A lot of people are interested in 3D printing, but are intimidated by the modeling process, which is understandable – it’s a tricky skill to learn, especially if you don’t have a lot of design experience. Many 3D printer and software manufacturers are beginning to recognize this, though, and are creating software programs that are easy enough for children to use. Or, let’s be honest – easy enough for any adult to use; these days, most children are more skilled with software applications than a large number of adults.
The Anvil 3D printer from Anvil Electronic Technology is described as the ideal printer for the “technologically challenged.” It’s a true plug-and-play printer, requiring no calibration or setting of parameters – it even auto-loads your filament. As for software, Anvil comes with an app (compatible with iOS and Android tablets) that utilizes simple building blocks as a modeling tool.
“If you can build with Lego-blocks, you can design using our software,” Anvil promises.
The Anvil 3D printer just launched on Kickstarter, aiming to raise $100,000 by June 9. The Anvil team ran a Kickstarter last year for a very similar-looking printer called the Creation Station, but it was canceled after about $15,000 was raised. The Anvil appears to be the new and improved version. The designers had two main goals when they designed the printer: simplicity and affordability. The compact desktop FDM printer only includes one button, so it’s pretty difficult to mess anything up, and it can be operated from anywhere in the world thanks to its cloud-based app. As for price, it’s extremely affordable, with the eventual retail price being estimated at about $350 – Kickstarter pricing starts at $199 for Super Early Birds. Contributions of $249 (or $299, if you miss the early bird rewards) will earn you a printer plus a pound of filament. Shipping for the Anvil is $60 for the US or $80 anywhere else in the world.
While it’s not specifically billed as being for kids, the Anvil looks to be ideal for young people. Besides the simplicity factor, it’s safe, with an enclosed chamber featuring a transparent door so you can watch the print in progress. The mobile design app – which also contains a large library of pre-designed and modifiable models – also doubles as a social media platform. Designs can be easily uploaded from the app to the cloud and shared with friends, whom you can also chat with via the app. Completed models can be sent directly to the printer, and print jobs started, from the app, and the 3D models themselves can be “beautified” and displayed as art on their own.
Another positive aspect of the Anvil is its eco-friendliness, with an energy output of only 0.2kW/h. Additional specifications include:
- Printer dimensions: 12.3 in (312 mm) per side
- Print size: 6.5 x 6.9 x 6.5 in (165 x 174 x 165 mm)
- Layer resolution: 25-300 microns
The Anvil supports an array of filaments, including PLA, ABS, and specialty PLA. Anvil will be selling their own filaments via their website once the Kickstarter is finished, but non-proprietary filaments can also be used, as long as you purchase a special cartridge.
Over $26,000 has already been raised in the first day, so the little cube-like Anvil is off to a pretty good start. Rewards should start shipping in December 2016. Check out the Anvil’s Kickstarter video below. Are you going to back the campaign? Discuss in the Anvil 3D Printer on Kickstarter forum over at 3DPB.com.