Creality smartly announced a potentially dangerous issue with their latest desktop 3D printer, the CR-6 SE.
The CR-6 SE is a wonderful device that’s available at a very low price, and the company’s reputation for quality ensured a blockbuster success on the product’s Kickstarter launch. That launch gathered over 10,000 backers, providing almost US$4.4M in funding for thousands of units.
We wrote a quick review of the CR-6 SE, and found it to be a machine with a number of unusual convenience features not normally found on less expensive equipment, nor even on some higher-grade gear.
Creality CR-6 SE Fire
Now it seems there has been an issue with some CR-6 SE units. It is not clear whether this is a part quality issue or a design flaw. Creality tweeted an announcement:
For those of you who have recently purchased the Creality CR-6 SE, thank you. For most of you, the experience has been a good one, for some, due to mistakes that are entirely the responsibility of Creality3D it has been unpleasant — and you have our profound apologies. This is not how we normally do business. In fact, it has always been how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Now, all we can hope is that those customers who have been affected give us a chance to distinguish ourselves in how we address the problem.
We have recently received information about a fault in a small number of CR-6 SE 3D printers. The fault is well documented and in no way the result of user error or incorrect use. Those two possibilities having been eliminated, our engineering department is now in the process of determining if it is a design flaw, or quality control issue. We appreciate your patience and within 5 days intend to have an answer as to what the problem is, a plan to resolve the problem and a policy to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
During that time, we prefer to be overly-cautious and request that customers not leave their CR-6 SE unattended while printing. We will provide detailed information as soon as we have it, but if you have a defective unit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can begin the resolution process.
Again, please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience, and thank you for giving Creality3D the chance to make this right.”
What exactly is the issue that’s happening here? It seems that there is a danger of fire. There have been several reports of CR-6 SE devices catching fire or smoking. Here’s a video of this happening:
And more detail, with slo-motion!
Ben Jarvis replied to these with this insightful advice that should be followed by everyone:
“Regardless to the make/model of your printer, you should always check over every electrical connection to ensure that it has been connect up correctly in the factory and that nothing has come loose during transit.”
3D Printers Burning
The potential for 3D printer fires have long been around in the world of desktop 3D printing: we have very hot components that, if uncontrolled, could ignite nearby flammable materials. This has actually occurred many times in the past with other equipment, most notably the original version of the ANET A8 device. Since those days, ANET has gone to great lengths to ensure their equipment does not catch fire through a series of changes. In some cases the fires are a result of operators modifying their equipment incorrectly.
In this case, however, it seems clear that Creality has taken responsibility.
There’s a bit of chatter on the Internet about this scenario, with some suggesting Creality should have better component suppliers, better quality control, more testing, etc.; we simply don’t know anything about what goes on inside of Creality. They may have done plenty of testing. There may have been incorrect assembly by a rogue worker. They may have had a bad batch of components sneak in to the assembly line. We simply don’t know.
What we do know is that Creality has quite rapidly stepped up and publicly accepted responsibility for the mistake, whatever it might be. And that’s the right thing to do.
The worst thing to do would have been for them to deny or ignore the issue, which might have resulted in machine damage, property fire or even deaths. That’s unacceptable.
Creality didn’t do that. They took responsibility and, presumably, will fix the problem for all concerned. More than likely the incident will make not only the CR-6 SE a better machine, but will make ALL Creality products better from now forward. That happened at ANET, and it will happen at Creality as well.
Mistakes can always happen, and what determines the future is how they are handled, not that the mistake happened.