Why does everyone talk so positively about these mediocre printers?

I purchased an A1 mini last week, and I am thus far VERY disappointed in this printer. I’ve had it for two days, and if I can’t work some of these kinks out in the next 48 hours it’s getting returned.

I have had issues since I took the tape off the box.

First, the QR code for setup is a link to an incomplete instruction page. This is literally the first thing you see when you open the top flaps of the box, and the page is half finished, with no photos or diagrams at all.

This should have been my first clue, but I kept moving forward.

It took a moment to find the “quick start guide,” as it was buried deep in the box, inside the bag, and on top of the build plate. It wasn’t even visible, so I had to unpack with the half-instructions from the QR code page until I found the guide on the build plate. It was extra stupid when I opened the guide and it had instructions to do things that came BEFORE I could even see the pamphlet.

I then connected, installed, and tightened things as the guide instructs, and was then able to print my first part from the included SD card. I saw the scraper blade in the accessory box, so I chose the “scraper” file from the SD card and printed it.

It wasn’t the right scraper. I eventually found the correct file on the SD card, and printed it, this time without much issue at all.

I proceeded to print a 3d benchy from the SD card, and found that the extruder randomly moves to the side of the plate like it’s doing a timelapse, even with timelapse unselected. This doesn’t occur on every layer, it’s unpredictable.

Now I’m attempting to print a file of my own, and I can’t seem to get past 2% or make my custom filaments show up in any of the dropdown menus

Oh and the fans are loud af for a “silent” printer

Sure the printer moves fast, but if it’s taking unnecessary side trips on 50-60% of layers, that time advantage starts to melt away.
Heck, I can’t even get the print to start! (i already have another thread bout that)

Someone please explain why everyone raves about these things, from here it seems I’m better off with my nice quiet elegoo.

5 Likes

Because for most people, most of the time, they just work. There is no product in the world that has ever been mass-produced that has a 0% defect rate. I suspect you know that already and are just frustrated. The support from Bambu is pretty poor but the hardware is usually good.

You might want to return yours and exchange it and see if you get a better result. Mine isn’t perfect but it is pretty nice (P1S).

5 Likes

I haven’t had a single thing “just work” thus far. I cannot do the only thing I purchased it in order to do. To be frustrated is 100000% justified in this situation.

The problem isn’t the hardware, it’s the fact that the software is half-baked at best.

1 Like

I am also surprised by some errors I have encountered in the internal code of the machine (a Bambulab A1) movements that don’t make sense and an attempt to extrude filament at the beginning without preheating it. Even in the Slicer, Bambu Studio, I have detected certain bugs that, in my opinion, shouldn’t be there at this stage. However, to say that it is a mediocre product… I disagree. They need to debug the code, and they have made mistakes, which I attribute more to the fact that it is a product that has just been released to the market. I am an early adopter, and I have to accept certain handicaps. You know what they say, never buy the first units of any product. I understand your frustration, as I share it to some extent, but in my case, I will report the errors to Bambulab in the hope that they will resolve them urgently as soon as possible since I believe these errors will eventually reduce the printer’s lifespan in the medium to long term.

1 Like

Did you update the firmware to the latest?

1 Like

I sure did. And I’ve tried factory resets. I may have solved the problem of prints not starting at all, but that’s hardly a big step

Bambu definitely has issues with the customer service, but the printers are pretty faultless. Can’t speak for the A1 series, but the P1 and X1’s are hands down the best thing available. Are they really perfect… no, but you kinda have to nit-pick to find faults.

If you are having issues with it, or you just don’t like the way it works, move on to something else. Don’t force yourself to see it the way that others do. You’ll only frustrate yourself.

2 Likes

Like I said, the hardware is great, but I think the software is a diff experience with the A1 printers. Seems VERY rushed. There’s typos all over Bambu Studio ffs

What 3d printer software have you used in the past as a reference?

10 Likes

May I ask what made you opt for a BambuLab in the first place, seams like you are pretty happy with your elegoo?

From my point of view, sure there are a couple of issues and typos in the software, both the firmware and Bambu Studio. But I take that over most other implementations. I have seven A1 minis, two A1 and a couple of X1 and P1’s here and had little to no issues with them. There have been some improvements regarding the path optimisations in the latest firmware version.

3 Likes

I’ve used prusaslicer almost exclusively, and I can tell that’s what the underpinnigs of bambu studio are.

I went with Bambu for a handful of reasons, but most of all, the supposedly seamless software experience. There’s also the suite of features like dynamic flow calibration, vibration compensation, and the small size.

The elegoo is nice, but slow and sort of rough around the edges when you have to piece together the printer and octoprint, etc. Bambu is supposed to solve that.

