Maybe you are like me: in the meantime, “actually” almost all 3D printers from China are at least “OK” – with a little tuning, almost every 3D printer can achieve good results. Every manufacturer diligently looks left and right and so the differences between new 3D printers are relatively small. So now I just want to write about real “pearls”. The Artillery Sidewinder X1 scratches the “very good”, is a really good 3D printer, but shows small weaknesses in my 4-month test. Take 10 minutes and off you go: The Artillery Sidewinder X1 test starts.
- Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D printer
- 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
If you just read the facts, you can already read a lot of extras. We have already seen most of them individually in various China printers, but all in all it is impressive. From inductive end stops to a direct drive extruder (rarely) everything is included. Only a sensor for the automatic leveling is missing. How do the components work together? Does the software also play its part – and that’s often the catch?
The power supply (Sanlan S-200-24: 8.5A at 24V) and mainboard disappear nicely into the base, the frame consists of 4040, 4020 and a neat 6020 aluminum profile. From the outside, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 (except maybe the name ;-)) does everything right. A little note: the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is also sold as the EVNOVO Sidewinder X1 .
Packaging, shipping & accessories
Ordered at GearBest, arrived safely after 15 days – so far, so unspectacular. The package is externally undamaged and also inside …
… does it look good. With the Artillery Sidewinder X1, people even thought about the packaging corners: These are once again protected by thick “cardboard L-rails”. As with almost all 3D printers from China, 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.
What I really liked when I unpacked it: The small bag for the accessories (see below). Often my accessories from other 3D printers fly around in zip bags or the cardboard boxes. This is a little thing that shows me that there was thought here.
The assembly instructions are not really necessary, as only the filament roll holder and the assembly have to be screwed on. Nevertheless: If you need help with this, you can get through the very good assembly instructions (including connecting cables, etc.) in around 20 minutes. It doesn’t get much faster.
What I also like: The axes / print head were again fixed with cable ties, the cables with proper adhesive tape. So nothing wobbles during transport.
An EU cold device power cable is included, but if you can save more than 5 € on purchase with the US version, you can take it and buy the EU cable yourself at the “electrical shop around the corner”.
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 goes straight to the TOP5 after my first, second and third impression – it does everything right. But does this consistently positive impression remain when you take a closer look and print? Based on experience, I have my doubts.
Artillery Sidewinder X1 Quality & Components
In contrast to most other 3D printers from China, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 relies on inductive end stops. Only TEVO regularly uses inductive end stops – not surprising, as rumor has it that some TEVO employees were involved in the construction of the Sidewinder X1 ;-).
The inductive end stops should be more precise than their mechanical counterparts. So far, however, 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 is associated with additional effort.
The direct extruder is a real highlight. The Titan Clone Feeder leads directly to the Volcano Clone Hotend. Two clones who, as will be seen later, do their job well. For my taste you could have used a little more metal (despite the extra weight).
The 24V fans are nice and quiet. What I also find interesting are the circuit boards / boards, which, in conjunction with the ribbon cables, ensure a very tidy cable management. I find it relatively elegantly solved for the axes that are not in motion that often, but this is “problematic” for the X axis.
The ribbon cable is also only plugged in here. According to some users, this leads to problems, which I have not experienced in four months. 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, but makes modification difficult. In the fourth edition, the cables have also been lengthened a bit and there is a reset button next to the display, which I have never used before.
So you can tell: The SWX1 is not only “thrown” on the market, but improvements are constantly flowing into it. So I’m still hoping for a somewhat “more robust” solution for handling the cables.
The Sidewinder X1 has two Z steppers so that the X-axis does not “sag” or “hang” at an angle from a certain height. Unfortunately, this is often the case with larger pressure spaces, no matter how well tightened eccentrics but a certain pressure 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. I have only seen this implementation with 2-3 other 3D printers so far – is it really useful?
Another “little thing” that the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is proud of are the holders for the spindle nuts of the X-axis. These are no longer firmly screwed on (as with 95% of other 3D printers), but only inserted.
Let’s put it this way: Since the prints have all looked really good so far, at least this solution doesn’t do its job badly. With the other China 3D printers, you had to be careful: The 2-4 screws were never (!) Tightened – the Z-spindle (s) always needed a bit of play. However, this often led to lost screws during transport ;-).
A look inside is also pleasing: the cables have been properly fixed, there are cable lugs – you could even have used a little less hot glue.
In the further course I will also go into more detail on the board / stepper driver. Overall, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 gets away with a “good” rating. The cable management looks nice, is meant nicely … but there is more. The rest is top (in the price league).
