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Bambu Labs A1

Test report on the 3D printer Bambu Labs A1

Bambu Labs has built a reputation as a pioneer in the world of 3D printing. Their Core XY machines arrived at speeds and accuracy that were hard to beat; When speed and accuracy weren’t enough, the AMS multifilament system took the machines to a new level.

We recently saw a departure from their Core XY machines with the launch of the Bambu Labs A1 Mini, one of the best 3D printers we’ve tested. It featured a speed and accuracy that was hard to beat, surpassed only by recent updates to the excellent official Prusa Mini.

Bamboo Labs A1

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Bambu Labs A1 Mini has now arrived and is available either as a single filament machine or as a combo with AMS Lite. Although this system takes up quite a bit of desk space, it’s nothing compared to some other systems coming to market, but what really sets it apart is its simplicity.

Bamboo Labs A1

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Setup is straightforward and in true Bambu style, an alternative AMS Lite mount was sent along as a print file just in case I wanted to place the AMS system on top of the printer rather than on the desk next to it. Having tried both, I personally prefer the AMS to sit next to the machine rather than on top of it, but that option does exist. This flexibility is another great feature of the Bambu Labs kit. As with P1P, there is the ability to customize.

Once again, Bambu has done what it’s made a name for itself: listen and innovate, and the A1 looks to impress right from the start.

Bambu Labs A1: Design

Bamboo Labs A1

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)


Printing technology: Fusible filament production (FFF)
Construction area: 256 x 256 x 256 mm³
Minimum level resolution:
Maximum layer resolution:
Dimensions: 386x389x458mm
Weight: 9.65kg
Bed: up to 80°C
Print surface: Structured
Software: Bambu Studio (Supports third-party software)
Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, ASA etc.
Print speed: Up to 500 mm/s, with peak acceleration at 10,000 mm/s²

Bambu Labs doesn’t so much break the norm as rework it, and that’s exactly what happened with the A1. On the surface, a cursory first glance would highlight the typical Cartesian design, which is nothing out of the ordinary other than the very elegant looking LCD touchscreen and beautifully designed tool head.

As is now common practice with these printers, the A1 comes almost fully assembled, so all you need to do is connect a few screws and cables and you’re ready to go. The setup process took less than half an hour and there’s really nothing to mess up the entire process. I also liked that the manual goes into a little more detail about the position of the printer during the setup process and provides tips on using a table to ensure easy mounting of the vertical section.

While you can see part of the construction when screwing in the vertical, you won’t see the bamboo in the design until you look closer. Details like the horizontal bar with an intricate metal bracket that attaches to the vertical one, and then there’s the base, which is finished in the slightly futuristic off-white that we’ve seen on the A1 Mini and AMS lite. The overall finish looks familiar in design, but appears futuristic.

Bambu Labs A1 Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The single-filament reel seat and the filament run-out sensor also have something of the future. Then there is the somewhat crazy AMS Lite design with the four reels, which are placed two next to each other. This design is inspiring because the rolls are clearly labeled and when printing it is incredibly easy to assign filaments to the different parts of the model if you have this set up in the software.

Like the A1 Mini, the AMS Lite sits on the side, but there is the option to mount it on top with a 3D printed part if desired. So if you choose multifilament, it will take up a little more desk space, but it’s worth it given the capabilities of this printer.

A point about design. It’s worth going into more detail, namely the quick-change nozzles; These literally come off and allow new or alternative nozzles to be inserted, with the system recognizing them immediately upon insertion.

When it comes to design, the device looks simple on the outside, but if you look closely, the quality and details are far superior to those of many printers that are about the same price or only slightly cheaper.

Bambu Labs A1: Features

Bamboo Labs A1

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Bambu Lab A1 is positioned as a user-friendly entry-level device and integrates several innovative features. Key highlights include the intuitive 3.5-inch IPS touchscreen, which provides a smartphone-like user experience, and the Health Management System (HMS), designed for the machine, not you, to guide you through all operational steps and assisted in troubleshooting.