Bambu feels neat around the edges but rough in the middle if that makes any sense

I wouldn’t say they are perfect, but they are not mediocre - I can’t speak for the A1 but that’s not my impression of the X1C which I’ve had for about a week.

I started 3D printing with a reprap i3 something like 10 years ago. That printer has long gone, but in addition to my new X1C I also have a very heavily modified Creality CR10 which I’ve been tuning/enhancing for years and a standard out of the box Ender 3 Pro. Now my CR10 has an E3D hotend, Titan extruder, BLTouch bed levelling, can print up to 350’c, has multiple beds for different materials, remote access/printing with OctoPi and all sorts of other enhancements. It prints very well, but printers like that need maintenance, the various software components need updating and then when something goes wrong it takes a lot of time to troubleshoot and resolve. Tasks like tuning the pressure advance and extrusion multipliers with new filaments to maintain dimensional accuracy (parts that fit properly) take a fair bit of time. Tweaking and tuning print profiles to get good results takes a lot of time. The Ender 3 is a simple printer in its stock form, it’s pretty good at basic stuff and I only really use it for small PLA prints. The main reason I have it is that the CR10 would often break or have an issue which put it out of action and I’d need to be able to print new parts to get it running properly again.

3D printers became a hobby in itself and took a lot of time, rather than the original intention of the 3D printer being a tool to produce parts for other purposes. The beauty of the Bambu printers is that even a person with no previous experience can purchase one and out of the box start getting results that have taken me 10 years to obtain via the hobby printer route.

My only real gripes are the filament membership thing which is a waste of time/money if they can’t keep filaments available and in stock (or at least let you backorder them), and that the RFID tags are closed source meaning third party filament suppliers can’t include Bambu compatible RFID tags, and you can’t create/update your own tags for filaments.

So for me it’s about time. Life is busy, time is at a premium and the Bambu printer gives me the ability to reliably print items on a commercially supported machine with easy access to spare parts etc - without all of the faff. The 3D printer can become a tool rather than a hobby in itself. This is something that previously cost a lot more than Bambu’s offerings and was only really viable for businesses.

I’m happy with my X1C+AMS and will be dismantling my Creality printers for parts (to make a small CNC machine).

Mediocre means “just ok” so I’m not sure why everyone takes issue with that characterization. I’m not saying they’re awful, just that they aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be

The random movement to the side is the tangle detection, watch the buffer on top of the print head, if it bottoms out it detects it as a tangle and moves to the side to try to mitigate the tangle. Check your spools and make sure you haven’t loaded them on so tight that they are rubbing the ams itself. This will cause drag and make it detect it as a tangle. I would power cycle, run full calibration, power cycle and print. I have an A1 Mini and A1, they are great printers. Make sure your bambu slicer is updated as well.

3 Likes

I think they are pretty open with saying that it’s not yet what they want it to be. The end goal it definitely to pull a unit out of the box and don’t bother with anything.

My experience with any other printer has been way more “hands on”. That is not to say that you can’t build or gat anything better, but, looking at the A1 Series, it’s far closer to that end goal than anything else at that price point.

I understand the issues you had with your unboxing experience. But when you unbox a A1 mini, there isn’t that much you can do wrong. The only thing that you might overlook is to remove the Z axis bracket on the back. But that is a, nothing that would damage the printer. and b, is prompted by both the Printers setup process and the mobile app.

1 Like

Thanks for the tip @lindnjoe

Can you help me understand what you mean by the “buffer” on top of the print head? Is that the 4 throated filament entrance doohickey?

Good point. Although, I had other problems in the past that ware unrelated to the tangle detection. But these have since been fixed by a Bambu Studio update.
I can see one movement to the top left corner of the build plate where it does a quick Y axis movement and continues to print, but that seams t be normal and only happens once per print.

Yeah, the Filament buffer, or AMS Hub is the part where your 4 PTFE tubes connect. It moves up and down when there is tension on your filament. It will trigger a reloading procedure when hitting the bottom. But you should be able to identify this by observing if the print head moves all the way to the left into the purge wiper.

Yes, its spring loaded if it bottoms out there is a sensor i would guess? that triggers and thats what makes it go through its tangle detection routine. As a way to test, you can disable tangle detection and it should stop moving to the side. I think a lot of your frustration is warranted, but once you work through the nuances of these machines you will find they are hard to beat in hardware or print quality. There are lots of great/smart users in these forums that are always around to help. I have an X1c and a p1s as well. When things act weird, and they will, a power cycle always clears up the issue.

1 Like

I don’t have an AMS, forgive my ignorance