Bambu Lab VS Printables – The 3D Print Drama Explained

There’s not much drama in the 3D printing world, but somehow Bambu Lab always seems to be involved lately. So what the hell happened between Bambu & Printables?

Just a few days ago, Bambu Labs opened up the Beta of their MakerWorld website – a repository of 3D printer model files for creators to upload their own files and users to browse and download their next print. According to Bambu Labs, MakerWorld saw over 20,000 daily active users within 5 days of launching, despite dealing with a DDOS attack.

MakerWorld has a feature for users to import their existing files from other websites like Printables & Thingiverse to make it easy for creators to transfer over their 3D models to the new site. That didn’t last long, however, as Josef Prusa’s own Printables swiftly shut the feature down from their end – by marking the term “MakerWorld” as spam on the Printables website.

For a user to verify authorized model imports into MakerWorld, they required the creator to put their unique MakerWorld link in their Printables profile bio to help prevent unauthorized model imports. Printables picked up on the increase in activity and started marking the term MakerWorld as spam on 9/23/23, effectively blocking all imports into Bambu Lab’s MakerWorld just 2 days after the public beta launch.

Why did block MakerWorld? The below tweet from Josef Prusa, the site’s owner, explains:

Josef Prusa continues, stating that Bambu Lab’s own developers were uploading stolen models & creating spam campaigns on their internal messaging system, which ultimately made them decide to mark the MakerWorld name as spam. This isn’t Bambu Lab’s first time making questionable headlines. See: 3D Printer nightmare fuel: Bambu X1C & P1P while owners were asleep or the open source status of their Bambu Studio slicer software.

Bambu Lab blog screenshot
A fitting image for Bambu Lab’s own blog page.

Bambu Lab released a blog post regarding the issue, with a few strange comments. Not only did they admit to ‘studying’ the Printables website & messaging Printables users if they wanted to join MakerWorld, but they went on to say:

We don’t think that studying Printables in order to improve our platform is a crime

Bambu Lab Blog

This X user has a great recap of the story:

On the next episode of Real Housewives: 3D Print Edition.

As of today, Bambu Lab has changed their verification process bypassing the URL in the bio, instead opting for a unique string ID to get around the spam block. Prusa stated they’re not interested in blocking exports to other websites and do not intend on blocking this feature beyond the URL block.

It’s entertaining watching from the sidelines, but ultimately Bambu’s recent moves have stirred some reputable feathers since they’ve launched. What are your thoughts on Bambu Lab as a company and this recent issue? Does this hurt their brand reputation or is Prusa being too protective? Comment below!

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