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Best desktop 3D printer of 2023: Bambu Lab’s P1S

The system offers an efficient, high-quality, multi-material (with the addition of the AMS) 3D printing experience for those looking to spend a few more dollars

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Bambu Lab was founded in Shenzhen, China, by ex-DJI engineers in 2022. The young company has quickly soared to the top of the desktop 3D printing ranks, with systems series like the X1, A1, A1 Mini, and X1E. Recently, VoxelMatters has been testing out the company’s P1S, coupled with its innovative Automatic Material System (AMS). Although the system’s price point of €999,00 (including the optional AMS), is higher than many other entry-level desktop 3D printers, it has many noteworthy advantages.

Best desktop 3D printer of 2023: Bambu Lab’s P1S. With the AMS, it offers an efficient, high-quality, multi-material 3D printing experience.

Technical specs

The Bambu Lab P1S boasts a 256 x 256 x 256 mm build volume, a nozzle temperature capability of up to 300 degrees Celsius, and a direct drive extruder – supported by a CoreXY gantry. Additional features include an auto-leveling system, vibration and pressure compensation, semi-automatic belt tensioning, and a textured print bed for easy print removal.

Connectivity options are comprehensive, with support for a microSD card, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The printer’s speed, capable of reaching 500mm/s with acceleration up to 20,000 mm/s², and adjustable settings options, enable the system’s enhanced performance.

Quality of prints

The Bambu Lab P1S demonstrates exceptional layer quality across various settings, embodying the high standards of the Bambu Lab brand. Its ability to produce models requiring no post-processing is a testament to its superior design and technology. The direct extrusion head and pressure balancing algorithm enable above-average sustained speeds, with the only drawback being vibrations at speeds of 500mm/s, an issue common to high-speed 3D printing but manageable with additional modifications.

The supports are generally very easy to remove, especially in comparison to most entry-level desktop 3D printers. This feature makes the post-processing experience far less frustrating, and also results in much higher quality parts overall, with almost no need for trimming or sanding.

Advanced Bambu Studio software

Bambu Studio, the system’s accompanying slicer software, has clearly been designed for ease of use. It not only allows for simple color application on models but also offers comprehensive machine and AMS management, enhanced by real-time printing status monitoring through the built-in webcam.

Remote printing via Wi-Fi makes the overall user experience far more seamless compared to many other desktop 3D printers and is a welcomed feature – especially when your printer is in a different room than your computer setup. The hardware pretty much looks after itself and, via the software suite, the user has almost everything they need at the tips of their fingers.

Best desktop 3D printer of 2023: Bambu Lab’s P1S. With the AMS, it offers an efficient, high-quality, multi-material 3D printing experience.

Powerful but questionable AMS

Bambu Lab’s AMS elevates the printer’s functionality – supporting automatic loading and unloading of multiple different materials. With the capability to handle four filament rolls at one time, and recognize Bambu Lab’s NFC-tagged rolls, the system introduces versatility and enables an impressive multi-material printing experience, minus a few challenges.

Loading new materials onto the Bambu Lab rolls proved to be a bit iffy, with our first print failing due to the filament catching and causing the extruder to stop. After unrolling and rerolling the entire spool, we were able to get back to printing – for the most part, as the filament was rolled imperfectly.

Another point worth considering is the amount of waste that comes as a result of the filament changing upwards of 100 times in a print (depending on the complexity of the design). The software and hardware combination can handle the filament changes, which is noteworthy in and of itself. The fact that this kind of setup is so readily available, all within one desktop 3D printer, speaks volumes for the future of at-home 3D printing. Users should plan ahead for this wastage when calculating how much material is needed for a print.

Room for improvement

All things considered, Bambu Lab’s P1S is a fantastic machine, and the experience would still be worthwhile without the following suggested improvements. However, they are worth mentioning:

  • The printer’s small display may challenge users seeking an intuitive interface for direct management, marking a slight inconvenience in an otherwise user-friendly setup.
  • The relatively low-resolution webcam, while sufficient for basic monitoring, falls short for users requiring detailed remote observation of their print jobs, or for those looking to record high-quality content.
  • Although the P1S can achieve impressive printing speeds, it suffers from strong vibrations during fast prints, potentially affecting print quality. This issue, however, can be mitigated with the addition of anti-vibration feet.

A little more for a lot more

The Bambu Lab P1S 3D printer is an advanced system, clearly at the forefront of desktop 3D printing. Excluding the AMS, the system offers precision, versatility, and a user-friendly design – making it a compelling choice for both hobbyists and professionals. It is slightly more expensive than most entry-level 3D printers, but the additional features and overall quality of the printer and the parts make it worthwhile. With this system, Bambu Lab gives us an exciting glimpse into the future of desktop 3D printing.

Research
Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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