It wasn’t that long ago that we told you about the expected launch of Bambu Lab’s new A1 3D printer. Designed to be the company’s first-ever 3D printer, it, along with the A1 Mini, sparked great interest in the larger 3D printing community, thanks to the incredible success of Bambu Lab’s previous printers and even more affordable price. However, not everything went smoothly. Following a previous announcement of cable issues with the A1, Bambu Lab has officially announced a complete recall of all A1 printers.
What exactly is the problem? Well, according to a blog post on January 28th, Bambu Lab appears to have received feedback that some users were experiencing unstable temperature readings and heating issues with the A1 printers. The notice went on to explain that this appears to be due to excessive bending from external forces damaging the cable at the root. While this doesn’t necessarily lead to failure, it does make the cable susceptible to fatigue and damage.
In the same blog post, Bambu Lab continues: “Although the fuse on the heatbed prevents the bed from overheating and the fuse on the power supply prevents short circuits from causing a meltdown, this damage affects the reading of the temperature and can result in loss of power or even lead to short circuits. We believe this is a serious security threat that we should address.”
It also appears that while Bambu Lab tested cable fatigue from bed movement during printing during development, corner cases such as fatigue after excessive bending were not investigated. This problem indicates that the strain relief is insufficient and therefore can be damaged by rough handling during transportation, during installation when the base is vertical on the table as the weight of the printer is concentrated on the root of the cables, or after installation The root is accidentally affected by external force. Back in January, Bambu Lab asked customers to check their printers to ensure there was no damage. However, due to ongoing issues, the latest update has moved to a full recall of the A1.
What can A1 customers expect from the Bambu Lab recall?
First, let’s start with the good news. While this may seem concerning, Bambu Lab claims to have found that less than 0.1% of all A1 printers sold experience electrical malfunctions due to heatbed cable damage. However, they immediately advised all A1 users to stop using their printers immediately. In a blog post published on February 4, Bambu Lab stated: “Although the number of faulty printers is very small, we take the safety of our customers very seriously and until we learn more about the exact cause of the heatbed cable problem, we recommend that everyone “Stop using the printer for your own safety.”
Considering some of the safety issues caused by damaged printers, including those where the problems were only discovered later and sometimes had devastating consequences, this is indeed a very positive development from Bambu Lab. It shows that users can trust their products even in this lower price segment. The company further explains that it prefers the safe route because it currently cannot determine with 100% certainty what exactly is causing this problem and needs to conduct extensive testing.
There are also some immediate solutions. Now that the recall has been expanded to include all A1 printers, rather than just those where users have found evidence of a damaged cable, all customers are now eligible for one of two refund options: a full return for a refund or waiting for availability a new heat bed and then replace it.
For a full refund, customers simply need to repackage and return the printer. This is expected to take up to 15 business days, depending of course on shipping conditions and other possible delays. However, Bambu Lab assures its users that the company will try to respond as quickly as possible. Additionally, Bambu Lab is offering an additional $80 discount coupon for those who want to upgrade to a new printer immediately. This applies to the A1 Mini, P1 and X1 series and could also be used to purchase a new A1 printer when it becomes available again around May.
An additional option for those who are patient or don’t want to deal with the hassle of a refund is that customers can keep the printer and simply replace the heatbed with the upgraded unit for the A1 printer when it becomes available. This is expected to happen around the end of March. Even better? Bambu Lab will provide a $120 discount voucher as compensation for the extension, valid for any product in the online store, subject to the availability of the printer. You can find out more in Bambu Lab’s article on the A1 recall HERE or you can communicate your decision directly HERE.
What do you think about this recall of the Bambu Lab A1 3D printer? Have you or someone you know been affected? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, FacebookAnd Twitter Pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly login Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all of our videos on our Youtube Channel.
*All image credits: Bambu Lab