Bambulab X1C - Speedy and convenient new printer

So this thing exists

And its been pretty cool.

That is to say I backed it (I know, kickstarter, silly) and it shockingly has delivered.

I 3d print because it allows me to make things at a single person level that I would otherwise not have the capabilities to create. Robotics, Toys, Printer mods and more, that should give you an idea of what I do.

I have 3 printers.

  • Bambulab X1C with AMS (newest)

  • CR-6 SE (Which I got to print the last printer on the list)

  • Anycubic Chiron (terrible printer. I modded it a lot to pretty the pig)

So you can see sort of my history of dealing with an absolute trash printer then a mediocre one, to now one that prints extremely fast and has all the features built in more conveniently than my dual octoprint one pi klipper hodge podge setup I had before.

Just thought Id start a discussion about it here, because its crazy to me we have something with more convenience than a prusa and more speed than a voron and for less money than either.

That’s nice to have the feedback, I have seen a lot of people talking about them but have not had the ability to use one myself yet.

What is the price point on it?

I bought it for just under 1800 including shipping and taxes for the X1C and AMS, and right now the same Combo is $1759 CAD with just the printer being $1459 CAD and the lower tier being $1219 CAD.

So basically just under Prusa prices fully assembled compared to the top end model, or just over Prusa prices unassembled compared the lower model.

Pretty fantastic thus far. Best printing experience I’ve seen, though nothing is perfect and there are still things like some relatively small software bugs, the fact it only has wifi/no ethernet port and a microsd slot and the fact the firmware is closed source (though the slicer is open source), which I imagine are the sort of things most people don’t care about but it would be neat if it was open.

I suppose even ultimaker has theirs closed source, but you kinda have more trust that Ultimaker is here for the long term given that they have all those tasy business to business support contracts etc.

From what I’ve seen though, Bambulab got a lot of investor funding so they should be fine for a while money wise.

What’s your experience printing in multiple colours? I imagine the specification is done in the slicer but I was wondering how easy/intuitive it is. I’m also curious as to the quality of the different colours (especially if there is mixing of them involved or filaments from different sources).

Is there a remote downloading/monitoring app like Mainsail or Fluidd? I’ve converted my Spare Parts Printer to Klipper and I wouldn’t consider another printer without the tuning capabilities of Klipper and the remote control of Mainsail/Fluidd (Octoprint just doesn’t cut it).

What are the “relatively small software bugs”?

Based on the prices you’ve quoted, I’d consider them “fair” - not too high, not too low for a printer like this.

I think there is at least one other person who has bought the X1C, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts over time.

Edit: bah god, this became a wall of text. Sorry for that.

What’s your experience printing in multiple colours? I imagine the specification is done in the slicer but I was wondering how easy/intuitive it is. I’m also curious as to the quality of the different colours (especially if there is mixing of them involved or filaments from different sources).

I havent done much yet. I’ve done the test print, a poop chute for the printer with 2 colours (it purges out a shoot on the back, so you dont necessarily need a prime tower) and a small part for another printer and what I can say is you want as few changes as possible, just like with other single nozzle multiple filament systems as the amount of purge with every change isnt insignificant. So I try to stick to only a handful of changes per print. To put it another way, if you do a lot of colour changes, expect to waste as much as you actually mean to print in purge material, though once again, thats the problem with all the other multi filament systems of this type too like the ERCF or MMU2s.

How did the filaments stick together? Fine. Any filament that doesnt have some chemical reason to not stick sticks just as you would expect. I’ve tried both some PLA I got with the printer as well as from and its been fine as expected. I imagine Ill go back to my usual 3dp generic transparent PLA when I finish a roll. I have yet to try different materials (like many of these systems soft filaments dont really work in this), but I do plan to try poly propylene as I imagine its the closest to flexible filament that can work.

How do I do it in the slicer? Their slicer is based on Prusa slicer/Super slicer (all above board, as these are open source projects and so is Bambu Studio, and they even have added step file support which was ported back from Bambu studio into Prusa slicer). In essence this system is the same as prusa slicer where you can colour triangles, flat surfaces, layers etc.

Is there a remote downloading/monitoring app like Mainsail or Fluidd? I’ve converted my Spare Parts Printer to Klipper and I wouldn’t consider another printer without the tuning capabilities of Klipper and the remote control of Mainsail/Fluidd (Octoprint just doesn’t cut it).

