Exploring the Bambu Lab A1 Mini: A Detailed Hands-On Review – Part 4


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Our review of the Bambu Lab mini A1 concludes with software, print results, and final thoughts. 

This is part four of a four-part series, please read parts one, two and three

Bambu Lab A1 mini Software

bambuStudio preview for the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

There are two software resources for the A1 mini: BambuStudio, a desktop app, and Bambu Handy, their mobile smartphone app. 

BambuStudio is a fork of PrusaSlicer, so it has a ton of terrific features. Bambu Lab has reorganized the interface somewhat, so those familiar with PrusaSlicer will have to find their way around again. 

One of the main features is the ability to connect directly to the machine and the cloud, and that’s something I used constantly. You can use the A1 mini in offline disconnected mode, but it is just so convenient to be online. 

Presliced MakerWorld job not compatible with the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

It is possible to download a ton of pre-sliced 3D models from Bambu Lab’s MakerWorld for direct printing, but I did find one issue. 

It seems that many of the pre-made jobs are not compatible with the A1 mini, as they were sliced for other Bambu Lab equipment. You have to be careful because the software lets you bring these down and begin working with them before the error appears. Just double check that the file is for the A1 mini before downloading. 

Painting a model with bambuStudio for the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

The AMS enables multiple color usage, and among the best ways to exploit this is by using the painting functionalities of bambuStudio. Here, you can witness my application of a blue tone to certain places in a 3D model. This clearly demonstrates why it’s crucial to align your filaments and colors within the system. If you neglect this step, you may end up with a visualization exhibiting incorrect colors. 

Praise must be given to the painting process—it provides access to a host of tools including freehand, painting adjacent surfaces and so forth. However, precision is key, and the undo button should be your friend. 

On observing closely, I noticed that the painting had an influence not just on the external aspect of the model, but sometimes penetrated deeper. I was often left wondering when I observed areas unexpectedly getting colored inside the prints where it wasn’t necessary. On a positive note, the surface colors of the concluding prints were always accurate. 

Next plate ready to go in Bambu Handy for the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

When printing the components of the Marble Run mystery box, an intriguing characteristic was discovered. There were so many components to print, requiring several print jobs. The MakerWorld entry offered eleven set up “print plates,” fully prepared and set to be printed in a sequential manner.

What was strikingly interesting was the Bambu Handy app, which would guide you seamlessly from one plate to the next, eliminating the need for hunting down the subsequent plate.

There is a plethora of other aspects to discuss regarding the software and MakerWorld, but those can be saved for another discussion. As of now, it can be stated with certainty that the software experience is impressive, and the offered tools are notably potent.

Bambu Lab A1 mini Print Results

17 minute #3DBenchy made on the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

The print results were outstanding, with almost no flaws on any print. In fact, the machine failed only when I screwed up the parameters or the filament broke. There were essentially no errors from the A1 mini. 

The #3DBenchy above came out very well and with extreme speed. This job completed in only 17 minutes, far faster than most “high speed” desktop 3D printers. 

Multicolor #3DBenchy made on the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

I experimented with color layers and it yielded impressive outcomes. There was minimal mess as filament changes were very few. 

On one occasion, I manually painted some markings on a cube and the results were quite satisfactory.

Here can found cube picture

Here can be found logo picture

I attempted to print a sports logo by coloring the 3D model. The process was quite straightforward, and the print was successful. It is important to have the correct colors available, and ideally, you should need four or less due to the limitations of AMS capacity.

This was a print-in-place truck, which printed perfectly and was fully articulated. The dump and wheels operated instantly without a hitch. This outcome was very impressive!

A gorgeous multicolor wave was 3D printed on the Bambu Lab A1 mini.

I took on the task of infusing color into this 3D model derivative of the iconic Japanese wave painting. The magnificent outcome was well worth the 13-hour effort, punctuated by numerous filament exchanges. The print process was impeccably flawless, instilling in me complete faith in the A1 mini. 

The mammoth Marble Run venture was executed within a few days. Although it was long-drawn, the printing process went off without a hitch. The assembly evoked joy as I pieced together this gigantic mechanism that sent marbles hurtling down an elongated runway. While slightly racket-producing, it demonstrated the A1 mini’s capability to churn out sizeable creations despite its compact design. 

View washing machine project

View TPU prints project

I had a brief experience testing the TPU, and there were zero issues. The material adhered properly, no jams were experienced, and the result was virtually perfect, as per usual.

Moving on, I switched to using the 0.2mm nozzle and decided to print something small. There were four figurines with sizes ranging from 50mm all the way down to just 6mm tall, and the results were as good as one could hope. Some detail could even be discerned on the smallest figurine. There’s a #3DBenchy in the back to aid in contextualizing the scale.

 

On another instance, a robust 0.8mm nozzle print was produced on the Bambu Lab A1 mini [Source: Fabbaloo]

I also experimented with the 0.8mm nozzle and discovered that the printing speed is quite impressive due to the amount of material being deposited every second. I attempted to print the Lumpy Bumpy vase and the result was significantly better than I anticipated. 

The 0.8mm nozzle considerably strengthens the vase mode single walls, making it perfect for such tasks. I also observed that the larger extrusions enhanced the reflections on the vase. The aesthetic appeal of these kept me experimenting several times. 

Bambu Lab A1 mini Final Thoughts

Where should I begin? Bambu Lab A1 mini is the most impressive desktop 3D printer that I have had the chance to test till now. To further emphasize, it’s not even a contest! This is the first printer that we are rating as a “10” amongst our hundred other printer reviews. 

Our process is to identify three best features and three questions. I can tell you there are a lot more than three best features, and it was difficult to find three questions. 

The A1 mini is a very fast, reliable and inexpensive desktop 3D printer that produces near-perfect prints every time. It can handle multimaterial prints if equipped with the AMS, which I strongly recommend. 

The A1 mini is so compelling I have concerns for other desktop 3D printer manufacturers that now have to match the capabilities of this machine. Bambu Lab has raised the bar, and done so quite significantly. 

BAMBU LAB

A1 MINI 3D PRINTER

BEGINNER 10/10

ENTHUSIAST 9/10

PRODUCTION 7/10

BEST FEATURES

✔︎ Reliability

✔︎ Ease of use

✔︎ Speed

QUESTIONS

✖︎ Materials

✖︎ Build volume

This is part four of a four part series, please read parts one, two and three.

Via Bambu Lab

Original source

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


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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.

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