12 C
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Bambu P1P vs. Creality K1C: an ‘simple’ 3D printer showdown

Must read

- Advertisement -

Should you requested me to suggest an “simple” client 3D printer, I’d warn you first: regardless of numerous improvements, you continue to can’t fairly hit a button to reliably photocopy a 3D mannequin. Shopping for a 3D printer is shopping for a whole passion, one the place — in case you’re a lazy bum like me — many makes an attempt will flip into nugatory gobs of plastic.

However in case you persevered, I’d let you know my one clear alternative for lazy bums: the Bambu P1P.

What, a printer from the corporate that recalled its newest model and whose earlier ones once went rogue? Yep — as a result of not solely did Bambu deal with these incidents with fast apologies, investigations, transparency, and even refunds, the $599 Bambu P1P can be completely the best, most dependable 3D printer I’ve used.

It makes my stalwart {old} Ender 3 Professional seem like a hunk of junk. It makes its closest competitors, the $559 Creality K1C, really feel like an inferior clone. I’ve spent months testing them aspect by aspect, and I’d personally decide the Bambu each time.

Don’t get me incorrect: the K1C is the higher alternative for some tinkerers since its full enclosure, mattress, and additional fan allow you to print larger temperature plastics like ABS in addition to ones bolstered with glass or carbon fibers. (Bambu sells the $699 P1S for that.) And I did efficiently use each the P1P and a pair of Creality K1 printers to supply dozens of objects over the previous 12 months, together with pegboard mounts, collectible figurines for my youngsters, and these badass unofficial Nerf blasters:

- Advertisement -

With both of those printers and slightly information of what’s simply 3D-printable, I can (sometimes) ship a whole plate filled with elements to those printers and anticipate them to all prove. 

However if you need fewer software program and filament complications, I’d completely level you to Bambu. And I’d suggest you avoid the unique Creality K1 fully — I spent months fighting points that have been immediately fastened once I swapped for the newer K1C mannequin.

I took supply of each the P1P and the unique K1 final summer time, and initially, I believed I’d be evaluating each to the AnkerMake M5. They’re all a part of a recent wave of printers promising a huge increase in speed and smarts. 

Certainly one of my first prints on the Bambu P1P: the white aspect panels it’s worn ever since.

However the Bambu P1P and Creality K1 collection stood out as essentially the most reasonably priced full-size, full-featured CoreXY printers that declare you may print proper out of the field — without having to bolt collectively a printer body and even tighten belts. And when you can’t “simply begin printing the second your K1 arrives,” as Creality places it, each printers are largely prebuilt, pretuned, and able to go 20 or half-hour after you chop the packing tape. You take away a couple of security items; connect their screens, energy cables, and filament roll holders; hook up with your own home community for updates; after which press a button for automated setup. 

Every will routinely stage their mattress so your prints actually get off on the suitable foot. They tune their motors with vibrations so intense, they shake the complete floor the printers are standing on. That’s intentional — as a result of extra motion ruins prints, and printing shortly creates extra motion, they train themselves to keep away from frequencies that rattle too laborious. As I alluded to earlier than, they each have CoreXY kinematics systems that present an extremely speedy, secure bead of plastic without having to sling your mannequin forwards and backwards on a transferring mattress. 

With a CoreXY printer, the top strikes in two dimensions whereas the mattress slowly lowers, retaining the mannequin secure.

Bedslingers, like this Bambu A1 Mini, fling the mannequin one course and the print head one other.

However the subsequent step is the place the Bambu P1 and Creality K1 printers start to diverge. When it’s time to stay your fishing line of consumable plastic right into a Creality printer, you need to thread the needle, pushing a pointy level of plastic right into a tube and thru the extruder in order that the new nozzle can soften and squirt it out one tiny bead at a time. 

It’s the way in which many 3D printers have labored for years, nevertheless it leaves loads of room for consumer error. It feels imprecise: you snip your filament at an angle to get a pointy level, then largely… shove till it feels proper. Then you definately press a button and cross your fingers that the K1C’s motorized extruder will take it from there. Or manually shove it some extra and hope the filament doesn’t break inside. Otherwise you bodily take away the filament tube, like I all the time did with my {old} Ender 3, so not less than you might be positive you’re pushing straight down into the extruder with out binding. 