This is where its sort of weird, so the printer has a ton of unique auto calibration features, but its proprietary firmware that you don’t actually have very fine control over.

If that sounds wild to you, its not as bad as it sounds there, because it actually supports input shaper (it really couldn’t afford not to at the voron speeds it prints). More than that though, it also supports pressure advance, and it tunes both of these. It tunes input shaper once when you first turn it on, and you can retune it if you say move the machine. It also tunes pressure advance using some funky lidar like sensors at the start of each print (though you can disable this so it doesnt do it every time))

As someone who has used klipper before, this is both so much better, but also kinda not in that it seems to work really well, and its sure great I never have to dial in individual filaments anymore (biggest downside to klipper and one of the biggest draws to me), but then also, I want a manual override in the event the sensor gets it wrong. There might even be a way, and I vaguely recall seeing that you could send over a command via gcode to manually enter a value, but certainly something they didnt intend for you to mess deal with on any regular basis, which I suppose is somewhat fair as the sensor array seems to work well.

I also realize I didnt even cover your app question and to answer that, they have Bambu Handy which is a fairly minimalistic app that lets you monitor prints through its built in Camera, do basic functions like stopping prints, telling prints to continue when it detects a bad first layer with the sensor array, switching filaments with the AMS or downloading/viewing the timelapses recorded by the camera.

What are the “relatively small software bugs”?

There’s a few littered around, but I’ve found non show stopping so far. Thinking of examples is kinda hard on the spot. I guess the slicer is missing a refresh model from file button which is annoying. Currently the soft limits on the various axis isn’t implemented, there aren’t fine tuned controls to allow for one click filament changes without the AMS plugged in so you have to tap the reverse extrude button a few times at only 10mm a tap.

Things like that.

I should also mention that the app does communicate through the cloud when you aren’t connected locally, so its a positive in that you can monitor everywhere without having to set up a vpn or anything, but some may see that level of connectivity as a negative as well so ymmv.

Based on the prices you’ve quoted, I’d consider them “fair” - not too high, not too low for a printer like this.

I think there is at least one other person who has bought the X1C, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts over time.

Oh yea, I certainly hope to get my moneys worth out of it. I’ve been pleased so far. I think the price is honest better than just fair though. When you think of a printer like a voron which costs more but does less and you have to build it, and a prusa which costs more and does way less (but at least has decent support), it seems honestly good. Not cheap certainly as its a pretty chunk of change, but compared to others? Good.

I actually saw a lot of people speculating thinking its wild they made it for this price like they must be taking a loss, but given it only has 4 steppers in it (3 lead screws connected via a belt save it extra motors), I can see how it was designed reasonably for the price. A lot of engineering for manufacturing went into this printer.

Thanx for the dump.

I didn’t realize that the multi-colour system worked that way, I would have thought that it retracted into a space where the end of the filament could be reused later. I guess that’s problematic based on how much material is left at the end of the filament.

The problem I would have in not being able to tune the calibration is that it means you have to work with the print surface the 3D printer vendor has decided upon (and probably sells) and I have had a very bad experience and expensive with that. It also limits the material you can work with (again, to what the 3D printer vendor sells).

The lidar sensor looks interesting and probably a good way of seeing how flat your build surface is. I’m just curious as to how it calibrates the position of the build surface to the actual position of the nozzle.

The Camera operation sounds interesting - I would like to see how it compares to the Obico (and other) available applications.

On this point, the firmware sounds basically what I was expecting. It will be interesting to see how it responds to the competition - I don’t expect Mainsail or Fluidd to stay static so Bambu will have to watch what people are getting there and liking and figure out how to add it to their system.

I’m sure a lot of engineering went into the X1C, the question I have is how much Bambu will invest to continually improve the electrical-mechanical systems in the printer. 30 years ago, I watched what IBM did to get their (big, mainframe sized) hard disc drives to world class levels of reliability and the ongoing engineering effort was insane with manufacturing line and field failures being understood and design/supplier fixes put in place constantly. The question becomes what will Bambu do to understand how their product is performing over time and how much support and replacement parts will they provide. As part of this, I’m reminded of the progression in VCRs; the first ones that came out were expensive and failed often. Twenty years later they were built with 1/4 the parts, were a fraction of the cost and while they still ate tapes, they were a lot more reliable than the first units.

