Anker may be best known for its battery packs and docking stations, but it’s now getting into a new area: 3D printing. The company has announced its first 3D printer, the AnkerMake M5, which claims to be incredibly fast.
Instead of retail stores or its own online shop, the M5 is starting off as a Kickstarter project, where people pledge money towards the development of a product, although in practice, it’s often treated like a preorder store. (We encourage you to read Kickstarter’s policies to find out your refund rights before and after a campaign ends.)
Read more: Best 3D Printers of 2022
The company says the M5 can print “five times faster than standard 3D printers,” with a print speed of 250 millimeters per second. For reference our best overall printer right now, the Anycubic Vyper, has an average print speed of around 80 mm/s.
The M5 has a build area of 235 by 235 by 250mm, which puts it right in the middle of the pack for mainstream or beginner-friendly 3D printers, and comes with a PEI-covered flexible steel sheet to help with model removal.
Anker is also leaning heavily into what it calls AI, and social printing. The M5 has a built-in 1080p camera that will record time-lapse videos of in-progress prints and make it easy to post them to social media. TikTok, for example, has a burgeoning 3D printing community with over 9 billion views of the #3dprinting hashtag.
Having a camera also helps to remotely monitor your print. Anker claims its built-in AI will let you know if your print encounters a failure via an app installed on your phone. The app also lets you link multiple printers together and control every aspect of the printing procedure remotely. The AnkerMake even has Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice controls to start and stop printing.
Other features include a filament runout sensor to detect when the material breaks or runs out, an auto bed leveling system and a heated bed to let you print with as many different materials as possible. These are fairly standard on a printer at this price, but it’s less common in 3D printers that get their start on Kickstarter.
The AnkerMake M5 will debut on Kickstarter starting April 6. The initial preorder price is as little as $429, while the eventual retail price will be $759.