds
Anker has ventured into the world of 3D printing to address the pain points of complexity and print speed. It claims to address the latter by promising a print speed of 250mm/s. Interestingly, this is the AnkerMake M5’s default out-of-the-box performance and not the maximum speed achievable with an asterisk pointing to some fine print trickery.
To put this into perspective, most popular 3D printers in its class, such as the Creality Ender-3 and Prusa i3 MK3S+, print at default speeds of 50mm/s. Anker also claims a higher-than-average acceleration value of 2500mm/s2. This should allow the printer to actually achieve its top print speed under real world printing conditions.
Hitting such print speeds is an extremely tall order for i3-style bed-slinger printers, because the massive moving mass of the bed makes fast printing a complicated engineering challenge. Anker seems to have achieved this with beefed up stepper motors and associated drivers, in addition to using a pair of timing belts to move the bed.
Record Time-Lapses and Detect Print Failures Out of the Box
Speed isn’t the only USP of the AnkerMake M5. The company’s first 3D printer also promises AI-enhanced social printing. It incorporates a 1080p camera to record time-lapse videos that can then be uploaded to the user’s social media accounts seamlessly using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integrations. The AI aspect comes from the same camera being monitored for print failures, using machine learning assisted computing vision protocols.
All of these features can be retrofitted to any printer using a webcam in conjunction with the humble Raspberry Pi running an instance of the open source OctoPrint interface. However, Anker offers the same thing in a non-intimidating package that’s touted to be quick and easy enough to be used by a layperson.
Touted as the Accessible 3D Printer
The AnkerMake M5 itself comes largely pre-assembled in a semi-knocked down state, with the user required to put a total of three parts together in about 15 minutes. That sure seems faster than the multiple hours it takes to assemble the average consumer 3D printer, if, that is, we’re to take Anker’s word for it.
The printer also comes with more quality-of-life features, such as a 7×7 mesh bed auto tramming (leveling) system, an automatic filament runout sensor, a direct drive extruder to print flexible filaments, and a heated removable magnetic build plate for ease of removal.
The AnkerMake M5 Is Cheaper for Kickstarter Backers
Early adopters can back the AnkerMake M5 kickstarter campaign for the reduced price of $429 in limited slots. The early backer price will jump to $499 once the finite discounted slots are filled. The company expects to finish development and ship the printer sometime in September 2022. The actual retail price of the printer thereafter is pegged at a significantly higher $759.
As with all crowdfunded projects, Kickstarter doesn’t guarantee projects. It isn’t uncommon for people to lose money on failed projects either. You might want to follow our tips on backing Kickstarter projects in an informed manner before considering this crowdfunded endeavor. Having said that, Anker is a brand of repute and is most likely using the platform to generate marketing hype.
While the AnkerMaker M5 looks impressive on paper, we remain a little dubious whether the reality can live up to Anker’s claims. Still, within hours of the Kickstarter campaign going live, thousands of people had pledged millions of dollars to see for themselves.