They’ve been teasing it online for a few weeks now, and the time has come to officially introduce the Bambu Lab A1 Mini. Much to the surprise of many in the community, Bambu have chosen to go with a “bed slinger” design, or one in which the bed moves as well as the extruder, reminiscent of the Prusa Mini or the Kingroon Kp3s.
There are basically two items being announced though, the printer itself and the re-designed material management system (the AMS). Let’s first talk about the printer, which is set to retail at $299
- 180mm cubed print volume
- fully automated calibration
- active motor noise cancellation
- advanced filament monitoring
- print speeds up to 500mm/s with accelleration of 100000 mm/s²
- quick swap nozzle design
Previously, the Bambu printers have been known for the tech that they utilized to get optimal first layers. This paragraph from their press release mentions quite a lot of filament monitoring.
The A1 mini has one of the most advanced filament monitoring systems. Most 3D printers– Bambu Press Release
have filament runout sensors to detect the presence of filament. The A1 mini goes beyond that by measuring the existence of filament, its speed and odometry, the tension above the extruder, and the pressure under the extruder. This allows people to monitor filament runout, tangles on the spool and slips on the extruder.
The intelligent system keeps an eye on everything and can pause the print when any problem is detected. Additionally, the HMS system can easily pinpoint the problem.
Only time and testing will reveal if all of this sensing is really improving print quality or reliability.
The AMS has been fully re-designed to address some of the shortcomings of the old system. While retaining all the functionality of the old one, the new system exposes all the different parts of the system for easier maintenance, a common complaint from version 1. They’ve moved the spools of filament to have a central mount, which in theory should allow for more size variety in the spools, another common complaint.
The new AMS has RFID readers in it, so if you use Bambu filament it should automatically detect and optimize for that filament. This should not preclude you from using any brand filament though.
At this point, I’m unclear on if the new AMS will be backward compatible with previous printers. The AMS retails for $250.
If you purchase both together, the cost is set at $459.
I’m really hoping to get one in my hands soon to test. I’m quite curious about the performance of this machine. The A1 should be available in the Bambu Lab store today.