3D printing can be time consuming and challenging, and even today it’s still not as easy as using a photocopier, but the team at Bambu Lab took it upon themselves to create a better printer 3D easier to use with the X1. Color 3D printer combining LIDAR and AI technology to level the bed, calibrate prints and detect anomalies.
The Bambu Lab X1 3D printer supports up to 16 colors, makes it easy to remove media with removable material or soluble filament, can handle PC and PA-CF filaments beyond traditional PLA and PETG filaments, handles up to 500mm/s prints, and delivers better prints with features like Active Vibration Compensation. Oh, and you don’t need to assemble it, because it’s fully assembled and ready to go.
There are two 3D printer models with X1 and X1 Carbon, the latter featuring sturdier materials like aluminum and hardened steel, and additional features like additional auxiliary fan with closed-loop control, filter air and a surveillance camera. The X1 Carbon can also provide better printing for both PA and PC filaments, and it is the only model that can handle carbon/glass fiber reinforced polymer filaments properly.
The 3D printer controller features a dual-core Cortex-M4 MCU, while the AI/Linux part runs on a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with a 2 TOPS NPU, which could be a Rockchip RV1126 SoC, though. that the processor is rated up to 1.5 GHz. The company will provide its own Bambu Studio slicing software for Windows and macOS, but the printer is also compatible with Cura, Superslider and others that generate G-code. The company will make some parts of the software open source, but will keep the hardware and firmware closed source, as explained in a blog post.
Some of the samples are quite impressive, with the castle pictured below particularly standing out.
But it is also possible to create simpler objects like this pretty colored case for Raspberry Pi 4.
The X1 printer is also fast with the Benchy sample printed in 16 minutes and 30 seconds with 0.1mm layer height (TBC).
For reference, Karl’s quick print attempt with Benchy resulted in a 37 minute print with a 0.3mm layer using the Longer LK5 Pro 3D printer. The company admits that the 3D printer is still not as easy to use as a consumer device, but it got closer to its goal:
Do all these smart features completely eliminate tinkering and tuning? No.
Is this printer as reliable as a photocopier? No.
Is this the printer of your dreams? Not there yet.
Bambu Lab launched the X1 and X1 Carbon 3D printers on Kickstarter with over $6.5 million raised so far from around 5,200 backers. There are only about 5 days left and all the early bird rewards are gone, but you can still sign up for the X1 and X1 Carbon for $800 and $1,200 respectively. Retail prices (MSRP) are expected to be $999 and $1,449. Shipping adds around $27 to China and Hong Kong, but shipping to Europe and the US goes up to around $135, and double that for some other destinations like Singapore or Thailand. Crowdfunded 3D printers have a rather poor track record with a high failure rate, but it looks like the Carbon X1 is already being made or will be soon with rewards expected to ship in July or August 2022, so that the risks can be limited.
Thanks Karl for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 on a part-time basis, before stepping down as director of software engineering and starting writing daily news and reviews full-time later in 2011.