Since the beginnings of FDM desktop 3D printing and the emergence of the Reprap project, many different 3D printers have been released, and the market is now very broad. Today we wanted to introduce you to another exciting addition that aims to set a new standard in FDM Desktop 3D printing: the brand new Bambu Lab X1 series. The FDM line of 3D printers officially hit the market just a few days ago. The Chinese manufacturer announced the printer before launching a Kickstarter campaign that will run throughout June.
For those who may not have heard of it, Bambu Lab is a “self-described consumer technology company focused on desktop 3D printers”. The company is based in both China and Austin, Texas, and hopes to build state-of-the-art printers to break down the barriers between the physical and digital worlds. The X1 is their first launch. Before going further, note that this product is currently funded through a Kickstarter campaign which does not guarantee the delivery of a final product, it is entirely dependent on the money earned.
Promoting via Kickstarter
Historically, many brands of 3D printers have emerged from Kickstarter campaigns and examples such as Formlabs have certainly led the way. Even though Kickstarter campaigns are typically used to fund ideas and help bring projects to life that have only reached the prototyping stage, the platform is increasingly being used differently these days. Brands like Creality are now using the tool more as a marketing platform, as we saw with the launch of the CR-30 printing press. This means that some brands are running campaigns for products that have already been funded, developed, and are now almost ready to release.
In this case, the R&D of the Bambu Lab X1 started in 2020 and involved the work of around 100 engineers, seven iterations and more than 750 prototypes. Now that the X1 series is developed, the Kickstarter campaign is quite short since it will only take place during the month of June and the shipment should take place right after, in July.
Bambu Lab hopes to revolutionize desktop FDM 3D printing
Looking at the official website and the Kickstarter campaign, the Bambu Lab X1 series promises to revolutionize desktop FDM 3D printing by offering a number of exciting features. These include great material compatibility, multi-material printing with their automatic material system, a sturdy chassis, and a polished user experience while maintaining an attractive price. The Automatic Material System is particularly interesting because it allows the use of four different filaments. In addition, Bambu Lab plans to launch a hub soon that would combine four of these AMSs to print up to 16 materials.
However, the main innovation of the Bambu Lab printers is the AI-powered calibration. Its purpose is to ensure perfect calibration to achieve reliable top-notch printing. Using a force sensor, the printer can compensate for bed leveling ensuring perfect calibration of Z-height and flow through a Lidar. In combination, these sensors should eliminate the need to check that the first layer height is set correctly and baby adjustments will be made automatically, taking all the guess work out of the bed leveling process. Bambu Lab 3D printers also feature a camera that is able to detect print failures such as spaghetti (loose filament extrusion caused by the printer detaching from the print bed).
Finally, the printers are equipped with an accelerometer, allowing them to actively compensate for vibrations. This means the printer is able to accelerate and print faster while eliminating ghosting and ringing issues (artifacts caused by the printhead suddenly changing direction) as the frequency of vibration caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration is analyzed by the printer. thanks to the accelerometer and compensated by an algorithm. The X1 3D printers have a touch screen and a mobile application so that the user is always informed of the status of the printer and notified in the event of a problem or breakdown.
Optimized for speed
As we mentioned earlier, Bambu Lab 3D printers use an active vibration compensation algorithm to allow them to print faster, but the manufacturer did not stop there. X1 printers are designed for high speed. To achieve this, they use ultra-lightweight carbon rails for the X-axis, a high-performance 40W ceramic radiator to melt the filament consistently, a powerful 12W parts-cooling fan, and a sturdy chassis. .
Overall, the Bambu Lab X1 series seems like an interesting and innovative project. Even though we’ve seen most of the features it enhances in Voron 3D printers before, this is the first time we’ve actually seen them implemented in a commercially available plug & play 3D printer. Hopefully, Bambu Lab’s dream of making FDM 3D printing more exciting and accessible through an easier and faster printing process will inspire other manufacturers to compete. You can learn more about it HERE.
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*Cover photo credits: Bambu Lab