The AnkerMake M5C Review: Your Mom’s 3D Printer?

One of the ongoing debates about consumer 3D Printing is just how far it’ll go. Sure, it’s revolutionary, but can 3D Printers really become as ubiquitous as 2D Printers or Wifi Routers?

So much so that we can all just download the products we need, and print them at home, making shipping physical widgets around the world a thing of the past?

I mean… Is there really a future where even your mom has a 3D Printer sitting on her desk?

Well, I have news for you: the future just might be now – because there is a new generation of 3D Printers aimed at people who have 0 interest in actually learning about 3D Printers.

And in this review, we’re going to put it to the test to figure out: is this finally the 3D Printer your mom, grandma, or wife can use?

Let’s get into it.

A Short Background

If you’re like me, you’ve been hearing about the earth-shattering potential of 3D Printing for decades. And man, when people talk about it, they really sell it. You’ll be able to print whatever you want at home instantly! Just order the files online, and forget about shipping, warehousing, and all of that.

And I mean, on the one hand, this isn’t all that far fetched. I mean, who would’ve thought that we would all have WiFi routers, smart cleaning robots, and many of the other things none of us actually know how to assemble or even maintain in our houses?

Heck, 15 years ago, I had one of the early examples of a desktop vinyl plotter, and if you’d told me that in 2020, moms everywhere would be buying – and successfully using – Cricut desktop plotters to cut, engrave, and draw all sorts of craft projects at home, I wouldn’t have believed you.

And yet, while consumer 3D Printing has really blown up in the last 5 years, the fact of the matter is, 3D Printing, at least so far, definitely isn’t accessible to everyone.

In the worst case scenario, getting into 3D Printing involves assembling, maintaining, troubleshooting, and fixing your machine every time it gets clogged or otherwise out of whack.

But even in the BEST case, 3D Printing means learning a ton of new information, ranging from incredibly complex slicing software, at least to outsiders, to the properties of different materials, best practices for actually printing stuff successfully.

It’s no wonder that we are nowhere near the days where your mom, grandma, or your young children have a 3D Printer they can use on their own.

But what if all of that is about to change?

Introducing The AnkerMake M5C

In this review, we’re going to be checking out the new AnkerMake M5C, which AnkerMake was kind enough to send over.

And right out of the box, there are a few very surprising things about this printer.

First of all, there’s the build quality: This printer certainly feels more like a polished kitchen appliance than a hobbyist 3D printer like an Ender or a Prusa.

The materials, finishes, fit, and overall construction are much more polished than many of the products we’re used to. Then, there’s the speed: this printer keeps up with some of the latest and greatest printers in terms of speed, despite being a cartesian design, which I think will be a big selling point to people who have been put off by how slow 3D Printing has been up until now.

But all of that pales in comparison to what I consider to be the MAJOR surprise with this printer: it’s the first printer I’m aware of that can be exclusively controlled through a simple companion app.

Sure, lots of 3D Printers these days come with a companion app – but with the M5C, the app and the printer are free-standing. That means that if you want, you can do all of your downloading of models, printing, and printer management all through the app.

Of course, there IS a desktop app, with it’s own easy-to-use slicer, including an “Easy mode” for beginners… so if you want, you can import your own models, change parameters, and all that, and if you do, you’ll have a simplified experience that, to me, is very reminiscent of the software suites that came with both my FLUX Beamo and Cricut Maker machines – both of which are targeted at non tech savvy users.

But even if you don’t want to use the desktop app, you don’t have to. You can just use the iPhone app, and print out pre-sliced models to your heart’s content. No more configuring a slicer, tweaking profiles, choosing between different web interfaces, and so on if you don’t want to.

Admittedly, since this model is not yet launched at the time of recording, the library of pre-sliced models is pretty limited… but I actually LOVE this idea, and I would really like to see AnkerMake provide more models like this, because I think it’s a GREAT way to get people into the hobby, and get them excited enough to learn more.

I know. It’s a huge departure from what we 3D printing enthusiasts are used to, but is it enough? Is this level of simplification enough to finally make 3D Printing accessible to everyone?

A Real-Life Mom Reacts

To find out, I enlisted the help of a real-life mom, Leah, who volunteered to try out the AnkerMake M5C – with little to no guidance or help from me. I did make sure that the machine was fully assembled and functional beforehand, because, let’s be honest, you would do the same if you bought your mom a 3D printer, but from there, Leah was on her own.

Here’s what happened:


Well, there you have it.

The AnkerMake M5C might not be a 3D printer designed for tech-savvy 3D Printing enthusiasts, who are seeking the ultimate level of customizability, performance, and flexibility.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s the first printer you can actually pick up for Mother’s day, safe in the knowledge that good ol’ mom will actually be able to use it. And I don’t know about you, but to me, that is pretty exciting.

I already have a list of about 20 different things my own mom wants me to 3D print for when she comes to visit, and it would actually be pretty cool for her to be able to print as many of them as she wants, at home, without having to wait around for me to get it done.

But hey, what do YOU think? Do you welcome this type of attempt to make 3D Printing more accessible to everyone? Or are you a purist who feels that people should have to learn the ropes in order to enjoy the benefits? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Let me once again thank AnkerMake for sponsoring this review, a huge thanks to Leah for bravely volunteering.

I’ll see all of you on the next layer.

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About Jonathan Levi

Jonathan Levi is a bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, and thought leader on the topics of 3D Printing, accelerated learning, personal development, online education and entrepreneurship. His popular online courses, podcasts, YouTube channels, and books have been enjoyed by over half a million people in all 205 countries and territories.

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