Rumors vs. Reality: Bambu Lab A1 Printer’s Heat Bed Cable Concerns

By on February 2nd, 2024 in Hardware, news

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Cable protector installed on the Bambu Lab A1 3D printer [Source: Fabbaloo]

There may be further developments in the Bambu Lab A1 cable issue.

I reported Bambu Lab’s announcement a few days ago in which they identified potential issues in the heat bed cable on their A1 desktop 3D printers. Evidently if this cable is bent it could cause a short inside. That’s not good, especially when you realize there’s a lot of volts going through the cable to generate heat.

Bambu Lab made recommendations for all A1 operators to inspect this cable, which is located at the rear of the machine and links the heat bed to the base. If unusual bumps are seen near the base, then Bambu Lab considers the cable damaged and strongly recommends not using the unit further. It seems anyone with verified damage will receive a replacement printer or replacement parts from Bambu Lab.

For those with seemingly intact cables, they recommended printing a strain relief protector that attaches to the cable. Printing can then proceed.

It seemed to me that Bambu Lab, unlike the majority of 3D printer manufacturers, promptly owned up to the issue and issued a reasonable response.

Since then I’ve been reading comments on several forums discussing the situation, and it seems there is confusion rising among operators. Some rumors suggests that ALL A1 machines cannot be used, which is something we have not heard from Bambu Lab.

Other rumors suggest Bambu Lab must be organizing a “full recall” of all A1 units, also something not stated by the company. There are screenshots of emails sent from Bambu Lab to affected operators, but somehow this message is being conflated into a blanket cease use / recall.

Some have stated that the A1 has been pulled from stores. However, as of this writing I can still see and purchase an A1 from Bambu Lab’s online store.

There’s also a story that some content creators have been requested to cease use of the A1, meaning a request to stop producing public content. This has been extrapolated by some to mean that all A1 use should stop.

All this appears to be confusing for many who have read the Bambu Lab explanations that don’t match the rumors. An example would be from Reddit contributor victoroos, who said:

“Cease printing? Even though I added the cable protector? I didn’t get this email yet.”

They probably did not get the email because they are not affected.

It would probably be a good idea for Bambu Lab to publicly clarify things even more than they’ve already done.

Short circuit in the A1 heat bed cable caused a small fire [Source: Reddit / MustangBoy]

That said, this is a serious issue. The cable, when bent, can definitely produce short circuits. At those voltage levels, bad things can happen. Above we have an image from Mustangboy of a cable that had a pretty bad short, and it apparently caught fire.

There are also images of cable damage beyond the ends, and that makes sense: if you bend the cable anywhere you’ll have a problem. I suspect the fix here is not only better strain relief but a more robust cable.

As far as I can see, Bambu Lab made a design mistake, and they are taking appropriate actions to rectify the situation. However, situations such as this are highly visible and the company needs to provide better expectation management among customers, or else rumors will rule the day.

Via Reddit and Bambu Lab Forum

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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