JobOx to Automate 3D Printing on the Bambu Lab A1 Mini

By on June 10th, 2024 in Hardware, news

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Automated plate system for the Bambu Lab A1 Mini [Source: Reddit]

A curious post on Reddit described a system under development for continuous 3D printing on Bambu Lab desktop 3D printers.

Continuous 3D printing is a very powerful concept. The idea is to enable the printer to continue printing job after job without human intervention. Once this is achieved, you have yourself a desktop factory that can produce (theoretically) limitless quantities of objects.

There are several systems that do this, ranging from belt-based 3D printers that roll off prints, to sheet-based approaches where print beds are replaced automatically.

The concept proposed by Reddit contributor “blendermite” is a sheet-based concept. It seems that their company JobOx is developing a sheet changer for the Bambu Lab A1 Mini. The company currently offers a sheet-changing accessory for the popular Prusa MK3S 3D printer.

How does it work? From the video it seems there is a small supply of fresh build plates on one side of the 3D printer. When a job finishes, its plate it removed and a fresh plate is slid into place for the next job.

While the system does provide some automation it isn’t quite continuous: you will run out of build plates unless you clean some and place them back in the hopper.

The system also seem to require you to pick up the completed plates as they appear to be dropped on the front of the 3D printer. I’m a bit concerned about jobs that involve delicate structures: could a second build plate crash into the first build plate upon ejection?

Nevertheless, this does automate quite a bit of the work involved in printing many items. Operators would still have to supervise the system, but at longer intervals.

The system is set to be released this summer and could be priced at under €300 (US$325). That’s actually more than the price of the A1 Mini on its own, but a bit less than the A1 Mini combo, which many people use.

The project seems to be getting some support from Bambu Lab, which would benefit from additional material sales from all the continuously operating devices.

Via Reddit, JobOx and Bambu Lab Forum

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!