Yet another 3D printing company has debuted their first printer on Kickstarter. Focusing on ease of use and affordability, the Anvil 3D printer is available for less than the price of a smart phone, USD$349.
Including several user friendly features only found in much more expensive units, the Anvil Creation Center by Anvil Technology (a Shanghai-based company) will bring a “new definition to ease-of-use”. One of the biggest hurdles in the 3D printing craze has always been the ability to intuitively design your own creations with no prior experience in CAD software. With that in mind, Anvil has created its own “LEGO-like” design software to enable even the most novice computer designers to create their very own creations at the click of a mouse. If you can drag and drop, you can now design your ideas in three steps, and make them easier than ever.
In addition to slicing and printing your creations, the Anvil software includes basic polygonal shapes and objects that come pre-loaded in the software to use in your designs and manipulate what anvil calls 'bricks'. First choose your bricks, than adjust your bricks, and finally assemble and print.
Another focus for Anvil was to create a seamless filament loading procedure. Where other printers fall short, Anvil excels. All you have to do is put the proprietary filament cartridges in the right way, and Anvil does the rest: Mechanically grabbing the filament and self-loading it into the printer and notifying you when the material is low. No more ferociously feeding filament and guessing if you'll have enough filament to complete a print.
Although I'm usually against proprietary filament, Anvil has convinced me otherwise by including features normally not found in 3D printers. Hopefully they'll keep their filament prices competitive.
Another aspect Anvil paid close attention to was the design of the printer itself. With no sharp edges and a completely enclosed printing area to avoid contact with the hot end, the Anvil is truly a kid-friendly 3D printer, all while being one of the most space efficient 3D printers available today. With a build volume of 175 X 160 X 160mm and an outside footprint of 306 X 306 X 285mm, the build space efficiency is 16.8% compared to MakerBot Mini's 3.6%.
Also notable is Anvil's promise to later develop a precious metal printing ability (much like the Mini Metal Maker that's on Indiegogo). By providing a free of charge extruder that you can use to upgrade your printer if they reach their stretch goal of $100,000. Even if they don't reach their stretch goal, they still promise to develop the feature within a year. Giving the printer the ability to print out a special clay that becomes solid metal once dried in a kiln.
So head over to Kickstarter and check out their inspirational promotional video. If everyone who read this contributed $1, they would be well on their way to achieving their $100,000 goal and that much closer to hiring workers at their new Chicago office.
Fabbaloo correspondent & 3D Printing enthusiast Mike Difronzo - Founder WiZE 3D