It looks like a really interesting printer. I wonder at the proprietary nature of this unit. With custom proprietary firmware they could in theory down the road could they force the user to buy their filament? Since the use an rfid in their filament they could alter the firmware to only accept RFID? This of course could be worked around but much like tasimo and such coffee makers a PITA. Same for the custom proprietary hot end is it open source or proprietary and copy righted?

On one hand the proprietary closed loop means you have better QC and predictable out comes. Consistent prints. The downside it really hammers the open source community of 3d printers.

How hooped is it if they shutter? If bambu closes can the printer continue or is it a dead stick because parts firmware software make it obsolete?

Kickstarter start ups on occasion fail, Tiko over extended and could not complete the first set of commercial printers and folded shortly after the kickstarter ended. Its hard to know what will happen.

I can see the pros and cons of such a unit. My big beef with a lot of 3d printers is reliability ot of the box. The mods necessary to make them work well.

Bambu has corrected this by all accounts it prints well and reliability out of the box and mods may not be needed or perhaps in a serious ones anyway not even possible. The new Prusa also is addressing these same things and also has a proprietary hot end, it is hard to say how much is open source and how much is not. I remains to be seen how restrictive it ends up. Same for E3D, more and more are coming along that fall in this situation.

Open source means clones and copies, mix and match components that do or do not quite work together. It is reminiscent of Apple vs PC debates. A whole set of components all designed and spec’ed to work as one or a bumch of parts that need ‘bridging’ and such to work together.

It is going to be interesting to watch over the next few years.

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At least in the short term, it should still operate. Eventually it would become dangerous to leave a device on your network that could no longer be updated so you’d have to keep it to a private lan or use the microsd card only. They say they’d release the source code if they shuttered, but then again, politicians say they’ll remove first past the post, so I put no hopes in that happening.

In the longer term, you’d run out of spare parts unless another group started producing them. Many of the parts you can find off the shelf like stepper motors and belts, but many of the parts like the proprietary hotend, injection molded parts, AMS parts, Sensor array, you’d have no hopes of getting replacements for.

This company has received massive investor funding before producing this product. I don’t think the amount they got on kickstarter would have even been enough to start the company with the amount of work they’ll have had to done for proprietary firmware, industrial design and new sensor array tech. I think the kickstarter was just there for marketing.

As a last note, only time will tell if other companies, particularly chinese companies where they are more lax with patents will make aftermarket parts despite not being open.

Tiko had millions. There is a big difference between back loading and front. When they completed the kickstarter the set into production for regular market. Warehouses, employees, parts ect, all cost and are not alway part of kickstarter. They had a couple of delays suppliers that did fine during the first run were off on tolerances one on the plus side one small and then it didn’t fit. The delays and mounting costs ate the 7 million they had and then they ended up with partially complete printer and no money and stretched beyond their limit to complete. bankruptcy.

Bambu is about the same place they were with fewer supporters. Tiko had almost 100K.

The biggest difference is Tiko was Canadian and much of the assembly was in Canada and they had CES to meet. Bambu is Chinese I think, the over head is lower than in Canada looser standards to meet. We shall see how it goes. I hope they make it.

Is the printer CES approved? Whom did the certification? UL ETL CSA?

Bambu had investors, like actual investors investing waaaaaay more than the kickstarter ever gave them. I don’t think they needed kickstarter at all.

As for certification, I’d have to go look at the box, but they made a post explaining that they had to delay shipments to Canada for certification, so I would assume that it does.

Edit: I looked at the box and don’t see anything. I think I might be leaning towards no being the answer.

Ok, I’ve pretty extensively searched for it, but only found an FCC listing.

I’ve looked for Bambulab, the model names, and Shenzhen Tuozhu Technology Co., Ltd, all of which turn up nothing.

I was concerned, but then looked up whether other printers did, and most don’t. I didnt even find Ultimaker for CSA listing.

I’m not sure if this means they are all a problem, or if I need to know more about what these certifications mean.

I’ve nothing useful to add about the company, because I’ve had minimal interaction with them. Only time will tell if they stick around.