The first 3D prints
The heating bed is done in record time. In just under 30 seconds, in words thirty (!), The well-insulated printing surface is heated to 60 degrees thanks to the 220V. The manufacturer even says that 110 ° C is possible in 130 seconds. Thanks to the insulation attached below, the temperature, according to Octoprint, is also kept relatively constant. At least as a test, I heated it to 100 degrees – without any problems. Most filaments can be reliably printed with it.
After the first heating comes the leveling. Wait a moment! The Sidewinder X1 has so many features, is currently being hyped by me, but doesn’t have an autolevel sensor ? Absolutely right. So far, I’ve always been critical of the Autolevel features: Too often the BLTouch was crap or a fake, or it didn’t work properly (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 only had to level the SX1 one more time in four months.
I particularly like the volume and the hardly existing background noise. With 52-58 dB, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is one of the quietest 3D printers (direct from China) that I have tested so far.
The inserted (non-name) drivers, but also the large 24V fan, do a neat job. Too often lately I’ve had 3D printers that had stepper drivers installed for quiet operation, but then installed the cheapest of the cheap fans and were therefore quite loud again. The loudest components on the X1 are actually only the X and extruder stepper – with very fast movements. Sometimes I run the Artillery Sidewinder X1 next to me in the room!
At first glance, the filament roll holder deserves a big plus. The roll is stored smoothly on wheels – but has to be adjusted depending on the width of the filament rolls. We also get a problem with weight. Mounted so high, this resonates, especially at higher pressures. A dilemma, because the filament has to be fed into the direct drive extruder from above.
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.
But let’s get to the print results. And out of the box they are good to very good. The cube on the USB stick is “branded” (nice!), But not as meaningful as the well-known XYZ cube. In addition, the heating bed ran at 80 ° C :-D. Well: The print result is still great.
Another little thing that should be mentioned briefly: The print head has an RGB LED on the underside. 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.
But that much is also clear: The small LED is of course 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 also the “Powerloss” sensor work perfectly, but : Here, paradoxically, the very good Ultrabase is doomed. The prints adhere well at high temperatures and after printing they almost snap off by themselves. If the current were to break off now, the plate would cool down and, with bad luck, your object would no longer adhere properly (happened to me in a test). That’s why I play it safe (okay, laziness also plays a role) and 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 – even more is possible. I quickly printed the famous cat just before the test was finished.
In the most important discipline, print quality, the SWX1 simply delivers. Out of the box at least good, with a little gimmick “very good”. The Sidewinder only begins to swing a little at great heights. Ie here you should reduce the printing speed or stiffen the frame afterwards.
Conclusion: buy Artillery Sidewinder X1?
If you were hoping to read a simple “yes” or “no” from me … then unfortunately I have to disappoint you. The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is really good, does a hell of a lot right, but it’s not perfect. You only notice this in most places after prolonged intensive use. So first let me rule out who the 3D printer from China is not for.
€ 350-400 is not really a lot of money for a 3D printer, but spending this amount needs to be carefully considered. If you are unsure about your future hobby or if you don’t have the money on the high edge, take the Creality3D Ender-3 . The Ender-3 is smaller, louder, doesn’t offer so many extras, but costs only 145 €! And for that he does a really good job and has a lot of fans (= a lot of help, mods, tutorials, etc). In addition, the heating bed is smaller – the bottom line is that you save energy. Nevertheless: The Ender-3 is simply a completely different league.
Do you want even better print results? This becomes difficult with the FDM printing process. The Sidewinder X1 is already at the upper end of the quality. If that’s still not enough, you should use SLA 3D printers. Here you can find my advice article: FDM vs. SLA . The Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon S prints so well – in places you can only see the layers under the microscope. The pressure space is small and handling resin is not that easy.
The Sidewinder X1 also has its problems: The nicely meant ribbon cables that loosen, the firmware that is not used optimally and the frame vibrations at certain heights. And yet: for the money, the X1 is a “Nobrainer”. Especially if you (later?) Want to print with flexible filament. The Sidewinder X1 is one of the few good, current China 3D printers with a direct drive extruder , a decent feature package and that for a more than fair price.
In my opinion, the only really worthy alternative is currently the Creality3D CR-10 V2 (which has been printing here for two months in the test – report will follow!). However, this costs 50-100 € more, does not have a direct drive extruder, has an external power supply, but is a bit stiffer (thanks to the cross braces).
Long story short: If you print a lot, (maybe once) print with flexible filament and don’t want to tinker later: Take the Artillery Sidewinder X1 .