Wondering whether you should get the Artillery Sidewinder 3D printer? In this Artillery Sidewinder X1 review, we go through what you should expect in terms of features, price, performance and quality of prints delivered by the machine.
In just a few short years, 3D printer have flooded the market. While the machines still have a long way to go to become staples in homes and offices, like 2D printers, they are certainly improving.
3D printer manufacturers are upping their game with their new releases. In fact, with a little tuning, almost every 3D printer can achieve good results. Every manufacturer tries to incorporate what is already available in 3D printers tht are on the market in their own machines. As a result, the differences between new 3D printers are relatively small.
In this Artillery Sidewinder X1 review, we’ll omit the basics that we’ve come to expect in modern 3D printers. Instead, we’ll be looking at what makes this 3D printer stand out.
I’d rate the Artillery Sidewinder X1 as a “very good” 3D printer. However, it also has its weaknesses.
Continue reading this review to find out.
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Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D printer Highlights
- 95% pre-assembled.
- Setup time: ~ 20 minutes
- Print space: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
- Two Z-axes, filament & powerloss sensor, 220V heating bed
- Touchscreen (color), direct drive extruder, quiet stepper driver
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D printer comes with an impressive set of features. From inductive end stops to a direct drive extruder, this printer has everything we’ve come to expect in modern 3D printers. The only thing missing is a sensor for the automatic leveling.
Do the components work together? Does the software play its part well?
The printer’s power supply (Sanlan S-200-24: 8.5A at 24V) and mainboard disappear nicely into the base. Its frame consists of 4040, 4020 and a neat 6020 aluminum profile.
From the outside, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 does everything right.
Packaging, Shipping & Accessories
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 comes packaged safely and nicely. In the box, the printer is protected by thick “cardboard L-rails”. The contents of the packaging are packed in two layers of foam.
The structure (hotend, Z-axis, etc.) is hidden on one level and the base (power supply, mainboard, etc.) on the other.
On unpacking the printer, you will see a small bag for the accessories (see below). Often my accessories from other 3D printers fly around in zip bags or the cardboard boxes.
The printer comes with an assembly manual. However, the assembly instructions are not really necessary, as only the filament roll holder and the assembly have to be screwed on.
Nevertheless, you can get through the assembly instructions (including connecting cables, etc.) in around 20 minutes in case you are up for it.
I liked that the axes/printhead were fixed with cable ties and the cables with proper adhesive tape. This helps to prevent them from wobbling during transport.
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 does everything right.
Artillery Sidewinder X1 Quality & Components
Unlike most 3D printers made in China, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 relies on inductive end stops. Only TEVO regularly uses inductive end stops.
The inductive end stops should be more precise than their mechanical counterparts. However, so far I have not noticed this either positively or negatively. Ultimately, the advantage would only really come into play with the Z-axis. Unfortunately, the end stops are fixed to the aluminum profiles, so that subsequent adjustment requires additional effort.
The direct extruder is a real highlight. The Titan Clone Feeder leads directly to the Volcano Clone Hotend. The two clones do their job well.
The 24V fans are nice and quiet. The circuit boards/boards, in conjunction with the ribbon cables, ensure a very tidy cable management.
The ribbon cable is also only plugged in here.
However, the adhesive tape that is supposed to fix the cable will come off. In the meantime, good old tape, which was wrapped around the axle, helps out here.
The cover (which is now an injection-molded part in the current revision) provides a harmonious impression. However, it makes modification difficult. The cables have also been lengthened a bit and there is a reset button next to the display.
At this point, you can tell that the SWX1 has been improved quite a bit. Save for the cables that seem all over, I love the improvements.
The Sidewinder X1 has two Z steppers. Therefore, the X-axis does not “sag” or “hang” at an angle from a certain height.
In addition, both Z-axis spindles are connected to a loose or non-adaptable GT2 toothed belt, which is intended to enable synchronous up and down movement.
Another improvement that the Artillery Sidewinder X1 has is that the holders for the spindle nuts of the X-axis. These holders are no longer firmly screwed on, as is the case with most 3D printers, but only inserted.
With some 3D printers, you have to be careful as the 2-4 screws were never tightened. The Z-spindle always needs a bit of play. However, this often led to lost screws during transport.
Inside the Artillery Sidewinder X1, the cables have been properly fixed.
