electronic brain surgery since 2001

New 3D Printer: BambuLab P1P

It seems 6 years is about the span between me buying a new 3D printer (judging from a sample size of 3). I bought a RepRap Huxley in 2012, a Prusa MK3 in 2018 and now I bought a BambuLab P1P.


The main reason I wanted a new printer is speed. The MK3 is an awesome work horse that has been super reliable for me in the last 6 years, but it does take a while. Larger prints could easily take more than 10 hours so I was avoiding them.

BambuLab's line of printers promise the same kind of ease of use (“just print”) but with much higher speeds. The P1P is the cheapest of their CoreXY printers, basically a stripped down version of their flagship, the X1 Carbon.

Of course the first print was the presliced benchy that came with the printer's SD card. It took about 22 minutes and except for some tiny bit of drooping at the railing came out perfect. In comparison the presliced Benchy on the MK3 took more than an hour to print.


What is a bit weird, is the little dance the P1P does before the print starts. It does some nozzle wiping, some Z-height probing and a bunch of other things (maybe vibration calibration?) before it starts printing. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes. So the actual print time of that benchy is more like 17 minutes. For really small prints, the P1P can actually be slower than a MK3 simply because the setup dance takes so long.

The printer is bigger and faster than my Prusa. It is also louder and it is not Open Source. However so far I found it pretty serviceable with many spare and replacement parts available and lots of documentation and videos available.

Before I ordered the printer, I had checked the dimensions to ensure it would fit into the printer cabinet I built a couple of years ago. According to my measurements it should have fit with about 5mm of clearance. But what I did not take into account was that by default it needs about 10cm of space above the printer for the print head cable and filament bowden tube.

To avoid that, I ordered the cable chain assembly from the P1S model. With the chain fitted, the cable and filament is kept in a horizontal plane which is needed in the P1S since it is fully enclosed.

BambuLabs recommends to not only fit the cable chain but also replace the cable itself, since the P1S version is more wear resistant when used in a cable chain. They provide a YouTube video explaining the whole process. It was a bit fiddly but worked just fine:

With the cable chain installed, the printer fit just barely into the cabinet. The PTFE bowden tube goes out of the back and up into the filament storage part of the cabinet.

But I wasn't done modding the printer yet. The display is usually tilted upwards, making it stick out over the top edge by 5mm or so. Those were 5mm of room I did not have, so I printed an adapter that mounts the display straight.

As mentioned before, the printer does a nozzle wipe before each print, extruding a bit of filament that gets “pooped” out through a window at the back. With the printer all the way back in the cabinet, there is no easy way to reach that window anymore. Another print was needed: a magnetic poop chute to route the expelled filament around the corner to the front. Works great and despite the considerable size is only a 4 hour print.

Of course a few aesthetic improvements were also made. A little bevel around the display and some covers for the front steel frame were printed. Using the green PLA that came with the printer for accenting.

Bambu recommends their BambuStudio as the slicer. It's a modified version of Prusa Slicer, so I felt right at home with it. It also connects wirelessly with the printer via cloud connection, so prints can be started directly through BambuStudio. It also gives access to the printer's built in camera. That functionality is also available via a mobile phone app.

So far I am happy with the purchase. I would have loved to buy another Prusa, but they currently have nothing on offer that comes close to the price-value proposition of the P1P. Even with the additional cost for the cable chain and print head cable, I paid less than a kit for the MK4 would cost and I didn't even have to assemble the printer. It's also faster and larger than a MK4.

We'll see how things will have changed in 6 years ;-).

3dprinter, 3dprinting, bambu, review, gadgets
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