The Bambu A1 Mini, priced at $459, can be considered as the ultimate ‘easy button’ among 3D printers.


The drone and 3D printer industries have one thing in common: the need to make their products accessible to beginners. DJI, the leading drone manufacturer, understood this and developed user-friendly technology for their drones. Bambu Lab, a company founded by five DJI engineers, aims to do the same for 3D printers. Their latest product, the Bambu A1 Mini, could be the most user-friendly 3D printer ever made.

Priced at $299, the Bambu A1 Mini offers an excellent quality-to-effort ratio. It comes almost fully assembled and tuned, making it easy for beginners to start printing. The printer also features a motorized automatic material system (AMS), which supports four-color printing and eliminates common issues when loading filament.

The AMS automatically pulls in the filament strands without the need to cut them, and rewinds the remaining filament after the printing job is done. Setting up the printer is a breeze, with the calibration process only taking a fraction of the time. The printer even tunes its motors and reduces noise using active noise cancellation. These features, coupled with its compact size, would make it a welcome addition to any home office.

The Bambu A1 Mini also offers convenience and versatility. While the printer can be purchased without the four-color AMS for $300, it’s highly recommended to get the bundle. The AMS allows users to print multiple small parts in different colors simultaneously. The printer also supports environmentally friendly cardboard spools and handles bed leveling and calibration automatically for each print.

In terms of speed, the Bambu A1 Mini is impressive. It can print quickly, tempting users to sit and watch as the parts come together. The print quality with PLA plastic is comparable to other Bambu printers, although there may be slightly worse seams and vibrations in the final product. However, the printer truly shines when it comes to printing with PETG plastic.

PETG plastic is known for its durability, but it can be a challenge to print with. The Bambu A1 Mini handles PETG plastic exceptionally well, producing high-quality prints. Users have tried different rolls of filament at different speeds, and the printer consistently delivers impressive results.

Overall, the Bambu A1 Mini is a game-changer in the world of 3D printing. Its user-friendly features, convenience, and versatility set it apart from other printers on the market. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced 3D printing enthusiast, the Bambu A1 Mini is worth considering. It offers an excellent balance of ease of use, quality, and affordability.

Let’s give this blog post a different spin! Instead of writing a traditional blog post, let’s transform it into a dialogue between two excited 3D printing enthusiasts, Mark and Sarah. They are discussing their experiences with the Bambu A1 Mini 3D printer.

Mark: Hey Sarah, guess what? I finally got my hands on the Bambu A1 Mini 3D printer! I was so excited to try it out and create some amazing prints. However, I have to say, I had a few hiccups along the way.

Sarah: Really, Mark? I’ve been considering getting one too. What kind of issues did you face?

Mark: Well, the first problem I encountered was with the bed adhesion. Default settings didn’t work well for me, and the prints just wouldn’t stick. It was frustrating to see piles of plastic spaghetti instead of actual parts. Even when I adjusted the heat and speed, the results were still not up to par.

Sarah: That’s disappointing. Did you manage to find a solution?

Mark: I’m still in the process of troubleshooting with Bambu’s support team. I want to see if other journalists have faced similar issues with PETG filament. I’m not ready to give a full review just yet. Quality prints are essential, you know.

Sarah: Absolutely, Mark. But bed adhesion isn’t the only problem you encountered, right?

Mark: You’re right, Sarah. I also faced limitations when it came to printing larger parts. I had to lay them down diagonally, which was a bit of a hassle. For instance, I couldn’t print the three-color version of the 3Dprintingworld’s telescoping Zelda Master Sword as it was simply too tall for the A1 Mini’s print bed.

Sarah: That does seem like a drawback. Did you have any other issues with the printer?

Mark: Yes, Sarah, there were a few other things that disappointed me. For instance, the A1 Mini’s camera for remote monitoring and timelapse videos didn’t meet my expectations. In fact, the privacy lens cover fell off during one of my first few prints.

Sarah: Oh no, that’s not good. Were there any features that stood out to you?

Mark: Oddly enough, one of the most exciting advertised features, the automatic detection of tangled filament rolls, didn’t work for me at all. I intentionally tangled a roll attached to the A1 Mini, expecting it to stop the print. However, the printer kept on yanking the filament, even when I clamped it down. It turns out that the feature was turned off in a firmware update. Bambu spokesperson Taylor Liu mentioned that they are still optimizing it.

