Technology

Bambu Lab is recalling every A1 3D printer — don’t use them until you read this

Bambu Lab is officially recalling all A1 3D printers (not counting the A1 Mini). The company “strongly” urges owners to stop using it for safety reasons after it was alerted to “unstable temperature readings” that it first traced to a faulty heatbed cable last week, as reported by Tom’s Hardware. After further investigation, Bambu says “less than 0.1% of all the A1 printers sold” are affected by the problem, but it can’t say with 100 percent certainty what the cause is, so it’s offering a full refund to any A1 owner who wants it.

The company isn’t recalling any other printers in its lineup, so if you own an X1 series, P1 series, or the A1 Mini that our own Sean Hollister called “almost the easy button” of printers.

Here’s a TL;DR of what’s going on:

The company wrote last week that it hadn’t properly designed the heatbed cable’s strain relief — the fatter part of the cable meant to prevent kinking where it connects — making it too easy to damage and possibly short circuit. But Bambu now believes another, yet unknown issue could be at play for some printers, leading it to its decision to recall the A1.

Bambu Lab says that it will take up to 15 business days to process each refund, but if you want to apply the refund to one of its other printers instead, it will give you an $80 voucher to use towards that purchase — or towards a redesigned A1 printer when they’re available “around May.”

Alternatively, you can choose to repair the A1 yourself when new heatbeds are ready around the end of March and receive a $120 voucher to use for anything in Bambu’s online store (provided self-repair is legal in your country). Bambu uploaded a video of the replacement process and detailed it in a written tutorial to help you decide if you’re comfortable going the DIY route.

Finally, Bambu asks that A1 printer owners let the company know which option they pick on this registration page so it can order the right number of parts to prepare. Opting for the self-repair process will actually extend the A1’s warranty by six months. Bambu says its official resellers “should” offer the same terms to those who purchased through one of them.

In its blog last week, Bambu included some pictures. Here’s what it says a damaged cable will look like:

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image; Bambu Lab

And here’s a healthy cable:

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: Bambu Lab

Update February 5th, 2024, 12:24AM ET: Added some more detail.

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