If Yamaha can manufacture world-class pianos and motorcycles, why can’t Anker make cutting-edge power banks and 3D printers? The company known for their diverse, high-quality range of tech accessories is now making a splash with its new sub-brand of consumer-friendly high-grade 3D printers, AnkerMake. While AnkerMake released its first 3D printer last year, the launch of the M5C 3D printer this year goes to show how serious the company is about carving its niche in this relatively unexplored territory.
The company brings its consumer-centric approach to the world of 3D printers too, with an intuitive one-click interface that lets you instantly begin 3D printing without any hassle. Paired with AnkerMake’s smartphone app, users can download and print 3D models right through their phone, as well as play/pause existing builds and view the progress of running jobs from anywhere in the world.
Anker’s 3D printing ambitions started last year with the company launching the M5 3D printer on Kickstarter, garnering support from more than 11,000 backers who pledged upwards of $9 million to bring the device to life. Seeing this overwhelming endorsement from consumers, AnkerMake decided to launch the upgraded M5C printer directly online, without crowdfunding it. The M5C comes upgraded with a sleek one-piece design, making setup a breeze. Its aluminum-alloy base not only provides stability but also effectively minimizes machine jitter, while the stock 0.4-mm brass nozzle and all-metal hot-end reaches temperatures as high as 300°C (572 °F), to melt a broader range of filament material. The M5C prints at a staggering 500mm per second, with 0.1mm of precision in printed parts… all while being nearly half the price of its predecessor which had an MSRP of $759.
The M5C positions itself as the perfect 3D printer for beginners, hobbyists, as well as experts. Its commendably low price tag makes it an exceptional entry-level printer that doesn’t really compromise on function. The M5C comes with an aluminum chassis and features Z-axis pillars that are integrated into the base, helping reduce setup time when you first buy the printer, but also ensuring that there’s never any issue with calibration or with precision. The base now weighs 5 kilograms (11 lbs), making it heavy enough to stay stable while the printer prints at staggering speeds of 500mm/s. At those speeds, AnkerMake promises up to 75% faster 3D prints than conventional printers, which can sometimes max out at 150-180mm/s.
The M5C’s 0.4mm brass nozzle and metal hot end allow it to work with a wide range of materials. Reaching temperatures as high as 300°C (572°F) with the print-plate hitting temperatures of 100°C (212°F), the M5C comfortably works with PET/PET-G, PLA, ABS, TPU, and other popular filaments, touting outer wall thicknesses as low as 0.2mm and an in-fill thickness of 0.1mm. The printer also offers 3 operational modes to choose from – Precision (for intricate prints), Standard, and Fast (which allows the M5C to complete large prints in record time).
The AnkerMake M5C comes with a print volume of 220 x 220 x 150 mm, which is a tad smaller than last year’s M5, but it still retains the PEI magnetic plate for trouble-free removal of models and features the same 7×7 automatic bed leveling system that calibrates the print-bed before starting a print. Moreover, an auto-resume feature ensures that in the event of a power outage, the printer saves its progress, and automatically resumes printing from where it left off once the lights are back.
The M5C’s connectivity remains one of its strongest feature sets. Each 3D printer is armed with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to send models wirelessly to the printer (or via a USB drive). Moreover, AnkerMake’s companion app (available for both iOS as well as Android) gives you extensive controls over the printer’s functions, letting you print, re-print, level, home, pause, or stop the printer from pretty much anywhere. The app also has a dedicated model library that allows you to directly send files to the printer with a single tap, and even offers progress reports on the printer, letting you see how far your print is coming along. For people using the AnkerMake M5D along with computers, the company does offer its dedicated slicing program for Windows and Mac users, and also boasts compatibility with Prusa and Cura, allowing you to slice and prepare your 3D CAD files before sending them for printing. A single button on the 3D printer then gives you the function of starting/pausing/stopping your prints.
At its price range, the AnkerMake M5C is perfect for anyone looking to dive into 3D printing on a budget. Anker’s brand reliability makes this the perfect ‘first’ for someone who’s never bought a printer before, or even for someone looking to set up a fleet of printers for their small business or Etsy store. Unlike AnkerMake’s first printer, this one hasn’t opted for the crowdfunding route, which means the printer ships almost instantly, reaching you in days if not weeks. The AnkerMake M5C also comes with a 1-year warranty.