3D Printer Review: Bambu X1 Carbon with AMS

3D Printing & Imaging Maker News

Manufacturer: Bambu Labs

Price: $1,449 as built

URL: https://us.store.bambulab.com/products/x1-carbon-combo

The X1-Carbon with AMS is the top of the line offering from Bambu Labs.

  • Multi Color & Multi Material Capability
  • High quality printing with 7 μm Lidar Resolution
  • High speed CoreXY with 20000 mm/s² Acceleration
  • Dual Auto Bed Leveling

Unboxing

The out-of-the-box experience with these is pretty great. They’re fully assembled, you just have to unpack them. There are a few screws you have to remove before operation, and you have to snap the display screen in to place, but that’s about it.

In use

I’ve been using this machine for a few weeks now, pretty much non stop. The experience is fantastic as far as I’m concerned. You set up your parts in the slicer and send them to the unit via the cloud service (by default). You can also just copy files to an sd card and transfer them that way.

I’ve been getting fantastic quality out of this thing. Using both PLA and ABS, my prints always look fantastic, and it is done super fast. The auto scanning of the first layer is great, though I do find I need to wash my plate and apply glue stick fairly regularly to keep that first layer going down flawlessly.

Using the AMS

This is where the Bambu really shines. The AMS is, in my opinion, by far the best multi material experience I’ve had. Selecting colors in the slicer is super easy, and the AMS handles the color swaps easily. There are only a few downsides to the AMS.

  • You have to use spools that fit – this can be resolved by printing some upgraded parts
  • There is a ton of waste when doing multi color prints – the machine has to clear the nozzle between each color shift, which results in a mountain of purge material
  • it is slow when doing multicolor prints – because of the purging process, multi color prints go extremely slow. *note: extremely slow in this case is similar in speed to what we considered “normal” with something like an ender3.

While those shortcomings do exist, the AMS offers a few great features too. loading filament has never been easier, and you can technically have 4 different filaments “loaded” and waiting at any point in time. You can even chain together multiple AMS systems, theoretically allowing for up to 16 colors. It’s difficult to express just how nice it is to be able to select between different filaments in your slicer and have it just work. There’s no going and babysitting the machine or manually swapping filaments.

Pros and cons

On the pro side, this machine is fast, reliable, and easy to use. You don’t have to know a ton or tweak it at all to get stunning prints out of it.

On the negative side, it is expensive. This model pushes $1500 with the AMS. It is also closed source, so if you want to support Open-Source initiatives, this will present a quandary for you.

Conclusion

The quality of prints I get, at incredible speed has been consistent and impressive. Printing multi color is something that I don’t see myself using that often due to the waste, but it’s a neat trick. however, having 4 rolls of filament “loaded” at any point is really really nice.

The bed leveling process is slow and a bit annoying, but if it gives me clean first layers, I’m willing to overlook it.

Ultimately, I’m super impressed by this machine. I do find myself wondering if one of the cheaper ones would meet all my needs at a considerable cost savings as the cheaper ones also print fast and use the AMS, and can be purchased for less than half the cost of this model.

This machine has earned a spot right next to my fleet of Prusa printers for the highly demanding parts I print for my gaming charity. That’s pretty rare, no other FDM machines have performed well enough to sit next to my MK3 for constant precise parts all day every day.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at CalebKraft.com

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