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Why did a bunch of 3D printers randomly start printing in the middle of the night?

Answer: A glitch in the cloud.

Black and white image of a 3D printer printing.
There are a lot of good things about cloud technology, but a recent incident with 3D printers shows how careful we need to be with cloud security. Some owners of Bambu Lab 3D printers learned this the hard way last week when they woke to discover their printers had started up and begun printing on their own during the night.

Bambu reports it experienced a “cloud outage” that led to the possessed printers. It seems the issue resulted in a backlog of print start messages that all went through at once to random users when the outage was fixed. Unfortunately, some of these printers were damaged because there was a previous print still on the machine’s plate and so it started a new print right on top of the old one.

Bambu stated that it would promptly send replacement parts to anyone whose printer was damaged. They also detailed a number of planned improvements to prevent this from happening again. They’ve already updated their Cloud Service’s SDK service logic and “increased the database connection sizes for better throughput.” They also plan to update their cloud so that “every time print is initiated, the printer will check the time stamp and automatically discard any outdated print which does not follow our strict configuration.”