This Pikachu, made from silk PLA, got here out fairly effectively on the K1C.

Right here it’s with helps eliminated.

It could possibly be worse! With the unique K1, the filament pathway was so jam-prone that the corporate wound up designing and delivery a number of alternative elements throughout the time I had the printer, and even then, I had some hassle. With the K1C’s utterly redesigned nozzles, I’ve largely been in a position to shove filament in with out concern.

However Bambu sidesteps all of that: there’s no needlepoint with a Bambu printer in any respect! Press a couple of buttons, insert uncut, flat-ended filament till you’re feeling it being pulled away out of your hand, after which, in my expertise, it does the remaining itself. The Bambu printer additionally routinely cuts off the molten bit once you’re ejecting filament, producing a pleasant clean-cut finish I can effortlessly rewind with out dragging on the printer’s inside elements. And, each single print, the Bambu purges that leftover molten filament into what homeowners have affectionately dubbed the “poop chute.” 

The tiny non-touch display screen is without doubt one of the few weaknesses of the Bambu P1P. I’m getting used to it.

The upshot: it took months earlier than I noticed my Bambu P1P jam for the primary time. I’ve even had good outcomes at instances pushing {old}, brittle filament into Bambu printers. With the K1 and even K1C, it’s far much less foolproof, as Creality makes you shove it via a filament runout sensor and a decent bend within the tubing earlier than the extruder can seize it. I’ve damaged the filament a few instances within the K1C and lots of instances within the authentic K1.

And in case you do need to get inside that extruder to repair or exchange elements, Bambu makes it a breeze: its magnetic cowl simply lifts off, and $35 buys you a complete modular hotend with heatsink, fan, heating factor, and thermistor all hooked up — simply two screws and some simple cable pulls to swap it.

Bambu’s magnetic cowl pops off to disclose simply two screws and two easy-pull connectors to take away the hotend.

To get inside Creality’s, you need to unscrew screws instantly beneath, and parallel to, the greased rails.

With Creality, there are 5 screws you need to take away at uncomfortable angles and a silicone sleeve that requires prying, after which you need to attain beneath to get at its tiny rear-facing connectors. Chances are you’ll even have to drag out a pair of pliers as a result of the Creality meeting line inexplicably glues these connectors into place.

Thoughts you, you’re not going to be doing that day-after-day and even each month: you usually solely exchange a nozzle if it wears out, will get badly jammed, or if you wish to print at larger decision for extra element or at decrease decision for extra pace. For reference, I wound up changing worn elements of my Ender 3 Professional’s hotend twice in three years after a collection of messy jams. 

Creality’s mattress is a bit more durable to scrub and preserve… and whose thought was it to purge filament subsequent to a fan consumption?

The final cause I believe Bambu is a better option for learners is the print mattress floor itself: how simply elements adhere and detach and the way simple it’s to scrub. The Creality K1 collection ships with a easy PEI construct plate that’s theoretically higher for top temperature supplies and initially gave my elements an extremely easy face. However it may be a problem to take away some elements until you apply a coating of the included glue stick (the type youngsters use to stick paper collectively), and it’s simple so as to add too little or an excessive amount of. I wound up tearing a bit out of my construct plate after too thin a coating. 

Additionally, and not using a “poop chute,” I all the time discovered the K1 and K1C dripping tiny undesirable beads of plastic that’d wind up embedded within the backside of fashions until I rigorously cleaned the print mattress earlier than every use. 

This could provide you with a superb glimpse on the Bambu’s plate texture.

The P1P, in the meantime, ships with a textured PEI-covered chrome steel plate that’s nearly by no means missed for me, no glue required. Typically, my elements are already free by the point the mattress cools. You possibly can buy such a plate for Creality, too, although, and nonetheless be paying lower than the P1P after you could have each. 

Not all of Creality’s K1C selections are worse for learners! Whereas its “AI digital camera” attaches to the printer at a barely awkward angle, the timelapses it creates are a lot simpler to watch and obtain than those from Bambu’s digital camera. I recognize the K1C’s easy twist-to-lock filament reel holder (Bambu makes use of screws), the USB port to load recordsdata (Bambu solely provides you microSD), extra dependable Wi-Fi, and naturally, the big 4.3-inch coloration touchscreen. It’s a lot simpler to reprint a profitable design or navigate a thumb drive when you may really faucet an image of every design on a display screen, as a substitute of Up-Down-Left-Proper navigating via Bambu’s small text-only interface. 

