Exploring the AnkerMake M5C: An Easy, Affordable, and Reliable 3D Printing Solution – A Review


Chinese 3D printer manufacturer AnkerMake, owned by electronics device company Anker Innovations, was founded back in 2020. The company launched its first 3D printer, the AnkerMake M5, in 2022.

In this article we review the M5C, the latest addition to AnkerMake’s desktop FDM 3D printer portfolio. According to AnkerMake, the M5C combines affordability and ease of use with high-speed, high-quality 3D printing.

Priced at just $399, the M5C is targeted towards users of all levels, and is ideal for newcomers to the industry. Indeed, AnkerMake’s new 3D printer is advertised as allowing users to “make more with less effort.”

Key features of the AnkerMake M5C

Boasting a maximum 3D printing speed of 500 mm/s and an acceleration of 5000 mm/s², the M5C also offers a maximum flow of 35 mm3/s. This is claimed by AnkerMake to allow users to 3D print parts quickly and easily, yet without any compromise on quality.

The M5C is promoted as providing 50µm resolution during 3D printing in the specially designed “Precision Mode”. It also comes with “Fast” and “Normal” 3D printing profiles.

Designed with a 5 kg base and a reduced center of gravity, the 3D printer maintains a vibration amplitude lower than 0.08 mm during high speed 3D printing, ensuring stability and precision.

Furthermore, the M5C provides a wide range of material compatibility, with capacity to 3D print using PLA+, TPU, ABS, PETG, PA, PETG-CF, and PA-CF. This wide compatibility range is made possible thanks to the 3D printer’s stainless-steel hotend and the maximum nozzle temperature of 300℃, with available diameter options of 0.2 mm and 0.4 mm.

Ease of use is bolstered by the M5C’s 7 x 7 auto bed leveling feature. Here, the 3D printer examines a total of 49 points on the build plate, calculating a virtual height map to ensure a good first layer at the start of each 3D print.  

Easy assembly in under 10 minutes   

The AnkerMake M5C is designed with ease of use in mind, and is optimized for entry level users. As such, the unboxing and assembly process for this 3D printer is especially straightforward. 

Attaching the gantry to the base and tightening a few screws is all that’s required to assemble the M5C. We had our model unpacked and put together in under 10 minutes. The pre-mounted 3D print head on the gantry significantly simplifies the setup process.

The M5C was exceptionally well-packaged, delivered in a cardboard box lined with precisely cut foam panels, ensuring our model arrived unscathed and without missing components.

Included with the 3D printer is a maintenance kit, extra nozzles, a physical instruction manual, and necessary setup and maintenance tools.

The packaging and unboxing experience of the 3D printer is pictured. Photos provided by the 3D Printing Industry.

A minimalist and compact profile

AnkerMake has launched a new 3D printer with an elegant open-body design. The M5C’s chassis, entirely made of aluminum, houses components such as motors, sensors, and other essential mechanisms for movement, presenting the 3D printer with a neat and minimalist facade.

This minimalist design is further emphasized by removing a digital interface. The only physical button included on the M5C’s body is to pause and resume 3D print tasks. All other actions related to 3D printing are managed via the AnkerMake app and the AnkerMake Slicer.

As a particularly small 3D printer, the M5C falls within the dimensions of just 355 x 355 x 480 mm and has a total construction volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm. These characteristics make this 3D printer perfect for desktop users engaging in prototyping, DIY projects, and model construction.

Another beneficial feature is the positioning of the spool holder at the top of the 3D printer, as opposed to the side. This position reduces tension during 3D printing, promoting steady material flow and lessening the likelihood of the filament breaking. 

The M5C printer comes with accessories including close-ups of the 3D print head and motion system. The attached photos are courtesy of the 3D Printing Industry.AnkerMake Slicer

The M5C is bundled with a unique slicing software named AnkerMake Slicer. This exclusive software is the only slicer capable of directly controlling the M5C’s 3D printing process. There’s also an AnkerMake mobile app, which can be used for managing 3D print tasks on the M5C. This app features a variety of preset models that are prepped for immediate 3D printing. 

We observed that the AnkerMake Slicer and its corresponding app are considerably proficient. Our team managed to achieve desirable results using the included slicer and material profiles, without the need for extensive adjustments. The overall design UI of the slicer is user-friendly and easy to navigate, proving it to be ideal for the M5C’s entry-level target market.

