Up in smoke after waiting a year

Be very careful not to connect the cables the wrong way.

I purchased my A350 as part of the kick starter on December 31st, 2019. I received it January 20th, 2021.
Yes, I waited over a year. I bought the enclosure as well. I put the A350 together and tested the 3D printing before assembling the enclosure. I wanted to test out the laser engraving. The enclosure has LED lights built in. However, you can’t have the power on when swapping modules. The visibility in the enclosure is very poor. I accidentally plugged the laser module in backward. When I turned the power on a loud pop sound and smoke came poring out of the laser module. I contacted support and they asked me to test the 3D printing, stating that the controller may have been damaged. Sure enough, the 3D printing module didn’t function anymore. The warranty does not cover mis-connecting the cables. However, it is very easy to do unintentionally. I consider this a design flaw. SM prides itself on quality which is apparent in the materials used but not so much in the engineering. The unit is so easily susceptible to human error that results in catastrophic failure and damage to the components. So, after waiting a year, I’m now going through support channels to try and order replacement parts. How long do you think that will take?

I saw elsewhere someone mentioning making the same mistake. Someone even coined the phrase releasing it’s magic smoke. I would like to know how many people this has happened to?

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Sry for you, there was some discussion about:

Thank you for your sympathy. I’m going to install my own LED lights in the enclosure with a separate power supply so I have better visibility when swapping out modules.

“Magic smoke” is an old electronics joke. Any time you fry something and you burn out a component that must be why it stopped working: the ‘magic smoke’ got out.

No way to know how many people have done it. A half dozen have reported it that I’ve seen but no way to know. SM is aware of it, and some people seem to have been able to get it repaired under warranty. Use your nicest tone and explain what happened and why you think it shouldn’t have and your disappointment…

Check if you can use the other modules. Sometimes it just affects the head and sometimes both the controller and head are fried.

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I haven’t heard a word from support since 1/22. Am I getting the silent treatment or are they just overwhelmed with support requests? I desperately want my device fixed. I feel helpless.

This is what it looks like inside my enclosure with the LEDs off.

I installed my own LED lights with an independent power supply so going forward I can see what I’m doing when swapping out modules. This is what it looks like now.

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I remember reading that they have changed the plug design a little for the new versions so that it is not quite as easy to for this to happen. It is just one of the benefits of getting the kikstarter edition. Sorry for your luck.

As for support, depends on what you have asked them. If you said “I would like to purchase a new laser module and a new controller” I would be surprised if they don’t get back to you very soon. If your asking for a warranty replacement, it could take months. I think it was about 3 months before they replaced my parts.

@atom, I opened a separate ticket for purchasing the replacements. I haven’t received any response to that request.Beside, I’m not likely to ever make that mistake again. It was a potentially expensive lesson.

I belive the laser is about $169 not sure I have seen a price for the controller. If your handy, and want to pull your laser apart and see/take pictures of anything that is obviously burnt I might have a replacement part.

I am handy. Already pulled the laser apart and reassembled it. The smoke emitted from the laser component which I cannot remove from the metal casing. I expected a burnt capacitor, all solid state components, disposable tech. I don’t have the equipment to diagnose. Not like the old days when you could replace a capacitor or resistor. Beside, the controller is also burnt. Thanks for the advise.

Currently, support takes about a week to reply at most. This is significantly better than the past. I had 3 weeks before a reply and then 3 weeks before parts.

This last time I needed something, the part took about a week and a half to arrive.

However, chinese new years is coming… which is going to shut them down for AT LEAST a month.

@MooseJuice, Thanks, that’s not the best news. I think all I need now is for some little kid at the grocery store to run up and kick me between the legs.

I totally sympathize with you.

Support may be able to get you running with a different module via a different port, I have seen that happen before. Most examples of this on the forum are people plugging their 3DP module in backwards and damaging the controller and extruder, other modules did not function either but they were able to use a different port after some diagnostic firmware was installed to reassign it.

It’s possible someone might have the wherewithall to provide a patch to do that on the forum too, we have some smart cookies, but I haven’t seen anyone yet. @brent113 would you recon it possible to reassign the port without much trouble?

Furthermore, i have seen instances of warranty covering the cable being plugged in wrong due to the design flaw.

If you don’t see a reply by Thursday, try to send a “following up on this situation” email. It might help or might not.

They will, ultimately, get back to you. Trying to beat the clock is the problem.

On your following up on this situation email, provide your order number and address in hopes that they can process replacement parts immediately to have a chance at getting them in before the shutdown.

Support already has this firmware - another user mentioned they had them run a diagnostic firmware with the toolhead assigned to the add-on 1 port.

Darn, I was hoping it was the mcu, I have a spare mcu board that I could have sent. But it sounds like you belive it was the laser head itself that fried. To be certain are you referring to this part?

Right, i am aware they have it, but it isn’t publicly available at this time.

That’s okay maybe someone will share theirs.

man SM really chose an odd laser design… who the hell uses a 14mm housing? I can’t find any other 14mm laser housings online. Unless my googlefu is just weak today

@Atom, Yes, that’s what smoked. No other visible damage on any of the circuitry.

in case anyone wanted to see the fully disassembled laser module… apparently this uses an esp32 cam for the camera… if that is what smoked then you fried the laser diode. It is in a 14x20mm housing(lower left of the picture) I was looking for a replacement but I can’t find any 14mm housings. So the only other option would be to try and remove the burnt diode from your existing housing and replace the diode itself.

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