Overall, I’ll give the Artillery Sidewinder X1 a “good” rating. The cable management looks nice but there is more.
The heating bed gets hot in just under 30 seconds. The well-insulated printing surface is heated to 60 degrees thanks to the 220V power supply. According to the manufacturer, the printbed can get to 110°C in 130 seconds. Thanks to the insulation attached below, the temperature, according to Octoprint, is also kept relatively constant.
During my test, I heated the printbead to 100 degrees without any problems. Most filaments can be reliably printed at this temperature.
After the first heating comes the leveling.
The Sidewinder X1 doesn’t have an autolevel sensor. I usually don’t like autolevel features. With most of the printers I’ve tested, too often the BLTouch didn’t work properly (the bed installed too crooked, wrong Z-offset, etc.). I’d rather have a decent heating bed and a decent limit switch. Once properly leveled, nothing will warp so quickly. I’ve only ad to level the SX1 one more time in four months.
The Sidewinder Xi hardly produces background noise. With 52-58 dB, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is one of the quietest 3D printers on the market.
The drivers and the large 24V fan do a great job.
Some of the newer 3D printers come with stepper drivers meant to reduce noise during operations. However, when the printers have cheap fans, the noise is not reduced.
The loudest components on the X1 are actually only the X and extruder stepper; they move very fast!
The filament roll holder is stored smoothly on wheels. However, it has to be adjusted depending on the width of the filament rolls.
To get this problem under control, I would mount the bracket externally over the 3D printer (shelf or similar) in the long term and also use cross struts, as with the Creality3D CR-10 V2.
Quality of Prints
Out of the box, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 prints good quality prints. See the test cube from Artillery that I printed. In addition, the heating bed ran at 80° C!
The machine’s print head has an RGB LED on the underside. Therefore, your print object will always be beautifully illuminated (see below).
If you want to watch the 3D printer at work later using a webcam, you can save yourself external lighting.
Of course, the small LED is not sufficient for epic timelapse recordings. It only helps for a quick look and it just looks pretty nice.
I have also tested larger prints to see how the adhesion is over the entire heating bed.
The filament and the “Powerloss” sensor work perfectly.
Coming to the printbead, the prints adhere well at high temperatures and after printing they almost snap off by themselves. However, if the current were to be disrupted, the plate would cool down and, your model would no longer adhere properly (happened to me in a test).
To avoid this, I always put a small layer of glue stick over the print bed (see pictures).
The print results are just great. I only “tweaked” around in Cura for about 20 minutes and quickly printed the famous cat just before the test was finished.
When it comes to print quality, the SWX1 simply delivers. Out of the box, it prints good models. You can tweak the settings to have even better results.
The Sidewinder only begins to swing a little at great heights. When this happens, you should reduce the printing speed or stiffen the frame afterwards.
Conclusion: Is the Artillery Sidewinder X1Worth It?
If you were hoping for a simple “yes” or “no”, I have to disappoint you. The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is really good, does a hell of a lot right. However, it’s not perfect. You only notice this in most places after prolonged intensive use.
So, first let me say who should not buy the 3D printer.
Coming at about $400 (check current price on Amazon), the Sidewinder X1 is somewhat affordable. However, if you don’t have this amount, go for the Creality3D Ender-3 . The Ender-3 is smaller, louder, doesn’t offer so many extras, but is much cheaper (see price on Amazon).
The Creality3D Ender does a really good job and has a lot of fans. This means you will easily find help, mods, tutorials, etc. In addition, the heating bed is smaller, which means that you will save energy.
Do you want even better print results? Then go for the Sidewinder X1. The 3D printer is already at the upper end of the quality. If that’s still not enough, you should use SLA 3D printers. We’ve previously written about FDM vs. SLA.
The Sidewinder X1 also has its problems. For example, the ribbon cables loosen, the firmware is not optimized, and the frame vibrates at certain heights. Still, for the money, the X1 is a no brainer, especially if you will later want to print with flexible filament.
The Sidewinder X1 is one of the few 3D printers with a direct drive extruder. This feature is great for the price of the printer.
In my opinion, the only really worthy alternative to the Artillery Sidewinder X1 at the moment is the Creality3D CR-10 V2. However, the printer does not have a direct drive extruder.
To end this Artillery Sidewinder X1 review, if you print a lot, print with flexible filament sometimes, and don’t want to tinker later, the printer will be great for you.
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