When delivered as a combination device, the printer features the AMS Lite system for multi-material printing and supports up to four colors. Bambu Lab’s machines are known for their speed, and here the A1 offers a peak print speed of 500 mm/s and an acceleration of 10,000 mm/s², which is achieved by vibration calibration for both the X and Y axes on each print start is enabled. This calibration takes into account the printer’s voltage and ambient temperature, increasing accuracy. There’s an option to skip this when loading files, but for the few minutes it takes, it’s worth letting it do its thing.

In addition, the eddy current sensor in the hotend actively balances the extrusion flow rate, ensuring stable extrusion throughout the printing process. As the machine prepares, you can see this system sucking in and out the filament while measuring the properties before it begins printing.

Bambu Labs A1 Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The A1’s design features all-metal rails and linear bearings for added rigidity and accuracy with minimal maintenance. Its advanced filament monitoring system goes beyond detecting filament presence and measures various aspects such as filament speed, tension and pressure.

The HMS system can stop printing if problems are detected and help diagnose things, such as giving you suggestions about what went wrong.

One of the big features is the Quick Swap Hotends for easy maintenance and replacement for nozzles with different diameters. It’s all very user-friendly, but at the same time there’s a lot for beginners to get familiar with.

Bambu Labs A1: Performance

Bambu Labs A1 Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Bambu Labs A1: test results

Dimensional accuracy – Score 5

Goal 25 = X: 24.90mm / 0.10mm error | Y: 24.83mm / 0.17mm error
Goal 20 = X: 19.94mm / 0.06mm error | Y: 19.85mm / 0.15mm error
Goal 15 = X: 14.92mm / 0.08mm error | Y: 14.91mm / 0.09mm error
Goal 10 = X: 9.92mm / 0.08mm error | Y: 9.88mm / 0.12mm error
Goal 5 = X: 4.95mm / 0.05mm error | Y: 4.91 x mm / 0.09 mm error

X error average = 0.074mm
Y error average = 0.124mm
Average X and Y error = 0.099mm

Fine flow control – Score 5
Subtle negative features – Score 5
Overhangs – Score 4
Bridging – Score 5
XY resonance – Grade 2.5
Z axis alignment – Grade 2.5

Adding the totals produces a final score of 29 out of 30.

The Bambu Labs A1’s print quality test results demonstrate its high accuracy in precision and detail with an overall score of 29 out of 30. The dimensional accuracy rating of 5 with average X and Y errors of 0.074mm and 0.124mm respectively indicates exceptional precision in reproducing the model dimensions. This makes it ideal for applications requiring fine detail and accuracy; Ensuring you have a good base material will allow you to print highly detailed models that are more in line with what you would expect from a resin printer.

The printer features fine flow control and fine negative features, both rated 5 points, demonstrating its ability to handle intricate details and complex geometries. It also performs well in bridging (rating 5) and overhanging (rating 4), further highlighting its ability to print sophisticated designs.

Overall, these results position the A1 as a versatile printer suitable for a range of applications, from detailed models to robust prototypes.

Bambu Labs A1: Verdict

Bambu Labs A1 Review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Bambu Labs A1 3D printer is a remarkable new entry in the field of 3D printing and presents itself as a disruptor. Known for its Core XY machines, Bambu Labs’ A1 Mini was a departure from the company’s usual machine style in that it was a compact bed spinner; However, the speed, even if it wasn’t Core

The A1, available as a single or multifilament machine with AMS Lite, is characterized by its simplicity and versatility. The A1’s design is both futuristic and practical, offering a quick-switch jet system and a user-friendly experience.

However, if you’re a beginner, while this is a great machine and really hard to fault, the complexity beneath the surface may require some knowledge and the software can take some getting used to, even in its simplest form.

Okay, the A1 offers more than anything else in its class and rivals the best of the Cartesian, including the original Prusa MK4, but is it all too much? It’s rare to say, but for the price I think it’s just too cheap and leaves no room for maneuver in the lower and now middle market segment. The A1 takes a tried and tested design and essentially turbocharges it, so there’s really little to complain about as evidenced by the print quality. My only reservation is the open design, which limits the possible uses.

Bambu Labs A1: Price comparison