Introduction of A1 Desktop 3D Printer by Bambu Lab: A Larger Version of the A1 Mini


The Bambu Lab A1 3D printer [Source: Bambu Lab]

Bambu Lab officially announced a new desktop 3D printer, the A1.

The company has been busy this year, with their surprise announcement of the A1 mini a few months ago. It seems that the new A1 is the “not mini” counterpart to the prior machine. Bambu Lab has been rocking the industry with revolutionary products over the past year and a half, and announcing the mini before the standard model somehow seems appropriate.

If one were to visually compare the A1 with the A1 mini you’d notice a large number of similarities. In fact, the technology seems identical, with the major difference being the size of the machine.

When we look at the specifications of both the A1 and A1 mini, we can see that they are almost identical, with the only difference being the build volume. For the mini, it is 180 x 180 x 180 mm, and for the A1, it is 256 x 256 x 256 mm.

The most common complaint about the mini that I have heard is that “it’s too small.”

You can read our in-depth review of the A1 mini on our site. It provides a detailed view of how Bambu Lab’s “A1” concept operates. The insights from our A1 mini review are most likely valid for the A1, which we have yet to test.

Here are the basic features of the A1, if you don’t want to go through our 4500-word review of the A1 mini:

  • Build volume 256 x 256 x 256 mm
  • i3-style motion system
  • All metal hot end, reaches 300C
  • Quick swap 0.4mm nozzle with optional 0.2, 0.6 and 0.8 mm
  • Single 1.75mm extrusion system
  • Magnetic flexible steel coated print plate (max 80C)
  • Maximum volumetric flow of 28 cubic mm/s
  • Webcam with timelapse feature
  • Filament run out sensor
  • Power loss and recovery procedure
  • 3.5” color touch screen
  • WiFi networking and SD card slot

And here are the advanced features of the A1, which also appear on the A1 mini:

  • High speed printing up to 500mm/s at 10,000 m/s/s acceleration
  • Closed loop fan controls
  • Filament odometer
  • Filament tangle sensor
  • Dual core cortex M4 controller
  • Smartphone app for remote monitoring and control
  • Cloud integration for MakerWorld 3D model access
  • Eddy current sensor for dynamic flow control
  • Vibration compensation
  • Fully automated calibration

AMS lite filament switcher [Source: Bambu Lab]

In addition to the A1, Bambu Lab also unveiled compatibility of the A1 with AMS lite, a four-spool material switching unit previously used with the A1 mini. The AMS lite can swap colors mid-print quite efficiently by retracting the filament and introducing a filament from a different spool. A cutting blade is used to ensure a seamless swapping process without any blobs. The performance of the AMS lite with the A1 mini in my test was virtually flawless, so I anticipate the same for the A1.

However, there’s a limitation you need to be aware of: the print surface can only reach up to 80C. Consequently, printing high-temperature materials like ABS or PA on the A1 isn’t really feasible. Nonetheless, printing materials like PLA, PETG and TPU are quite easily done.

Results of Bambu Lab’s flow rate compensation feature.

The A1 mini took me by surprise owing to its remarkable print quality, which is superior to most other machines I have encountered. What makes it more impressive is its capacity to deliver optimal results without the need for tuning or calibration. Its agility in combining vibration compensation and flow rate management ensures the delivery of near-flawless prints in minimal time.

Let us broach the subject of the A1’s pricing: it stands at US$399. As expected, this is slightly higher than the A1 mini, priced at US$299. However, for an additional US$100, you receive a near identical machine but with a build volume that is almost thrice as large.

Consistently, the AMS lite is priced at US$249. However, a combined package of the AMS lite and the A1 from Bambu Lab comes at a reasonable US$559. This is an exceptionally good price for such a high-performing machine.

The A1 takes into account the primary feedback from customers regarding the A1 mini: its build volume. As for the restrictions on materials, Bambu Lab has proactively found a solution with their more advanced models, the P1 and X1 series. The additional cost for these upgraded models is negligible.

Via Bambu Lab

Original source


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