The printer itself is rocksolid, and solidly aimed at someone like me who doesn’t want to spend time tuning the printer. It’s so far been only about 50% successful at noticing spaghetti issues - but it’s worth noting I’m running on LAN only, which probably limits the AI. It’s been very good at pikcing up first layer issues, and it even noticed and compensated the one time I had the build plate slightly crooked.

The worry about the firmware demanding their proprietary filament is possible, but I think it’s pretty minor. For one thing, they seem to understand that would be a death blow to any future sales - the community just wouldn’t tolerate it. For another, the printer itself doesn’t read the RFIDs, that functionality is in the AMS. I don’t have an AMS installed, and the printer has no idea whether I’m using Bambu Labs filament or not.

I’m not 100% thrilled about the print surface; I like the really smooth finish, so I don’t want to try their PEI plates, but the “cold plate” is a sticker that is slowly peeling off. About every third print I have to peel it up and smooth out the bubbles. Now, after about a month and half of fairly steady printing, the sticker is reaching the point where the edges are peeling up as the ABS cools. So I’m getting minor warping, not because the print is detaching from the print bed but because the print bed sticker is detaching from the spring steel sheet! So I personally would like something similar to the cold plate, but more pernanently attached than just a sticker. Still, such things are consumables.

Unfortunately, I’m suddenly unable to launch Bambu Studio. I get an “invalid pointer” error when I stry to launch it. I just now sent in an email about that, so we’ll see what the response is.

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I am sure you are correct. The name strongly suggests Shenzhen 3D Technology Co., Ltd involvement. They own among others, Creality. That means longevity. It is an odd pairing Creality and a Turkish software company. Of sorry american they have a tenny tiny head office in the texas. I hate the marketing games.

CSA is a company they are the least likely to certify a 3d printer they are expensive and slow. I would expect ULc (underwrighters laboratory canada standard) or ETLc.

It is the inspection that shows it conforms to Canadian Electrical Standards. If you have a product that doesn’t conform generally it doesn’t make a huge difference for an individual (assuming it is built safely) as a company it is a huge deal, It hits liability if there is an issue, insurance and OHS.

I hope this is a opening in a new breed of printers that are less problematic but it sounds like there are some bugs to work out. It will be interesting if they respond to issues and correct them, or play the Creality card and let the consumers correct their design issues.

Wait and see. I hope they do better than the tiko did. I liked its simplicity, it had a handful of issues and propitiatory software was the real terminal issue. Physical changes couldn’t be adjusted for.

I hope you will keep us all posted as too how that goes. It is the bench mark in many ways. It is inevitable for printers to have issues, why Prusa is so reliable they have 10000s of hours on the design before it is released. It isn’t the design issue that is the problem it is the response to the design issue.

To be clear, there arent any really any issues hardware wise. It seems pretty battle tested, as in unlike any of the cheaper printers which come out a mile a minute, they seem to have done testing with this printer, and they have to as well, because with this design there arent really ways for users to fix issues.

They have showed they have a lot of these sitting on racks for long term testing and I think they really did test it because the physical design shows a lot of thought put into various aspects.

I don’t think it does. If you search, you’ll see there are hundreds of companies with names that go Shenzen [actual name] Technology Co.,Ltd. I imagine its an oddity with Chinese naming that we don’t have the context to understand.

I especially think so because (I believe in 3d printing nerds video??) He showed that the investments made into this startup were somewhat public, and so we can know this has nothing to do with creality based on that.

Frankly, if it did have to do with creality in any way, I wouldn’t have bought it most likely because I know they don’t do any testing/qa

If the people who back Creality also back Bambu Labs, it seems probable to me (this is of course pure speculation) that it’s at a high-level, involving finances but very little to do with actual day to day operations. The founders of Bambu Labs are all ex-DJI people; they’ve publicly stated they left DJI and started a new company to get the excitement and energy of starting a new company. To me, given the timing with DJI being taken over by a larger company, it sounds like the people who made Bambu wanted to get back to a place where they could make the real decisions.

If that’s the case, I seriously doubt they’d be interested in letting someone like Creality have any real say in how they ran their business.

Anyway, moving onto facts: I heard back from Bambu support fairly quickly, but the first round of emails was just me providing basics that I should have included in the first place - details like “I"m using Windows 10.” :slight_smile: They then asked me to provide a copy of the log; alas, one of my attempts to troubleshoot involved blowing away the previous install of the program, and this seems to have deleted the log.

