Bambu Lab A1: return it , repair it or just ignore the recall?

Bambu has issued a “callback” on all A1s; the model is no longer listed on their primary website and their main retail outlets have taken them off their shelves and returned them to Bambu;

Bambu gives us 3 options:

  1. return the printer for credit; they stipulate ‘original box’ and ‘original padding’ ( fitted foam ); surely they have added those requirements as they know that removes that option for many; even should some still have those things , they have to deal with the shipping cost, the export duties from their home country and the import duties to china; not much fun in all of that, even if they know how to do all those things
  2. ask bambu for a repair kit and perform the repair themselves; i have watched a couple youtube clips on this being done and in one, the poster stopped Just Short of saying you need to be an electrician to do this and do it safely
  3. ignore the recall and go on as usual; there are a number of photos on what to watch for when the defect starts appearing; Note the defect is a result of cable strain and is a design flaw ( surprising for an outfit like Bambu) ; it seems that the defect will eventually burn thru the main power cord and render the printer useless; it does seem there is little danger of fire or harm to humans tho

in my case, i cant do option 1) above as i dont have those original packings;
i prefer not to try option 2 as one of the posters also stopped just short of saying ‘dont try this at home’
which of course leaves option 3…

it seems Bambu is having trouble diagnosing the issue as they dont have enough defective printers, sent back, to ascertain patterns and thus form a diagnosis;

even allowing ofor that , Bambu forecasts a Mayish,Juneish return of the model;

in the few weeks i have had this printer, my 5th, it rose to my 1 or 2 favorites;
the only possible saving grace here is that the purchase price was pretty low, in retrospect it was underpriced, so a writeoff doesnt spill too much blood

note: this recall was not called a recall due to the number of regulations in the usa ( and maybe elsewhere ) pertaining to ‘recalls’ (note the automotive industry) , thus Bambu called it a ‘callback’

thoughts ?

Personally, I would do option 3. followed by 2. - request the repair kit and then when the cord fails replace it from the kit.

Honestly, the repair doesn’t look that bad after watching the video. If you can assemble a 3D printer, you should be able to perform this repair action.

If I were to make one suggestion, that would be to put a mass of 5 minute epoxy on the heatbed cable at the point where it collapses to give it some strain relief. That may further extend the printer’s life.

Having said all this, I’m a bit suspicious of them saying there’s no danger. A heated bed can draw a reasonably significant amount of current. Whether or not you encase the base of the cable in epoxy, I’d highly recommend watching the base of the cable (whether on the machine or at the end of the epoxy) for the deformation and then replace it.

Its a clear design flaw, among many Bambu seem to have. I have issues with one of he AMS flaws, and he pinched PFE tube. Neither is an electric problem.

Printers can and have caused fires. You need to decide for your self. It clearly needs better strain relief. I personally would use something like sugru over a rigid epoxy but that is me.

I am glad they are recalled and taking responsibility, I hope they learn from the mistakes, test the units prototypes before release! The issues I am having and the recall should have been avoided.

thank you, noted;
i still ( USA background) have a hard time fully understanding how these chinese companies just pump out product with little or no regard to quality ( obviously no internal QA systems, that would be US);
sure it is a highly competitive and upcoming industry,
still, those of us that consider ourselves smart buyers will start to boycott brands that burned us;

o btw, rumor has it that bambu DID plan and implement for heat runaway in this A1 so in this case the fire issue may be more muted

Well that settles it! I’m not buying a Bambu Labs product any time soon! To be fair, it wasn’t looking very likely in the near term anyway, but a company that intentionally disqualifies the majority of their customers on a recall(I don’t care what Bambu calls it), and makes them eat the cost of shipping too, does not strike me as the sort of company I want to depend on to keep my closed source printer running. That being said, I’d probably be comfortable doing the parts replacement myself.

Their printers sound like they are mostly great, but they have had enough teething issues, with enough mixed reports on their customer service, that I’d be hesitant to give them my money, at least until they have had more time to prove themselves trustworthy.

The Prusa XL is more expensive, but it is bigger, and looks much better equipped on the multi material front. Prusa also does a ton of testing on their printers. The delays on the XL caused many to become impatient, I’m sure, but I prefer to take it as a sign that they are willing to take the potential loss in sales in the short term, in exchange for better long term reliability, and a likely more loyal customer base.

