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Bambu Lab A1: Fantastic Value & Speed

TL’DR: The A1 is the best beginner printer in the Bambu Lab line up. If you want a easy printer with the option to print color, this is your printer.

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We have to wonder why Bambu didn’t start with this awesome “normal” sized printer, but its here now and I love it! It has all the speed of a Klipper printer without the work, plus the precision and access to full color prints that we expect from Bambu Lab.

Retailing at $399 for the printer and $559 for a combo package with an AMS Lite, this printer is a great bargain for anyone who wants a “plug and play” experience. There’s a bit of assembly — ok, there’s a lot of screws — as you have to attach the top and bottom halves of the printer.

It has a top speed of 500mm/s, but mainly prints in that 200mm/s range like it’s Core XY big brothers. The all metal hotend is rated to 300 degrees, which should keep jams to a minimum. And unlike the P1 and X1 models, the hotend is super simple to swap when you want to change nozzle size or do maintenance.

The A1 and A1 Mini share the same super easy hotend design.

Things I like about the A1:

  • Speed
  • Intuitive Interface
  • Quick change nozzle
  • Inexpensive AMS (optional)
  • Direct Drive
  • Auto bed leveling
  • PEI coated flexible build plate

Things I hate about the A1:

  • AMS takes up a lot of space
  • AMS flings waste

Why get an A1 instead of a P1P?

So why buy the A1 when the P1P are the same size? Price is an obvious choice, with the A1 costing $200 less on it’s own and $389 cheaper when you compare the combo units with AMS. The A1 is just as fast — even though the P11 has twice the acceleration, it only uses it for “Ludacris” mode, meaning they both have the same normal print speed.

The A1 is much easier to maintain with an AMS that is less likely to jam. And if it does jam, you don’t have to unscrew and rewire anything.

The A1 also has a better & more user-friendly touch screen, which is great if you’re operating the printer without your PC. It’s also way quieter.

The P1P does have a more tidy footprint as everything stacks neatly. And you can print your own custom shell for the P1P, which can be fun if you’re of a mind.