Anker has just announced the AnkerMake M5 printer, a home 3D printer with a few very interesting tricks up its sleeve. The printer, which costs $499 for early birds, can print highly complex and high-resolution objects surprisingly quickly, something that similarly-priced printers still struggle with.

The company has chosen to launch the product on Kickstarter primarily to gauge interest and ensure that they have enough supply for the demand. Given they’re currently at about $1.1 million in sales it looks like they’ve definitely struck a nerve.

If you’ve worked with 3D printers in the past you’ll know that the two biggest issues are print speed and print errors. The printer is surprisingly speedy – up to five times speedier than most similarly priced printers – and an AI camera will keep the thing on track as it spools out the filament.

The AnkerMake M5 has a basic print speed of 250 mm/s. However, the printer also has a much speedier mode that gives it the power to print up to 2,500mm/s². Anker says it reduces average print times by up to 70 percent compared to other printers.

Interestingly the system has a self-contained filament feed that will draw the plastic into the hot end automatically, ensuring nothing gets into the nozzle area. It’s a clever solution that will also reduce the failure rate.

The printer is already fully-funded and will ship this year.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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