Bambu Lab A1 Recall Update: Company offers refunds on 3D printer, asks owners to stop using them until replacement parts arrive

Bambu Lab A1
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Update (2/4/2024):  Bambu Lab has now announced on its website that the A1 3D printer is now officially recalled. “To ensure our customers' absolute safety, we are extending the recall to include all A1 printers currently in the market, regardless of their condition," the blog post says.

The company is offering two paths for A1 owners who purchased their unit directly from the Bambu Lab online store: return the printer for a full refund, plus $80 towards a new Bambu Lab printer; or wait for a replacement heatbed and receive a $120 voucher good for any item in the store, such as filament and nozzles. You will also receive a 6-month warranty extension. 

Replacement printers will be available around May, while replacement heatbeds could ship as early as the end of March. Bambu Lab has posted a YouTube video showing the repair process so you can decide which option you wish to take.

A1 owners will need to fill out this form to start the refund or equipment replacement process.

If you choose to return the printer, you will need to pack it in its original box. Refunds will take approximately 15 days and will be processed after Bambu Lab receives your printer. 

If you purchased your printer through a reseller such as Micro Center, you will need to contact them, but should receive the same offer.

Our original article posted on Friday (2/2)  is below:

Early this morning, a select few 3D printing YouTubers began receiving notice from Bambu Lab that all A1 3D printers should be turned off and not used until the company makes an official announcement. We reported on this “callback” notice on Jan. 28, immediately after Bambu Lab announced “a very small portion of A1 printers” had a safety issue where the cable that brings power to the heated bed could become damaged and then lead to short circuits or power loss. 

Tom’s Hardware did not receive this notice, and Bambu Lab has not responded to our request for clarification. We discovered the information on Twitter as members of the 3D printing community questioned why certain favored YouTubers were given advance notice of a possible recall before the general public.  

We also learned that Micro Center, the brick and mortar technology retailer that sells Bambu Lab products in the U.S., has pulled A1 units from its shelves and will be accepting any models they sold back as returns.

“Micro Center's top priority is ensuring the safety and satisfaction of our customers, we are accepting all customer returns of the Bambu Lab A1,” Micro Center Marketing Manager Laura Wall told us. “We have ceased the sale of the A1, pulled all A1 inventory from our shelves, and are in the process of returning all inventory to Bambu Lab.” 

Grant Posner, President of 3D Musketeers, a professional 3D scanning and Additive Manufacturing business, with a YouTube channel under the same name, has long been critical of Bambu Lab’s safety and security measures. He asked Twitter, “Are companies relaying safety information to influencers before making it public? Because if so, that seems like an issue.”

The email to YouTubers, shared in a blurry screen capture, reads as follows. 

Dear Partner, 

Recently, Bambu Lab published a blog about the A1 Heatbed Cable, following a comprehensive investigation into unstable temperature readings and heating issues with our A1 printers. We identified the root cause of these problems as damage to the heatbed cable and provided solutions based on the cable's condition, as outlined in the following link: https://blog.bambulab.com/a1-heatbed-cable-callback/ 

Though the feedback we have received so far indicates that the damage has occurred in only a small portion of the current A1 printers, we have come to the conclusion that we need to take further actions to minimize potential problems and risks for users when operating our machines. 

Therefore, to safeguard the safety and rights of our users to the greatest extent, we advise you to refrain from operating your A1, regardless of whether your heatbed cable is damaged. We are currently in discussions to formulate the most appropriate solution, and will release our plan through official channels as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience. 

If anyone inquires you about this matter, please kindly advise them to cease using the machine and await the official reply. Emphasize that Bambu Lab prioritizes user safety and is committed to providing the best solution for all users. 

Once again, we deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Thanks and Best!

Across the internet, on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Reddit, users have posted photos of their A1 cables. Many are concerned that they, too, have a damaged printer.

TikTok users spread the word of Bambu A1 recall. (Image credit: TikTok)

Twitter user @ZioFancoD told Tom’s Hardware that he had received a warning from Bambu Lab customer service to “cease using the A1 printer for now” after filling out a help ticket and submitting a photo of his cable.

“I am quite knowledgeable on printers and tinkering but wrote that I was not comfortable to replace the bed and wanted to know about the printer replacement,” ZioFancoD said. He posted a screenshot of customer service’s response on Twitter.

(Image credit: Bambu Lab)

Bambu Lab still lists the A1 printer for sale on its website, but you can’t order it. The product description says it is “Coming Soon.” and there’s a button where you can ask the company to notify you when it becomes available.

(Image credit: Bambu Lab)

When we reviewed the Bambu Lab A1 back in December, we gave it 4.5 stars and an Editor’s Choice award. In our tests, we found the bed slinger-style printer fast, easy-to-use and excellent and turning out quality prints. With its optional AMS, the A1 provides one of the cheapest and easiest ways to output multi-color models.