My $0.02

I agree with @MicroFarmModels

At this point Bambu doesn’t have anything that wows me so much that I will look over their quality control and privacy issues. Between this and the thermal runaway thing with the x1’s a little while back I am very hesitant to purchase one of these machines. Especially when they DO NOT come electrically certified.

I especially am not willing to look over these facts when there are other competitors which are as good if not better, now granted their AMS system is pretty good if you don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of waste. But other than that I have enjoyed using the K1’s much more, I think they are much better build machines and will be better off in the long term due to their ease of upgrade and replacement. I feel like Bambu will be one of those companies who’s products are tossed in the bin and sent to landfills every couple years as they have made the old printers obsolete with little to no upgrade path.

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it is interesting to me that Bambu is quoting a timeframe for the redesigns addressing the current issue;
it seems they really dont know the true problem;
if they did , they would tell us, their goal being to comfort us that they know their business and we can again trust them;
but no word specifically on the root cause of the current issue;
so i find it puzzling that they have a ‘repair path’ and are sending out repair kits;
unless…they know it is a macro-issue such as " the heat plate " and they figure that getting it finer detailed doesnt make much difference;
But, if that were the case then wouldnt they be sending out faulty replacement heat beds ?
:thinking: puzzled… :thinking:

I own a Prusa XL and Bambu. The Bambu is plagued with poor design choices.

The buffer has an often tube that Bambu tells you is a consumable part. It cannot be detached with out breaking the buffer. The community solved this issue by developing a tool for that. Bambu has told me to download and print and sent a link for it. If you only owned one printer and didn’t think before it arrived, I should see what mods people do. You would not have one or be able to print one. The second issue is the link they sent me was to a non commercial cc part. Ok it might not be illegal but it is unethical at best, they should buy the design and either provide it or post it themselves and not just use someone’s excellent design for as close to commercial purposes as it can be.

This to my mind represents an oversight at least. It demonstrates nobody used it enough before release to need to replace the tube, or worse they knew it was an issue and didn’t care.

The XL I own has only had one fault, the side filament sensor (it has 3 filament sensors) it failed. Tech support in a very short time diagnosed and sent a replacement (it arrived today from Sunday when I had the issue.) Bambu took 8 days to rely and the broken part of the AMS is still broken. It is not printing. They are blaming the non Bambu filaments.

The real difference is the QC. The XL first appeared in a video 4 years ago. Long before any announcement. They use their printers to print parts (true rewrap fashion) and this means they use and can correct design issues. They claim over a million hours on the XL. The part I have has a revision already. The end result is the Prusa line is exceptionally well designed, and reliable. The silly design mis steps are caught and corrected long before it ever goes to market. The ones that find their way through are corrected and can be retro fitted.

The Bambu I have prints well. It is not better than the two Prusa I have (XL and MK3 S +) The part cooling is not great and on large parts the right side is noticeably worse than the left. (why is there not two part cooling fans?) If you understand this you can orient it to make it better.

The walled garden is kinda freaky for me. Chipped filament, and crazy secure firmware is strange. I want a panda pad but am leery of this too, will a firmware kill it? Bambu killed the Xtouch really quickly you need to downgrade the firmware removing the noise cancelling. I struggle with the poor screen and offline printing and the online printing and never touching the little screen.

I am suspicious of Bambu’s motives. The terms of use 10.1 and 3.4 if they chose could be problematic. Inside that they could in theory change the firmware to only accept the sun branded Bambu filament. If you didn’t like that and did anything to circumvent it they could demand you stop using the printer. It gave me pause when I bought the machine. I still chose to move forward mostly out of curiosity and a desire to try it out.

IMO it s a good printer not super reliable (mine has not been printing for weeks…) and has some basic design flaws that correcting at the very least could effect the warranty. I have not modded mine past a creative interpretations of the existing instructions. One of the mods fixed the first of my feed issues (DK Riser) the second Bambu instructed me to use (AMS tool) I got in trouble when they found out I installed a feed assist to the ams) It could end up voiding warranty. They are blaming it and the non Bambu filament and anything else on the broken plastic roller holder. I have ordered the part to replace it as I lost faith in Bambu to do so. Besides if one broke the others are likely to follow.

If anyone asked me I would say just buy a Prusa. If it is off the table with caveats maybe a Bambu.

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