Anker's First 3D Printer With An AI Camera Promises Crazy Fast Print Times

AnkderMake M5 3D printer
We all know Anker for its extensive product line of phone charges, cables, power banks, and other accessories, but its next offering is a delightful surprise. Anker is crowdfunding a 3D printer on Kickstarter, and it comes with some big promises. Chief among them is a five-fold increase in print speeds compared to some of the competition.

Being a Kickstarter project means there are inherent risks involved. Anker's reputation is at least solid, though, and undoubtedly is part of the reason why its newly announced AnkerMate M5 3D printer has already attracted over $1.5 million from thousands of backers on its first day. The other reason? The M5 appears to tick a lot of the right boxes.

The biggest one is speed. Anker boldly claims the M5 drastically cuts 3D print times by 70 percent with a print speed of 250mm/s. That's an out-of-the-box claim, too, as opposed to requiring that the user tinker and optimize a bunch of settings to achieve peak performance. Just put it together, turn it on, and watch those prints fly.

Part of of the speed claim is rooted in an upgraded ultra-direct extruder. Anker says it shortened the distance between the extruder and nozzle (compared to what, we're not sure), and also implemented a higher multi-state gear ratio, a larger and more efficient heating block, and a dual fan cooling system to push 1.3X more air input volume.

Anker M5 7x7 auto-leveling
Then there's the tri-core heterogenous CPU and a special algorithm at play.

"You'll achieve high-speed precision thanks to PowerBoost, which optimizes power with its Y-axis transmission system. PowerBoost uses a powerful stepper motor, double-belt driveshaft, and stabilized-motion algorithm to push out loads of extra power for high-speed printing," Anker explains.

The obvious concern with speeding up print times is accuracy, and according to Anker, it has that covered too. First, the 3D printer analyzes the 3D data of the model before printing even begins. Then a built-in AI camera continually monitors the print job and compares what it sees with that data to ensure everything stays on track. If it detects an error, it alerts the user instantly.

Other notable features include 24/7 real-time monitoring with night vision (LED and infrared), 7x7 auto-leveling, bendable and scratch proof plates, a 4.3-inch touchscreen to simply printing, and the ability to share timelapses of 3D prints.

It all sounds promising, though it's not cheap—the AnkerMate M5 3D printer is tagged with a $749 MSRP. Anker offered $429 Super Early Bird and $499 Early Bird discounts, but those allotments have all been claimed. There's still a Kickstarter Special discount available, though, priced at $599.