Creality’s K1C comes with a USB port and anti-vibration toes.

I additionally like that the Creality comes with anti-vibration toes, though, out of the field, my Bambu prints had extra secure strains and regular floor textures even with out them. The Bambu P1P can be quieter and might utterly flip off its followers when idle. I’ve typically come again to the Creality K1C after a day away and located it buzzing loudly in my storage.

Each corporations have to work on their software program, however Creality’s is unquestionably worse. Whereas I’m having no actual main hassle with Creality’s personal Creality Print desktop app for fundamental 3D prints in PLA and versatile TPU plastic, I had main points printing firmer and / or clear PETG. It’s additionally lacking a great deal of options in comparison with rival slicer apps you’d use to arrange your fashions for printing. (A slicer turns a 3D form into printable horizontal layers and spits out code that tells the printer the right way to type every one.) 

Picture slider: left is P1P, proper is K1C, utilizing the identical roll of filament. I’m having these floor high quality points with PETG, however not PLA.

You can use these rival slicers, however chances are you’ll have to tune them for your printer yourself — some had even refused to help the K1 till Creality fulfilled obligations to open supply its code. (It seems Creality has now done so.) OrcaSlicer is a well-liked third-party different that does have its personal K1 profile, and it helped me print in PETG when Creality Print wouldn’t.

Creality’s cell app, in the meantime, is gamified to the purpose that I need nothing to do with it. I simply desire a option to begin and monitor prints, not earn factors for printing fashionable junk! I even needed to flip off app notifications after I bought bombarded with level incomes alternatives every day, although it appears the corporate’s reduce on the notifications since launch.

The failed print I’m speaking about: it’s for a wi-fi mouse.

However whereas Bambu’s slicer is nice and its app doesn’t have the identical annoyances, I’m not fully positive I can belief the corporate’s cloud. One month after the corporate’s very good apology for its rogue printer incident, I had the same concern. I went out to the storage one morning to discover a mannequin I’d printed instantly from its cloud half-finished, caught to my nozzle, with a second midway printed copy of the mannequin on the ground.

I’ve tried to print a couple of different fashions from its new MakerWorld, a spot the place you may supposedly discover one-click prints validated to work on Bambu’s particular printers, no slicing or tweaks mandatory, however one turned an enormous hunk of nugatory plastic as a result of it really wasn’t validated. I assume I might all the time go together with a private LAN-only connection to the printer as a substitute of utilizing the cloud.

It doesn’t take loads of creativeness to see from right here to an excellent simpler 3D printing future. Bambu’s new A1 collection printers now have utterly tool-less hotend swaps — just pop the pieces off. The corporate’s engaged on new sensors that may detect when your filament tangles while it’s still on the roll, one thing that often journeys up each 3D printer I’ve but used. I’ve additionally but to see a 3D printer firm ship their printers with a dry field to maintain moisture out of their filament, however Creality does promote them individually, and it’s positively one thing they might do to get us nearer to that push-button, get-object future! 

(I’m not saying you can purchase an A1: I had extra jams and lower-quality outcomes with an A1 Mini than my P1P, the filament tangle detection nonetheless doesn’t work, and lots of issues I print are too massive for its mattress. I haven’t gotten to check the full-size A1 since its recall.)

The most important approach 3D printers will earn belief, although, is that if corporations like Creality and Bambu cease delivery them earlier than they’re prepared. I can’t consider the horrible state the unique Creality K1 first shipped in, and in case you lurk in the suitable locations on Reddit and Discord, you’ll hear veterans say that the Bambu P1P shipped with early points, too. And I’ve learn plenty of testimonials from Bambu clients who, like me with the Creality K1, have been anticipated to open up their printers to repair damaged issues as a substitute of sending them in for service. It’s a superb reminder that these are hobbyist gadgets, not client merchandise, at the same time as these corporations speak about democratizing 3D printing for everybody.   

Irrespective of which printer you’re eyeing, I strongly suggest steering away from ones which have simply launched. Await early adopters to iron issues out! However in case you’re itching to get printing, I’m fairly proud of the practically two-year-old P1P. 

Pictures by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article