Mar. 2, 2015 | By Simon

Although we’ve been seeing an ever-increasing amount of “prosumer” and hobbyist 3D printers hitting various crowdfunding platforms, few have been able to stick around long enough to become the next Ultimaker or MakerBot.  Despite this, we have been seeing some rather impressive developments that aim to make the 3D printing experience easier from the get-go...starting with the 3D content creation itself.  

After determining that consumers need both the software and hardware combined into a single platform to make 3D printing as seamless of an experience as possible, the creators of Anvil 3D Content Creation Center have developed a new platform that they hope a new generation of 3D content creators will welcome with open arms.  

Using a combination of software and hardware of their own design, the Anvil team chose to center the Anvil experience around liberating users from the wide array of tools that are commonly needed for successful 3D printing.  3D modeling tools aside (which themselves can take years to master), these tools can include multiple 3D printing preparation software applications and lengthy filament prepping before one can even successfully hit the “print” button even with a pre-made 3D model.

To combat the complicated user experience of existing 3D printers, Anvil chose to focus on - among other things - the filament loading experience.  Their Auto-Loading 3d printer design employs the use of filament cartridges that are closer to a 90s-era VHS cassette tape rather than today’s standard spools.  

Additionally, their LEGO-like design software ensures that those with little-to-no 3D modeling experience will be able to start cranking out their own primitive designs and shapes with ease.  While the program doesn’t appear to offer flexibility with assemblies and more complex product designs, many hobbyists rarely need this amount of power to begin with.

An instructional video for using the Anvil 3D Content Creation Center Software

Perhaps more interestingly though, is how Anvil decided to build the 3D printer into a fully-closed enclosure.  While most desktop 3D printer designs feature an open-air design that allow immediate viewing of the print’s progress, the Anvil chose to close the compartment in favor of a stabilized heat environment, which can lead to more successful 3D prints.  Additionally, if the 3D printer is to be used by young “hobbyists”, the closed compartment prevents curious hands from being potentially burned from a hot an oftentimes unpredictable extruder nozzle.   

Of course, like most products that have been successful with consumers in recent memory, Anvil wanted to make the 3D printer as easy as possible to get setup and started right out of the box and with minimal adjustments needed.  Their 3D printer design omits the dials, screens and buttons commonly seen in other desktop 3D printers for a single and simple “power on/off” button.  For additional control of the hardware, a user can simply adjust as needed from within the software.

Finally, the use of a “Low Filament Alarm” ensures that although a user may not be able to see the filament (due to it being enclosed within a cassette cartridge), they will always be alerted if they are running low on filament without sacrificing an existing print; all that is needed is a simple swap with a new cassette and the Auto-Loader simply loads what is needed to finish finalizing a live print.  

The Anvil team have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help generate awareness and sales for their new platform and are hoping to raise $100,000 by April 6th, 2015.  Those who choose to back the project early as one of the first 300 will have the opportunity to purchase an Anvil 3D Content Creation Center for just $349 before the price goes up by $100 to $449.

Although the compact-sized 3D printer may not be the best for all 3D printing needs, it’s hard to argue that for the price, it’s hard to beat.      



Posted in 3D Printers


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Mortimer Tremblay wrote at 12/4/2015 6:41:36 PM:

I agree with Jeremy that the presentation is sketchy to stay polite. Could you show a more detail 3d printing like a figurine?

-dclunie wrote at 3/4/2015 8:54:40 PM:

Have to agree, the presentation comes off as smarmy marketing driven instead of all the fluff and trying to hype just "another 3d printer" why not just sit down, look directly into the camera, and say this is my printer, and this is how its different and why you should back me please, vs going all trying to be dramatic and douchebaggy. The printer isn't so "exciting" either, I mean yah its a neat enclosure but you know what i'm sure the box this thing comes in would be just as good as an enclosure when needed in a pinch, and as for the filament loading system carts aren't the way to go, you're essentially limited to what they provide, or your going to have to preload their carts with whatever filament you want (so yet another step in the process). Sorry but no. I don't think this is going to meet its goal, the only thing going for this is perhaps the low price....

Jeremy wrote at 3/3/2015 7:03:13 AM:

If it's one thing I can't stand it's a kickstarter video where the person doesn't know how to look directly into the camera. The printer looks interesting but the presentation was God awful annoying

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