The M5C is fully compatible with gcode, allowing users to utilize any third-party slicers for slicing and exporting their 3D print files. There is a catch, though. The AnkerMake Slicer is the only software that provides direct network integration with the M5C, meaning all externally sliced 3D prints can only be imported using a USB-C stick. Following this, users should operate the AnkerMake mobile application to initiate the 3D printing task.

Interfaces of AnkerMake Slicer and mobile application. Images are provided by 3D Printing Industry.

Benchmarking Test

We kick-started our test with a test file called 3D benchy, which was obtained via the AnkerMake application. Two separate benchy’s were 3D printed using AnkerMake PLA+ filament, in both the normal and fast modes with the M5C. The print times for these models were 17 minutes 40 seconds and 47 minutes in that order.

The standard benchy 3D print, done at regular speed, showcased superior surface finish and reduced imperfections compared to the speedier print. This indicates impressive cooling abilities of the M5C as no flaws were noticeable around the frames or bridge parts. However, the quick printing process didn’t allow adequate cooling time, leading to minor problems on the roof’s underside.

Test pieces 3D printed for the benchy tests. Images sourced from 3D Printing Industry.

Subsequently, a round trajectory test was carried out to assess the M5C’s proficiency in 3D printing components with circular segments. This test unveiled a proportional difference in measurements across the X and Y axis. The X axis displayed closer alignment to target dimensions with a relatively consistent deviation, a consistency not detected in the Y axis.

More interestingly, the Y-axis standard deviation was found to be higher than the X-axis, implying potential issues with the M5C’s motion system. The problem could potentially be resolved by modifying the XYZ-steps or rescaling the model within the slicer. However, the current inaccessible state of the M5C firmware configuration does not permit changes to the XYZ-steps.

3D prints and measurements depicting circular trajectory were accomplished. The presented data and image come from the 3D Printing Industry. The repeatability of the M5C was also evaluated. In this case, three different items such as squares, hexagons, and tubes were 3D printed in sets of 12. After printing, these items were measured and compared with the initial dimensions. The acceptable range for this test is an average deviation below 0.1 mm and a standard deviation under 0.05 mm.

3D prints from the repeatability test courtesy of 3D Printing Industry. The results from the three tests showed satisfactory performance concerning the X and Y dimensions. The average deviations were within the set parameter of under 0.1 mm, and standard deviations were below 0.05 mm. However, there were noticeable inconsistencies when 3D printing the hexagon parts diagonally. This issue suggests a problem with the motion system or the XYZ-steps, similar to the observations made during circular trajectory printing.

Repeatability test results offered by 3D Printing Industry. A bridging test was conducted later. This test is crucial to gauge the M5C’s capacity to 3D print without using support. The bridging test is a good indicator of the cooling efficiency of the 3D printer. Generally, the better the cooling, the better the resulting bridge. The test begins with small bridge lengths of 5mm, gradually increasing to 25 mm in 5 mm increments. There’s also a large bridge starting at 20 mm and incrementing up to 60 mm by 10mm steps.

All bridges were effectively 3D printed, notably performing well for bridges up to 20 mm length. Beyond this limit, the bridges began to show increasing droop. Since most FDM 3D printers manifest these flaws after 15 mm, the M5C performed better than average in this test. Particularly notable was the accomplishment of such results at 3D print speeds of 250 mm/s.

Bridging test. The photos were provided by the 3D Printing Industry.

Tests were also performed on tower and width, aimed at identifying the M5C’s maximum 3D printing dimensions. The tower component achieved dimensions of 45.1 x 45 x 249.5 mm, barely touching the 3D printer’s maximum build height of 250 mm. The M5C also displayed good consistency when referring to surface quality, showing no variations from top to bottom.

The component tested for width measured at 219.4 x 220 mm, showing no warping or defects around the edges. Based on these results, it can be concluded that the M5C can effectively 3D print in close proximity to its maximum horizontal dimensions.

Tower and width tests. Photos provided by the 3D Printing Industry.

An overhang test was also executed to identify the upper limit of overhang angle that the 3D printer could print without supports. The components used for the tests comprised of six overhangs each, with a five degree increase from 40° to 65°.

Overhangs lesser than 55° were 3D printed quite successfully, however, the printing of 60° and 65° angles resulted in noticeable gaps between layers. Considering the parts were printed at the standard 250 mm/s speed, these results are quite commendable. Reducing the speed would provide enhanced cooling, thereby improving the overhangs.

Overhang tests. Images courtesy of the 3D Printing Industry.