However, if you want a similar experience and don’t mind a much smaller print, 180 x 180mm bed, the Bambu Lab A1 Mini, which came out first, isn’t affected by the cable issue and hasn’t been recalled. This smaller product remains among the best 3D printers you can buy right now.

Denise Bertacchi
Freelance Reviewer

Denise Bertacchi is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering 3D printing.

  • Heiro78
    My first reaction is to commend them for issuing the recall but agree it's strange at the least to have given prior warning to YouTubers. I want to excuse this as though the YouTubers got first batch units with the know issue before realizing it's a much larger quantity and number of releases.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    As I sit here next to my X1 Carbon, 35% the way through a 12 hour print.
    Reply
  • TRN42
    Heiro78 said:
    My first reaction is to commend them for issuing the recall but agree it's strange at the least to have given prior warning to YouTubers. I want to excuse this as though the YouTubers got first batch units with the know issue before realizing it's a much larger quantity and number of releases.
    They have not issued a recall, and their public statements, in direct contradiction to their private statements to influencers, were that the machines were safe to operate, with them asking customers to print a guard that shortens the moving length of the cable and gives a sharper angle at which it can bend, which might forstall the issue in the immediate period of time, can only make the issue more severe in the long run.

    They gave prior warning to the youtubers to get them to ease the public into this sort of design incompetence, while hedging their bets on avoiding burning down any public figures studios.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    TRN42 said:
    They have not issued a recall, and their public statements, in direct contradiction to their private statements to influencers, were that the machines were safe to operate, with them asking customers to print a guard that shortens the moving length of the cable and gives a sharper angle at which it can bend, which might forstall the issue in the immediate period of time, can only make the issue more severe in the long run.
    This, specifically:
    https://blog.bambulab.com/a1-heatbed-cable-callback/?sscid=21k8_2onqy&
    Reply
  • TRN42
    USAFRet said:
    This, specifically:
    https://blog.bambulab.com/a1-heatbed-cable-callback/?sscid=21k8_2onqy&
    I've already read their blog post. I've also read the email they sent to creators. Their blog post and their private correspondence differ, their blog post says you can keep using the A1 so long as there's not obvious damage. Their private email says to not use the A1 under any circumstances.

    And a callback is not a recall. They are only being more proactive when influencers who got ahold of their private email put them rightfully on blast for them telling the general public a different story than the influencers in their partner program, and pointed out that their bandaid 'fix' as best buys additional life on the cable.

    What I want from them is a pop up in bambu studio, the bambu handy app, and if possible, the printer, to discontinue the use of the A1 immediately, and contact them for repair. Along with them emailing, and physically mailing notices to all customers with an A1 notifying them of the defective product. Along with them pulling all stock of the A1 from all resellers, because that's what a recall entails. This 'callback' is a service notice for a problem that could burn down your house, and entirely insufficient.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    TRN42 said:
    What I want from them is...
    Have you communicated that back to Bambu?

    I absolutely agree that this should not be an issue. And now that it IS an issue, measures need to be taken.

    As an owner/user of an X1, will this thing also blow up on me?
    Reply
  • TRN42
    USAFRet said:
    Have you communicated that back to Bambu?

    I absolutely agree that this should not be an issue. And now that it IS an issue, measures need to be taken.

    As an owner/user of an X1, will this thing also blow up on me?
    I have, through a company I work for which owns over a dozen bambu labs printers.

    As to the X1/P1 line of printers, they have not exhibited any design level tendencies to self ignition, with only a few examples I am aware of having gone as far as mildly igniting the toolhead board. I would however recommend that a whambam cloud or prusa blazecut system be installed in the same location as any printers as a safety measure with all printers with a heating system. My GKTwo MSLA resin printer has a whambam cloud installed to protect against its PTC heater running away, as does my delta, and my prusas are protected by the prusa branded solution.

    As with all machines which generate heat as an intentional product, always keep an extinguisher nearby. The room with my printers has no less than 20lbs of extinguisher ready at all times.
    Reply
  • Joshatron121
    TRN42 said:
    What I want from them is a pop up in bambu studio, the bambu handy app
    Users have already reported on Reddit that this happened back on January the 28th via at least the Bambu Handy app (no one has commented on Studio). If you have an A1 you should have gotten that message. If you didn't you should reach out to Bambu as it's clearly an error.
    Reply
  • NeatOman
    USAFRet said:
    As I sit here next to my X1 Carbon, 35% the way through a 12 hour print.
    Well, at least it's been out for more than a year and the few flaws have already been corrected and where not fatal flaws (literally in this case)
    Reply
  • KyleK29
    USAFRet said:
    As I sit here next to my X1 Carbon, 35% the way through a 12 hour print.

    From my understanding of the issue the X1C won't be affected by this.

    The weird part is that this same exact issue was common on bedslingers in the past; the issue being the heated plate power wire prone to premature fatigue failure from the bed's frequent movement. The fact BambuLab didn't realize this is a very common failure point is odd.
    Reply