One 3D printer is not enough, lets get another

Recently my partner and I have been pretty backlogged on our printer. We both have things we want to to print but only have one printer an Ender 3 Pro that’s not the fastest. I have been researching printers and really wanted to get a corexy for my next setup. The four post setup, fast printing capabilities were a huge draw to corexy but comes at a cost. I also really wanted the printer to be fully enclosed, have a 300c hot end that was direct drive, and have a larger print surface than my current Ender 3.

I originally I was considering printers like the Creality Ender-6 and Voron v2.4. The Ender-6 is nicely priced but the top end is not enclosed and doesn’t have a 300c hot end. For the price I could easily fix these things on the Ender-6 which left it as a value option. The Voron v2.4 is a well revered printer that has tons of information available that you purchase all the parts build yourself from a BOM and sourcing guide. Building it isn’t an issue for me but dealing the logistics of hunting down all the parts from many manufactures is an long an arduous task. Its not cheap either at more than twice the cost of the Ender-6 once you source everything. The other issue is, its suggested the pieces you need to print be in ABS/ASA which my current printer setup cant do. There are people who print these pieces as kits and sell them, so that’s a possibility. There are full kits you can buy with all the parts and you just assemble but I think it kinda defeats the spirit of the printer. It would though meet all my needs.

Then I came across people talking about the the Bambu Lab X1 Carbon printer in a Discord channel. This printer meets every of my needs having corexy, 256x256x256 build volume, 300c direct drive hot end and fully enclosed 4 post frame. It even has a Wifi connection with phone app for controlling it which saves me a raspberry pi. I wouldn’t need to change or add a thing to the printer which is a huge plus.

It also has tons of features I wasn’t expecting to get on a printer in this price range. Lidar for checking bed leveling, calibration, first layer checking and spaghetti detection. It has a built in video camera for monitoring and time lapse. Its capable of printing up to 4 filaments in a single print (16 if I add more AMS modules later on). Filament changes are handled automatically including disposing of the excess filament in the changeover. The slicer Bambu Studio which is a modified Prusa slicer handles the color changes and even allows you to paint on the color changes onto a model. I’m only just scratching the surface here on the features, its pretty amazing what they have packed into this printer.

Speed and quality though is where X1 Carbon shines. People are reporting unpacking X1 and assembling it then immediately printing a low 20 min benchy that comes out near perfect without any calibration. My Ender 3 Pro takes over an hour and a half to print a benchy just for reference, and surely needed some calibration after putting together.

I watched a lot of Youtube videos which apparently Bambu Lab sent out a metric ton of them as a media blitz with no strings attached to evaluate. Ballsy move for sure but looks like it payed off because everyone is raving about it and only minor complaint was about software stuff they were working on fixing. A lot of the software issues seems to be fixed now. Seems like a lot of the reviewers put in pre-orders for them after trying the X1 which is a good sign. I also joined a few Facebook groups and discords to see how people were liking them and saw lots of great things being said and printed. Everyone seems to agree this printer is a game changer for this industry price point and will force other larger companies forward in their tech offerings.

Now this printer did just release. It started as a Kickstarter that was more for marketing purposes than fundraising. Again this company marketing department is pushing them hard and I think its because they know what they have. Everything looked good so I submitted a pre-order for a X1 Carbon /w AMS. We will see how long it takes to fulfill the order. Seems like it will be a month or so based on what I am seeing in the official discord channel. I will obviously make another post once it arrives.