Bambu Lab Teases Multicolor 3D Printer and Plans for Larger Devices in Recent AMA

By on May 2nd, 2024 in interview, news

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Bambu Lab took to Reddit to perform an “Ask Me Anything” session. Did they reveal anything of interest?

There are pages and pages of mostly questions and some responses. To save you the trouble of reading through it all, I’ve scanned the session and came up with what I believe to be the most important bits.

Multicolor 3D Printing

When asked about the possibility of a future multi-head 3D printer, like the Prusa XL, for example, Bambu Lab hinted at a “new generation 3D printer” to be launched “this year”, with a wink.

This could mean they intend on directly competing with the XL, which offers individual toolheads for each material. This configuration significantly saves time as materials can be switched almost instantly during printing.

Material Spool RFIDs

Someone asked whether the protocol for the spool RFIDs would be open sourced. This is the wireless method by which the machines automatically identify the spools currently mounted on the machines.

Bambu Lab said they would NOT open source the RFID protocol. That’s understandable, given that the sale of spools is a big part of their business model. They want to protect that. If they open sourced it, then any other filament supplier could lowball prices and scoop up that revenue from Bambu Lab.

This means that Bambu Lab operators that enjoy automatic filament detection will have to continue buying spools from Bambu Lab. Fortunately, the company’s prices are pretty reasonable.

Larger A1 Machine

When asked if a stretch version of the A1 3D printer would be contemplated, Bambu Lab said no. This is because of technical reasons: the i3 bedslinger style where the plate rapidly moves is not really feasible at larger sizes. Heavy prints would interfere with the precise motion required for high speed printing.

API Integrations

Will Bambu Lab permit software integrations via APIs to access job data in real time? Apparently Bambu Lab is considering this, but does not commit to any details or release dates.

That Unused Second Port on the A1

Some users asked about whether a second AMS Lite could be added to the A1 series. After all, there is a second identical port where one could be plugged in. If so, that would enable printing of models with up to eight colors.

Alas, Bambu Lab has no plans to do this, four will be the maximum. The port is intended for “future compatibility with accessories”.

That is quite interesting. What could these accessories be? A print ejection system? Smart enclosure? They don’t say.

A Larger Machine?

Some asked whether the “flagship” 3D printer, currently the X1C, will be superseded by a larger machine. Bambu Lab doesn’t say anything specific, other than “we’re working on it”. They also cannot say “which series it belongs to.” This suggests they may have “another letter” series. “L” for large?

This is very interesting, and effectively confirms that a larger Bambu Lab machine is in the works. It may be that they’ve seen other companies profit in the large-format space, and they wish to join. They may have also noticed ELEGOO’s Giga machine that is available at low cost. It’s of a style that could be made by Bambu Lab, and would totally smash the 1m 3D printer market.

There’s more in the AMA, but the above seems to be the meaty parts. The bottom line here is that the company is evidently developing a new series of machines that will be bigger and better with multiple materials, to be announced this year.

Via Reddit and Bambu Lab

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!