3D printing is here, it’s no longer exclusive to industrial scale operations, and you’re a click away from ordering one for your kitchen. Well, assuming you have around £1000. There are cheaper printers around but most are still low-quality and tricky to use. 3D printing is edging closer and closer to becoming mainstream but it’s the price and difficulty that keeps most people out of the fun.
The next challenge for manufacturers is to create a 3D printer that’s cheap and easy to use. We’ve written about the amazing OLO printer for £70 but it’s not as large as most printers, limiting the size of your creations. A new 3D printer on Kickstarter is trying to bridge the gap with capabilities of £1000 printers but at a more affordable price point while being easy to use.
The Anvil is described as the first truly user-friendly 3D printer and it certainly looks simple. There’s a really simple system for loading filament just by sliding cartridges into the door and closing. This means you don’t need to do anything to the printer’s hotend; it’s all done automatically. Starting the printer is as easy as pressing a single button on the unit but technically you don’t even need to do that since it uses a cloud server.
Anvil comes with modelling software that can connect to the printer remotely, so you can print from anywhere. Even better, the software is extremely easy to use. You can connect different digital shapes together to make a final creation. According to the creators, if you can build things with LEGO then you can design objects to print in Anvil.
Anvil just started on Kickstarter and has already raised $38,553 of its $100,000 target with 28 days to go. They’re taking pre-orders to cover the manufacturing costs. If you’re quick you can still get Anvil for the early bird price of $199 (£80) with shipping for $80 (£55.36).
We’re still most excited about OLO when it comes to affordable 3D printers, but it’s great to see the more traditional desktop designs becoming simpler and cheaper.
Main image: Anvil Technology