I chose P1P for my first 3D printer, but the hotend often failed to heat up. I contacted customer support and they assessed that a wire somewhere was broken, so I got a replacement unit.
After setting up the second unit, I started installing various upgrade components for the P1P and printing enclosures, but the machine kept making weird noises - likely due to plastic heating and deforming.
I contacted support again, and they said they were investigating similar issues on other devices. Sure enough, after a few days they told me I’d need to get another replacement.
On top of these problems, I discovered numerous minor issues during use that didn’t prevent printing but needed software updates to resolve, such as:
- The Z-axis makes weird noises when moving up and down. This is different from the issue support encountered.
- If I adjust print speed while not printing, UI elements get misaligned.
- Various error codes show up that don’t exist in the official code list.
- Bambu Studio shows “Missing Lan IP of printer!” under Device - Media.
- Some printer buttons become unresponsive, with noticeable differences in feedback and sound.
- Adding a fan causes severe warping with default PLA profiles unless I manually turn off the fan.
- Several tickets I submitted got no response for days. Support said their ticketing system was down so they couldn’t see the tickets.
After about 10 days of this, I had gone through multiple order and return cycles1, had two printers and piles of parts and packaging at home, and was about ready to give up on 3D printing.
This was one of the most problematic orders I’ve had on this platform, but I appreciate that the company has been proactive in helping resolve issues instead of brushing them off.
I chose Bambu Lab because they aimed to provide a working 3D printer out of the box, transforming 3D printers from hobbyist tinker toys to accessible consumer tools2.
If a company like this3 still had so many issues, I wondered if the technology just wasn’t mature enough yet for what I wanted.
I felt the P1P had potential to improve with time, but it might take a while to smooth out all the kinks. Would the older X1 model be more polished?
I asked a support rep, who said the X1 has better QC and firmware optimization4. After reading the specs and considering my recent P1P experience, I thought the X1 would suit my needs better.
I realized I needed a printer enclosure much more than I first estimated because:
- I have a cat, and I worry about her safety around an open printer and prints.
- PLA printing produces a sweet but noticeable smell I want to minimize for health.
- It’s noisy without an enclosure.
- Lack of enclosure causes large fluctuations in print quality from ambient temperature changes.
While the P1P can print its own enclosure, the DIY options aren’t fully enclosed yet, and I doubt any third party solution will match the official X1 enclosure in quality and price any time soon. Most importantly, going the DIY route defeats the purpose of choosing this brand for an out-of-box experience with minimal printer setup and tuning.
After comparing the models, I ordered an X1CC.
This table summarizes some key differences I was looking at:
The AMS enables multi-color printing and is also a handy dry box, so I considered it a must-have. Thus all options below include AMS.
|Model||Price||Enclosure||Extruder Gear||Nozzle||Aux Fan||HEPA Filter||LiDAR||ABS||PA, PC|
|P1P5||¥3,999||Printable||Steel||Stainless steel||Optional add-on||No||No||Ok||Ok|
|X1||¥6,599||Plastic||Steel||Stainless steel||Optional add-on||Optional add-on||Yes||Good||Ok|
|X1C||¥7,899||Aluminum||Hardened steel||Hardened steel||Closed loop||Yes||Yes||Good||Good|
With full bundles:
|P1P + AMS||¥3,999 + ¥2,299 = ¥6,298|
|X1 + AMS||¥6,599 + ¥2,299 = ¥8,898|
|X1C + AMS||¥7,899 + ¥2,299 = ¥10,198|
|X1 + AMS + Add-ons7||¥8898 + ¥329 + ¥39 + ¥199 = ¥9,465|
I went with the X1CC for the better enclosure and temperature control of the X1C over the X1, and the cost to self-upgrade the X1 to X1C level seemed lower value than getting the top factory model.
The cost of my first 3D printer ended up 6-7 times my initial plan, but I’m satisfied with the result - the speed and print quality are quite high for the price bracket, and the setup and tuning time is relatively low.
If I had stuck to the original plan, I might still be working on basic print quality issues with a new printer.
3D printers have graduated from hobbyist toys to consumer appliances!
Including accessories and AMS orders, plus a damaged accessory in shipping. ↩
This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the technology itself or assembling a printer, just like I’m fascinated by how car engines work. But right now, what 3D printers can accomplish is more important to me than the tinkering process. ↩
They have an incentive to say this, but I’m inclined to believe it because many P1P issues seem to stem from firmware and software originally designed for the X1 and then adapted to the P1P. ↩
Promo extras: Camera, auxiliary fan, LED light ↩
The X1C + AMS bundle is nicknamed the X1CC. ↩
Add-ons to make the X1 close to X1C: camera, HEPA filter, auxiliary fan. ↩