3D Printers

Anvil Creation Center 3D Printer Hits Kickstarter for $349

Covering the desktop 3D printing boom that has occurred since 2012, I have learned not to underestimate newcomers to an already crowded market.  Regardless of the number of RepRap derivatives or 3D printing marketplaces constantly launching, start-ups are capable of many surprises.  With that in mind, a new 3D printer has launched on Kickstarter with a low price tag, high hopes, and a few tricks up its sleeve.

small anvil creation center 3D printer overviewThe Anvil Creation Center is a compact, cartesian-style 3D printer with an enclosed print area and a couple of unique features aiming to make the 3D modeling and 3D printing processes relatively painless.  The machine uses auto-loading mechanics to feed filament directly into the extruder, eliminating the need to manually insert the feedstock into the printer’s hotend, as seen with first generation fabricators.  On the software-side, Anvil incorporates a “Lego-like” modeling tool into its 3D printer control software.  In addition to slicing and printing files, the software allows users to build objects using polygonal primitives, which Anvil calls “bricks”.

Backers can still invest in an Anvil Creation Center with the early-bird price of $349, a number familiar to anyone who followed (or funded) the Pirate3D saga. It’s too early to say if they are of the same caliber as Pirate3D, but it seems that Anvil, a Shanghai-based company, is already taking strides to bringing their product to the US market.  The printer and software are already passed the prototype stages  and, in addition to creating some sleek marketing materials and setting up an office in Chicago, the company is procuring manufacturers to injection mold the final parts for the printer. Judging from the Kickstarter page, Anvil is set on mass producing their Creation Center and offer low-priced competition to other ~$500 printers already out there.

anvil creation center 3D printing software

If Anvil can surpass its funding goal of $100,000, the start-up aims to improve their software and the printer itself. Not only does Anvil hope to add some basic abilities to their Lego-like software, such as the ability to share models on social network sites directly from the program and a complete library of bricks and theme packages (“like Lego does”), but the start-up wants to make their software even smarter with a “3Dit” feature. 3Dit will learn the design preferences of a user and generate bricks that the user is likely to build with.

anvil creation center 3D printer desk

And, perhaps more exciting, Anvil is determined to add metal 3D printing to their printer. Similar to the method invoked by the Mini Metal Maker, reported on earlier this week, the printer would, hypothetically, 3D print precious metal clays, which could be fired in a kiln, burning out the clay material, and leaving precious metal objects.

The Mini Metal Maker isn’t fairing too well on Indiegogo at the moment, which is a big surprise, as the makers of the approximately ~$2k printer (early bird price of ~$1,500) really seem to be able to deliver on their promises, having already made 30 units.  Perhaps, if Anvil succeeds, they can bring an even more affordable and versatile product to market. If you’re interested in seeing it do so, head over to their Kickstarter page.