Urgent Bambu Lab Update: Cease 3D Printing Due to Identified Electrical Issue


Turning off that Bambu Lab A1 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

There’s been a major development in the ongoing electrical issue with the new Bambu Lab A1 desktop 3D printer.

Readers may recall that last week the company publicly identified an issue with the power cable to the heat bed on their latest device, the popular A1. This is quite an incredible 3D printer, and we did a full review of it a few weeks ago.

The quality and price of this machine was so tremendous that Bambu Lab’s sales soared — and by implication those of competitors sagged.

However, there was an issue tied to the cable. This cable, while robust enough for ordinary use, can get damaged if manipulated inappropriately by the user either during assembly or afterwards. When the cable is bent, it can lead to short circuits. This becomes even riskier given that it’s the heat bed cable, subject to high electricity flow. The design error was in the fact that this cable was not designed to withstand harsh usage by the operator.

There have been instances where operators faced issues due to damaged cables, even leading to scenarios like the initiation of a minor fire.

The primary announcement by Bambu Lab was a recommendation to continue using the machine unless the user noticed any damage to the cable. They even shared pictures to demonstrate the ways to identify the problem. For machines that were already damaged, they offered options for return or repair.

Things took a controversial turn a few days later when Bambu Lab sent a notice to online content creators who were using the device. The notice asked them to halt the use of the machine for content creation, which felt reasonable given the persisting issues.

Contrary to popular belief, Bambu Lab did not advise all users to cease using the A1. This misconception spread due to lack of accurate information, leading to confusion. The situation was further exacerbated by conspiracy theorists, who fueled the chaos with baseless rumors and misinformation.

I recommended the Bambu Lab provides an update to clarify the situation, thus preventing undue panic.

As it turns out, Bambu Lab has now released a statement addressing the issue on their blog, penned down by none other than “Spaghetti Monster”.

In a rather candid post, they revealed that less than 0.1% of all A1 printers sold are affected by the problem. While this may indeed be true, it brings out the potential risk that the remaining printers could also develop issues if the cable is mishandled.

They wrote:

“There are cases where the printer was placed on the heatbed cable connector during installation causing significant stress on the cables. In other situations, the source of the problem reported might be related to different factors and we are still waiting for those affected printers to get back into our engineering team’s hands for a detailed investigation of the problem.”

So it seems they are still early into the problem and still determining the nature of the situation. Following that I’m sure they will determine a way to repair or replace these machines.

Then they say this:

“While the number of faulty printers is very small, we take the safety of our customers very seriously, and until we learn more about what exactly causes the heatbed cable problem, we recommend everyone stop using the printer for their safety.”

The bolding is theirs, not mine. Yes, they are asking ALL A1 operators to turn off their machines until further notice. This is a massive step, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard any other 3D printer manufacturer come out with a blanket stop order like this. Even companies that were notorious for selling machines that started fires did not do this.

The company is aware that this is going to be an incredible inconvenience for many people, some of whom will not have 3D print capability for a time. They have two approaches:

Return Now: This involves packing and shipping the machine back to Bambu Lab and receiving a full refund. They will provide a US$80 voucher for immediate Bambu Lab replacement purchases of other models. You could also wait a bit and apply this to the updated A1 when it is released some time in May.

Wait for Upgrade: The alternative choice is to just wait and not return the unit. Towards the end of March, Bambu Lab is set to release repair kits that will replace the heat and presumably the cable. As a cover, they will issue a $120 coupon that can be used in their shop for other items, possibly including filament.

They have also created a detailed Wiki and video about the essential cable problem, something amazing for a firm that only discovered about it a week earlier.

This has now become an urgent problem for Bambu Lab, as they have taken one of their top models off the market for the time being. However, their steps in addressing the issue seem to be reasonable.

In my opinion, the second choice of just waiting could be the best option for many operators, as it has a larger return and lessens the need for shipping troubles. Bambu Lab, I suppose, anticipate many to opt for this, hence providing more compensation.

The A1 was a prominent character in the affordable desktop 3D printer arena, thus it might be assumed that Bambu Lab has currently quit this market. This, however, is not the case since they continue offering their robust A1 Mini that maintains nearly the same facilities as the A1, albeit in a more compact form.

Also, it doesn’t suffer from a wiring issue.

Source: Bambu Lab

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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