Aniwaa announced a powerful 3D printer database comparison tool that could prove quite useful for many stranded buyers.
The Singapore-registered company operates with a team of four based in both France and Cambodia and for the past seven years has been slowly building a massive database of information about 3D printers.
Which 3D printers are in Aniwaa’s database? Well, you could say this: ALL OF THEM. As of this writing the site appears to include 2,115 printers, but that number will be obsolete not only by the time you finish reading this story, but also by the time I finish writing it!
They somehow are able to collect information about new 3D printers quite rapidly and then incorporates that data into their growing database. According to their stats, the site gained over 700 devices since 2018, indicating a growth rate of about one new device per day, every day, week after week.
I’ve said in the past that it is exceedingly difficult to keep track of all the new developments in 3D printing, including the new machines. Aniwaa’s database certainly proves that point; there are literally thousands of 3D printer models to know about.
While the huge number of entries sounds like a success, it is also a burden on visitors to Aniwaa’s site as it has become challenging to find the “right machine” amongst all the entries. To counteract this effect, Aniwaa has developed a powerful search and comparison tool that’s now available.
Aniwaa 3D Printer Comparison
Essentially, the tool allows a visitor to tickle Aniwaa’s database through a series of property fields. These are quite extensive and should allow one to rapidly zoom down to a short list of appropriate devices. Here are the fields by which you can narrow down your search:
- Price range
- Build volume (can request specific dimensions by mm)
- Temperature (each for extruder, chamber and plate)
- Printing process (18 categories)
- Material compatibility (14 categories)
- Manufacturer/Brand (currently an amazing 611 different companies)
- Features (incl heated chamber, dual/multiple extruder, independent extruder, pellets, full color, conveyor belt, 5-axis, hybrid cnc, robotic arm)
Aniwaa also adds a “topic” filter to quickly search for popular items, like “large format”, “construction” or “continuous fiber”. Finally, there is also the “Editor’s Pick” filter, which trims the list to 3D printers considered by Aniwaa as worthy.
As you browse the database you’re also allowed to select a few entries for direct comparison, as is commonly done for other types of products on consumer sites.
Martin Lansard, Aniwaa CEO and Co-Founder, said:
“I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved. With the COVID situation, physical trade shows are declining sharply while the product discovery and comparison phases are moving online. This new release strengthens Aniwaa’s position as the go-to additive manufacturing platform, helping not only buyers but also suppliers — from manufacturers aiming to build their brands to resellers looking for qualified leads. We’re all excited by what’s ahead and look forward to supporting the growth of our industry and helping 3D printing companies thrive.”
One factor I thought should be included is age or year of release. This is because there have been a large number of devices that are now obsolete or no longer available. My thinking was that these entries might mess up a search by showing unavailable options.
It turns out this doesn’t seem to be an issue with the Aniwaa database: the obsolete entries are apparently removed. My searches for dead equipment, such as that from Cubify, Solidoodle or Solido met with “No matches”. Aniwaa must monitor product statuses closely and weed out dead entries from the database.
Pricing appears to be missing for some machines, but that’s not unexpected, as some companies really don’t tell you the price until you’re actually buying the product. That’s because their pricing strategy is to negotiate the highest price they can get, and that’s hard to put into a database. Some can also customize options, which makes pricing on a case-by-case basis depending on features selected.
Meanwhile, the lowest price entry (US$76) in the database as of this writing is the “Play” from “Lewihe”, a model and brand I’ve never heard of. It’s one of dozens of brands simply unknown to the general 3D print community that is available in this service.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Arcam EBM A2X takes the highest price slot at “>$250,000”. There are actually several machines that are available at prices higher (and sometimes much higher) than that, but they likely fall into the “unknown price” category. Nevertheless, one should be able to find appropriate machines for any purpose by using the filters correctly. Pricing can be confirmed by contacting the relevant companies and resellers.
At this date I am unaware of any other service that provides anything close to the coverage of 3D printer models than does Aniwaa’s extensive database. If you’re looking for an obscure — or popular — 3D printer from industrial to desktop, Aniwaa no doubt has it in their database.