1st Printer Purchase

Bought our first 3d printer!



How Did We Get Here?

3d printing has greatly appealed to me because of the seemingly limitless possibilities for creativity and functional building.  To fabricate anything in the past I would have to work with existing metals, wood, and tools (none of which I am any good at).   

Now it seems like I can spend all my time on a comfortable couch with a laptop and design software, then push a button and voila!   

Ha, yeah right!   After my initial online searching it seems like there is a ton to learn and many things that can go wrong, but I am not dissuaded.  It still feels to me like there is awesome potential here.

What'd We Get?

I finally settled on the Bambu Lab P1S. 

I did not opt for the AMS (Automatic Material System) initially, both to save money and also to see if I will really need it.  I will most likely purchase a filament dryer before that (for more reliability printing with hygroscopic materials like nylon).

Why the P1S?

I am sure everyone’s needs are different, this one just seemed to fit for me.  I do wish the build volume was larger (256mm cubed) but to get significantly larger it seems I would have to give up the enclosure (and/or spend mega bucks).

Multiple YouTube printer peops mentioned this as a solid machine and a good bang for the buck. 

Not sure how much we may print advanced materials but the enclosure seems to be key for that (controlled higher temps).

How Did We Decide?

I started with searches for “top 10” printers to get a feel for brands and models that were well rated.  I had to adjust the list multiple times as I learned what features we could expect at what price points.  I did not want to spend $1,000 but I didn’t mind buying something over $500 if it had a lot of features and if it prevented us from buying something better a short way down the road. 
I dunno about you, but I HATE that!  Buying something just for the price point and then discovering that it doesn’t do what we need it to, so we end up spending a lot more money in the long run than if we just bought something better in the first place!   Grrrr

Anyway, I just kept narrowing down the list by price and features, reading and watching video reviews comparing one to the next until we ended up with just two or three models to choose from.  The biggest competitor for me was another Bambu Lab printer (the Carbon X1).  That one had very mixed reviews and some initial release problems so I opted for the less expensive cousin (P1S).

High on the list of features desired were:

  • Not speed!  I couldn’t care less about speed at this juncture, and it seems most printers on the market now are pretty fast.  Likely I will slow down print speed in favor of quality and less print fails.
  • Enclosed (for advanced material printing)
  • More metal than plastic components – gears and such
  • Good reviews overall

Some things people complained about on the P1S:

  • Inadequate light inside the print chamber
  • Low(er) quality camera
  • Old school control panel (vs the sexy large touch screen models)
  • Lack of poop chute/bin
  • Does not include the high temp build plate

There are workarounds for all of these, but I’m not going to worry about those just yet (except the build plate, which I ordered a G10 to overcome).

Additional Stuff

In addition to the printer we also got:

  • 0.2mm nozzle – may help with detailed prints.  Note: This is the “complete hotend”, including fan.  I opted for that to make changes significantly faster. 
  • Nozzle wiper
  • G10 build plate – better than PEI or PEX apparently(?) – purchased after I watched this video on the Maker’s Muse channel.  The Lightyear model is 3x as expensive as buying on Amazon but will come cut to size, with magnetic backing, etc.

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