The last round of emails was about 5 pm on Friday, Alberta time. I don’t know where the person I was talking with is located, but I know Bambu has an office in Texas, so I assume the NorAm support team is working on Texas time, which is an hour later than Alberta. I haven’t heard since but as this is annoying but not business threatening, I don’t object to the support team getting the week-end off.

I figure I won’t fret until end of day Tuesday. In the interim, I managed to solve my “laptop randomly crashes” problem by pulling the battery pack, so I’ve installed BambuSlicer on that. It’s not as fast as my desktop, but it’s doing the job and has me up-and-running. (My fallback would have been to try and find a printer profile for PrusaSlicer; one can use other slicers with the X1, I just didn’t want to faff about setting up a profile.)

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I’m not so sure. The sales rep from Piocrete ( Shenzhen Piocreat 3d Technology Co., Ltd.) admits they are part of Creality, Artillery Shenzhen Artillery 3d Technology Co., Ltd. also has. BIGTREETECH (bigu) also have the same certifications and the patents for US were applied out of the same address as Creality. They also appear to be all under one umbrella.

It is super common.
Irving forestry
Midland Courier
Cavendish farms
Acadia Broadcasting
Northwood broadcasting…
On and on

I think Shenzen [actual name] 3D Technology Co.,Ltd.all are owned by
Shenzen 3D Technology Co.,Ltd. Which is a huge company involved in everything you can imagine. There are lots of examples but Irving makes a nice local one.

Volkswagon, skoda, seat, cupra, audi, lamborghini, bently, ducati, Rolls royce (mostly rolls anyway) all owned by Volkswagon

Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, or Buick, Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Jeeps, and Dodges all owned by Fiat Chrysler

It is not a Chinese naming thing it is a very specific set of groups that use this convention. Some have connections to each other it isn’t a massive leap to expect the others to have the same connections.

There are many companies named Shenzhen [actual name] Technology (no 3d in this case) which are completely unrelated to Creality. When the only link is that they have a name formatted the same way as dozens if not hundreds of other companies, it seems like no real link at best to me.

I need way more than that.

We will need to disagree here. I found 5 or 6 all named the same way i confirmed, then add another 40+ all the same way making very similar products with the same parts used that is too unlikely. Especially when the companies with completely different names make different products that get cloned and used across the range by the same naming convention companies.

Thats just not a very high standard for evidence. As I mentioned there are so many companies with names like this. There are companies that make everything from headphones to cave equipment to ai wheel chairs.

Its just the way companies there are often named.

If you dont believe me, literally go to and search for Shenzhen Technology.

Youll see an absurd number of completely different companies, obviously in wildly unrelated fields all with that name.

So when you say you confirmed it, all you really confirmed is that they indeed use that naming scheme in Shenzen. I assume its similar to Germany with GmbH.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that creality and bambulab are related at all.

When talking about cloning… thats just common all over the industry. Often times for instance companies will license the technologies of other companies. E3d For example makes hotends for multiple companies from BCN3d to Prusa.

Well, a small update on my interaction with Bambu support. Overnight I got another message on the ticket, explaining that Windows hides the AppData folder by default and I should turn on “Show Hidden Files.” Doing that revealed the log right where it should be, and it’s now off to the boffins.

I did suggest they add that step to their instructions in the Support Wiki.

This is certainly one of those “oh, I should have thought of that” moments for me, but it’s also one of those “customers can’t tie their own shoes” things that every tech support / customer support person should be aware of. This makes me suspect the NorAm support team is a bit inexperienced.

My ticket seems to have been escalated to China, as this latest message came from a different tech, “Ciprian,” who was also one of the people (or at least user names) answering questions on the Kickstarter. Also, the internal time stamp on Ciprian’s message was 14 hours later than the timestamp on my email, and it arrived at 3 AM Mountain time. That could be email lag, but “sent from UTC+08:00” - ie, China Standard Time - seems the simplest explanation.

My current conclusions: it’s unfortunate that it took four days for anyone to think “oh, he just hasn’t turned on hidden files,” but I don’t know their workload and sometimes the really obvious things are the hardest to think of. It’s good to know that they didn’t just abandon the file, and are still working on it. My overall impression is still fairly positive, and it’s worth remembering that providing any support whatsoever puts Bambu in rare company as far as 3d printer manufacturers are concerned.

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