The next test, a retraction test, that we conducted yielded fairly impressive results. No stringing or artifacts were identified, save for a slight wispiness at the peak. This can be attributed to the M5C’s hot nozzle temperatures and the direct drive mechanism permitting greater control over filament extrusion.

A custom 3D Printing Industry (3DPI) benchmark test, consisting of several different sub-tests, was conducted in-house. This model was 3D printed in PLA+. This test was carried out thrice using the M5C’s standard, precision and high-speed profiles. While the M5C displayed good performance in these tests, its performance in the accuracy test was less than satisfactory.

The key distinctions between these three 3D prints are related to overhang capability and their proficiency to 3D print with excellent negative precision. Astoundingly, the fast profile exhibited the utmost negative precision outcome, capable of 3D printing a 0.15 mm negative precision, unlike 0.2 mm achieved by the other two profiles. The lone issue we encountered with the fast 3D print were substandard overhang capability and surface quality, with this profile leaving evident cavities on the outer layer.

The precision test performed optimally in terms of overhangs. This outcome was anticipated, as the extruded filament received longer exposure to the cooling fan compared to the faster 3D prints.

We performed 3DPI tests for the normal, fast, and precision profiles. The information and images were supplied by the 3D Printing Industry.

We also conducted a small and precise parts test to establish if the M5C can print a two-part functional nut and bolt model with extremely small dimensions and tolerances. The 3D printer performed proficiently here, creating a part without interference, even at a 0.2 mm layer height.

The small and precise parts test images were provided by the 3D Printing Industry.

Application tests

Our team also conducted a number of tests to assess how well the M5C handles different materials and real-world use cases.

We first 3D printed an extendable ax model, taking 10 hrs and 45 mins in the 3D printer’s normal mode. The surface quality of this part was quite impressive, however there were sections where the 3D printer traveled outside the model’s 3D printing zone. This created thin artifact lines on the surface of the part. 

AnkerMake M5C Extendable ax model. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

We next 3D printed a planetary gear using PLA, a functional part which includes a lot of high tolerances. When we first previewed the model at 0.20 mm layer height, the gap between the rings was not sufficiently distanced by the slicer. We therefore lowered the layer height so that the slicer would leave a gap. After 3D printing, the model fused and required some manipulation to free the gears. Overall, the quality was good, with the gear system moving smoothly with no excess friction.

AnkerMake M5C Planetary gear 3D print. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

Again using PLA, we 3D printed two typical hobbyist miniature models using the 0.2 mm diameter nozzle. These parts were impressive, both possessing a smooth and consistent surface finish with no noticeable ringing.

Figurine and Castle models. Photos by 3D Printing Industry.

A Voronoi tower was also 3D printed in PLA+ to assess the M5C’s ability to manage detailed prints with a high number of overhangs. We printed this model three times using each profile (fast, precision, and normal).

The M5C 3D printed these models without experiencing any failed supports or evident defects. Every detail was preserved in all three profiles, with the overall quality for each being notably high. This illustrates the M5C’s capacity to 3D print complex models at rapid speeds, without sacrificing much in terms of quality.

We used the Voronoi tower model with 3 profiles (fast, precision, and normal). The photos were provided by the 3D Printing Industry.

Lastly, we 3D printed a functional pipe fixture using Nylon-Carbon Fiber, which is a composite material. For the printing of this part, we utilized a hardened steel nozzle with a 0.4 mm diameter.

The 3D print part made in the first attempt, using the default profile of AnkerMake slicer famously. There was a bit of stringing while processing, nonetheless this was conveniently cleared after some cleanup, this barely had any negative impact on the 3D print’s quality.

With the M5C’s compatibility with composite material, it’s consumer base has boosted well beyond pastime users to the intermediate market.

3D printed pipe fixture. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

Final verdict

The M5C stands out as an efficient and user-friendly FDM 3D printer, providing satisfactory 3D print speed and quality. This 3D printer is ideal for beginners, providing a welcoming entryway into the world of desktop 3D printing. The inclusion of a 300℃ nozzle enhances its material compatibility, increasing the usefulness of this 3D printer for intermediate users.

The dependability of the M5C was a remarkable feature during the testing stage. Impressively, we did not face any failed 3D print or sensor errors. Beyond doubt, the M5C continually proved its claimed capability of generating high-quality items.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

Like it? Share with your friends!


Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
The Classic Internet Listicles
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Photo or GIF
GIF format