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Anker Kickstarts Fast 3D Printer With AI Camera Control

Anker Printer
(Image credit: Sherri L.Smith)

Device charging specialist Anker has decided to dip a toe in the 3D printing market. In one way it is being cautious, as this will be a crowdfunder backed project, but in another it is being very bold. The boldness is revealed by its claims for the new AnkerMake M5, it is said to be 5x faster than contemporary rivals, and features an AI camera for (remote) print monitoring as standard. Some other cool features touted to attract new 3D printer users are the built-in touch screen controls, cloud connectivity, and the purported unboxing to first print time of 15 minutes.

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker decided to get into the 3D printer market after finding what it considered to be a barrier to adoption for many potential users. " 3D printing can be slow, cumbersome, and difficult to figure out," opined Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Innovations. "AnkerMake is committed to removing these pain points so that artists, inventors, hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts can take advantage of a more practical tool to bring their creations to life."

To being at our first look of the first member of the AnkerMake family, let us first consider the headlining print speed claims made by Anker. In its standard mode, the AnkerMake M5 prints at 250 mm/s and you will use this mode for projects that require a smoother and more detailed finish. Resin printers are typically considered the best for fine details but with good software, fine tuning and a little patience, filament FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printers such as AnkerMake can see good results.  If you feel the need for speed, for a quick prototype for example, and are happy with a less detailed or rougher finish the extruder can be sped up to 2,500 mm/s.

(Image credit: Anker)

The built-in AI camera has a number of useful functions. Users can monitor print jobs remotely with the camera, However, when you are busy the AI system will be able to detect common issues for you. Things like layer splitting, spaghetti mess or nozzle plugging can be watched for by the AI. As well as smart functionality, the camera can be used for manual monitoring and timelapse recording – with notifications being configurable for when the print job is finished.

AnkerMake M5 3D printer

Max print size

235 x 235 x 250mm

Print speeds

250 mm/s standard, 2,500 mm/s accelerated

Filament

1.75mm filament with easy loading and extraction with heat assist. PLA, PETG, TPU or ABS plastics can be used

Connectivity

Wi-Fi and USB

Control

Via your device or the 4.3-inch integrated touchscreen. Printing is accurate to 0.1mm

Smart features

AI camera with 1.2GHz Double XBurst 2 Core and XBurst 0 processor, offering AI recognition and real-time monitoring, auto shut-off

Software

One-click printing from device and AnkerMake Cloud app option for printing from anywhere

Machine size

502 x 438 x 470 mm / 19.76 x 17.24 x 18.50 inches, weighs in at 12.4 kg / 27.3 lbs

Anker is also keen to highlight the build quality of the AnkerMake M5 and talks about aluminum alloy die cast motor parts, the soft-magnetic attached printer bed, and 7x7 auto leveling functionality of this machine.

As of writing the Kickstarter campaign has just gone live. The page has some more details and comparisons to digest if the above grabs you. It looks like this is a very popular crowdfunding campaign already. The super early bird pricing level of $429 evaporated as we were writing about this launch. The next best offer currently still available is $499. The full retail price of the AnkerMake M5 is said to be $759.

Anker has a pretty good name in its smart device charging and accessories field, so we hope it can follow through in quality and reliability for this much more substantial product.

Backing a crowdfunding campaign isn't the same as making a pre-order purchase. Typically you have no guarantee of receiving a finished product for your 'pledge'. Anker says it plans to start delivering these new 3D printers to those that have pledged by November this year.

If you are interested in 3D printing but would prefer to consider devices which are currently available please check our guides to the best 3D printer deals of 2022, and we also recently looked at the best models that are available for under $250 so you can dip a toe without too big an outlay.

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • durahl
    Up to the point of reading 250mm/s for a Bedflinger ( i3 style moving the Print Bed ) I was still somewhat on board with it being a reasonable advertised 3D Printer.

    That was until it mentioned running at those speeds for Quality Mode already causing one eyebrow to raise considerably until it then mentioned being capable of doing 2'500mm/s - Yea I don't think so... I've built a 350 sized Voron 2.4 CoreXY ( completely static Print Bed with a Flying Gantry for the Toolhead ) decently capable of holding a high part clearance accuracy at 300mm/s - Anything above that will result in still aesthetically pleasing but functionally not anymore accurate parts like those needed for an accompanying ERCF.

    Just to give some perspective - This is what 500mm/s on a for speed modified Voron V0 looks like when printing a fairly complex part with Overhangs and Bridges ( kinda Garbage ) - That V0 has practically no weight in its moving Toolhead and its supporting X-Axis - No Toolhead mounted Part Cooling Fan, no Extruder Motor, etc... enabling a speed of up to 1'000mm/s on simpler designed parts still requiring massive external cooling.

    And Anker is claiming they can ( depending on the part geometry ) more than double if not quintuple the speed with a heavy Print Bed moving as one of the major Axis?!

    Reply
  • Gam3r01
    durahl said:
    Up to the point of reading 250mm/s for a Bedflinger ( i3 style moving the Print Bed ) I was still somewhat on board with it being a reasonable advertised 3D Printer.

    That was until it mentioned running at those speeds for Quality Mode already causing one eyebrow to raise considerably until it then mentioned being capable of doing 2'500mm/s - Yea I don't think so... I've built a 350 sized Voron 2.4 CoreXY ( completely static Print Bed with a Flying Gantry for the Toolhead ) decently capable of holding a high part clearance accuracy at 300mm/s - Anything above that will result in still aesthetically pleasing but functionally not anymore accurate parts like those needed for an accompanying ERCF.

    Just to give some perspective - This is what 500mm/s on a for speed modified Voron V0 looks like when printing a fairly complex part with Overhangs and Bridges ( kinda Garbage ) - That V0 has practically no weight in its moving Toolhead and its supporting X-Axis - No Toolhead mounted Part Cooling Fan, no Extruder Motor, etc... enabling a speed of up to 1'000mm/s on simpler designed parts still requiring massive external cooling.

    And Anker is claiming they can ( depending on the part geometry ) more than double if not quintuple the speed with a heavy Print Bed moving as one of the major Axis?!

    This is because there is a huge misunderstanding in the article itself, and the kickstarter (and email newsletter) clear it up.
    The standard print speed is 250mm/s.
    The acceleration of the print bed is 2500mm/s/s, or 2500mm/s^2.
    All Anker is claiming there is the speed at which the bed can begin changing direction, not its max speed.
    The kickstarter page specs sheet, at the bottom, shows a speed of 50-250mm/s.
    Reply