Sarah: That sounds frustrating, Mark. But were there any positive aspects to this printer?

Mark: Absolutely, Sarah. Loading filament was extremely easy compared to my previous experiences with other printers like the AnkerMake M5 and Creality K1. The A1 Mini uses multiple sensors to measure the filament at the hotend itself, making it incredibly accurate and hassle-free. I was even able to print multiple objects using tiny scraps of filament that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Sarah: That’s impressive, Mark. Anything else that caught your attention?

Mark: Well, the integrated color touchscreen on the A1 Mini is a significant improvement compared to my previous printer. However, to truly experience the “easy button” A1 experience, I’m eagerly waiting for Bambu’s new MakerWorld platform, which is currently in beta. It allows you to press one button to print models uploaded to their app. Right now, there isn’t much available for the A1 Mini on the platform, but Bambu is relying on users to populate it.

Sarah: It sounds like there are still a few kinks to be worked out, Mark. Do you think the A1 Mini is worth it?

Mark: It’s hard to say just yet, Sarah. I still need to test how the A1 Mini holds up over months of prints and what the repair process is like. However, there is one potential game-changer with this printer. The entire hotend can be hot-swapped without the need for any tools. You simply pull off a plastic cover, and it’s easy to remove the silicone. That’s pretty incredible!

Sarah: It definitely sounds promising, Mark. I appreciate your honest feedback. It’s clear that the Bambu A1 Mini has its pros and cons. Maybe I’ll hold off on getting it until they address some of these issues.

Mark: That might be a wise decision, Sarah. Let’s keep an eye on Bambu and see how they improve the A1 Mini. It has the potential to be a great printer once they iron out these rough edges.

Sarah: Absolutely, Mark. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Let’s stay updated on any developments with the A1 Mini. Who knows, maybe we’ll both end up printing some incredible creations with it in the future!

Mark: I certainly hope so, Sarah. Here’s to the world of 3D printing and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead!

Introducing Bambu: The Game-Changer in 3D Printing

Today, we’re diving into the realm of 3D printing with a closer look at Bambu, a company that is revolutionizing the industry with their cutting-edge printers. One notable feature of Bambu printers is their use of proprietary hotend/nozzle combinations, which sets them apart from other 3D printers on the market.

Instead of the traditional method of purchasing standard 3D printer nozzles and going through the hassle of wrenching them down, Bambu offers a simpler solution. With their printers, you can easily pop on a whole new hotend if your current one becomes permanently clogged, worn out, or if you simply want to achieve a different resolution print. This convenient approach eliminates the need for complicated maintenance and allows for seamless upgrades.

While Bambu did not provide replacement nozzles for review, they do offer various options for purchase. They have 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8mm hardened steel nozzles priced at $12 each, as well as 0.4mm stainless steel nozzles for $10 and a 0.2mm stainless steel nozzle priced at $12. This range of choices ensures that users can achieve their desired level of detail and precision with ease.

One aspect to be aware of when using Bambu printers is the filament waste that occurs, especially during color changes. The printer tends to purge a significant amount of filament, resulting in wasted material. However, Bambu does allow for manual modification of the purging amount, giving users more control over their prints. It’s worth noting that while intricate designs may result in a higher level of filament waste, simpler prints consume comparatively less filament.

For those interested in purchasing a Bambu printer, the wait is almost over. The company has announced that their printers will go on sale today, with the first batch shipping in mid-October. However, if the A1 Mini, the first model to be released, doesn’t meet your desired print volume, there’s good news. Bambu has revealed that the A1 series will include more printers in the future, promising an extended range of options to cater to different needs.

In conclusion, Bambu is making waves in the world of 3D printing with their innovative approach and user-friendly features. While I’m personally content with my current printer, I can’t help but be intrigued by the filament-feeding AMS Lite, which would complement my older, larger printer perfectly.

Photos courtesy of Sean Hollister / The Verge.

[Update, 12:03PM ET: It has been confirmed that Bambu’s filament tangle detection is currently disabled by default. Additionally, further details have been provided regarding the filament waste caused by the purging process.]

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Original source


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