The Bambu A1 - Do I Regret Buying an A1 Mini a Month Ago?

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No! I do not regret ordering my Bambu A1 Mini combo in November! I have been printing with it almost every day for the last two weeks, and it has been fantastic. I hardly ever print anything that wouldn’t fit on my A1 Mini, and that will continue to be the case.

Using the Bambu AMS Lite to use up three spools of old filament

Using the Bambu A1 Mini AMS Lite to use the remains of three old spools of filament

Is the A1 Mini’s bigger brother worth an extra $100? Of course it is! The bed on the A1 can heat up 20C hotter, and I would love that for small ABS prints. It has twice as much surface area. Even better, you can save some space by mounting the AMS Lite on top of the printer. Any of that is worth an extra $100.

I may not regret my purchase, but I would definitely spend the extra $100 if I were placing my order for a Bambu A1 today.

The A1 Mini only makes sense to me without the AMS Lite

Why am I saying this?!

The full-size A1 is a better printer than the A1 Mini in every way except for its size. If you want a little printer to tuck into the corner of your home office, the A1 Mini is amazing, but once you sit an AMS Lite next to it, the footprint becomes quite large.

If you are willing to mount your AMS Lite on top of your full-size A1, then it takes up less space on the workbench than the A1 Mini with an AMS. It’ll get pretty tall, but most people seem to have empty space above their printers anyway.

Stock textured Bambu A1 Mini PEI sheet vs Cheap PEI surface

The full-size A1 has a smaller footprint, double the print surface, triple the print volume, and a more rigid construction than the A1 Mini. If you’re already willing to spend an extra $160 on the AMS Lite, then stretching your budget another $100 for all these upgrades isn’t a bad idea.

Just about the only reason I can think of to buy the A1 Mini today is to save money. It is an amazing printer for $299, and I think you should buy one. You will get a ton of mileage out of the A1 Mini. It is fast. The prints are high quality. It does a great job holding your hand. It is an amazing first 3D printer.

This isn’t what I was expecting to say today!

I have been watching all the A1 leaks, rumors, and spoilers. I expected that I would want to buy an A1 without the AMS Lite to sit next to my A1 Mini, and I expected I would want to keep the AMS Lite on the smaller printer.

Most things I want to print in multiple colors will be small, and any print that changes filament every layer takes all day. Something that takes 40 minutes to print in a single color can easily take 12 hours if you use all four colors. Why tie up the big printer all day with jobs like that?

Bambu AMS Lite

Tweaking Arachne settings for cleaner small text

But look at how much space it would save putting the AMS Lite on top of the printer! And it has been ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL having the AMS switch filament for me for single-color prints. Want to print in blue so I don’t mix up my black PLA prototypes with black ABS production parts for my Tindie store? No problem! Want to print some PETG? No problem! It is already loaded in slot 4. Want to put some white text on a blue print? Fantastic! Both colors are already loaded.

I am new to having a Bambu AMS. I just learned a few days ago that as soon as the red light shows up on the AMS Lite indicating that it has run out of filament, I can wander over there and load a fresh spool. Once the extruder detects that it is out of filament, it will automatically advance the fresh spool and prime the nozzle. I didn’t even have to wait for it to holler at me!

I kind of want the AMS Lite on the printer I use the most. In fact, I kind of want an AMS on every printer I own.

Is it still worth buying a Sovol SV06 or other budget printer now?

I don’t think I have quite decided how I feel about this just yet. I expect that I will want to write an entire blog post dedicated to these sorts of thoughts, but here’s what I think so far.

The smaller Sovol SV06 is a solid printer for $195, assuming Sovol’s quality control manages to get you a good printer. It seems that they do way more often than not. It is a little bigger at 220x220 mm than the $299 Bambu A1 Mini, but those are the only two measurements where the Sovol comes out ahead. Bambu has excellent quality control, their printers are three or four times faster than the Sovol SV06, and Bambu has all sorts of advanced features that mean you are more likely to succeed.

Bambu A1 Mini AMS Lite Multicolor K2 Filament Clips

K2 Filament Clips

Half of the posts on r/FixMyPrint are from people who can’t figure out how to calibrate their printer’s z-offset. This is something you will have to do with every Sovol printer, but Bambu does it for you. This provides a ton of value, and if you happen to be one of those people that would have been struggling, this is a huge deal.

The exact same logic applies when comparing the Sovol SV06 Plus and the new Bambu A1.

There are only two reasons I can think of to buy a Sovol SV06 or SV06 Plus today: either the Bambu printers just aren’t big enough for the things you need to print, or you can’t afford to pay more for one of the better printers.

The last one makes me nervous. A big part of how companies like Sovol save money is by using less premium components. Their printers sometimes fail early or don’t work. I don’t know how often this is, but I will feel bed if you are pinching pennies to buy your first 3D printer and it doesn’t work at all. This applies to a similar degree to Elegoo, Creality, and everyone else that isn’t Bambu Lab or Prusa Research.


Both the Bambu A1 and A1 Mini are fantastic printers that are priced quite aggressively. At $399, you can buy two Bambu A1 printers that are bigger, faster, and more advanced for the price of a Prusa MK4 kit, and you will have to spend a weekend putting that kit from Prusa Research together yourself. That is an amazing value.

Any of Bambu’s printers would be an amazing first 3D printer or a printer for someone with lots of experience. I love not having to worry about my z-offset or dialing in flow rates for new spools of filament anymore, and those same features would be amazing for someone who has never used a 3D printer before.

Do you agree that both the Bambu A1 and A1 Mini are amazing printers at their price points? Would you want to save $100 if everything you wanted to print would fit on the A1, or would you be tempted to splurge on the bigger Bambu A1? Let me know in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!