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Affordable CR-10 Contender

2019 Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review: 10 Hours Testing

Picture of Rocío Jaimes Gutierrez
by Rocío Jaimes Gutierrez
Sep 15, 2019
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The Artillery Sidewinder X1 has become an interesting competitor to the Creality CR-10 series - let’s see how the printer holds up in our 10-hour review.

The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is an affordable FDM 3D printer which offers some interesting features. It’s a big, sturdy machine, sporting a direct drive extruder system, a fast-heating printing bed, and some comfort features that make it a worthy contender to the CR-10.

Without further ado, let’s review its first prints and take a look at its specs.

Artillery Sidewinder X1

Product image of Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D Printer
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1

Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review Features

So, what’s special about the Artillery Sidewinder X1? Let’s dive into its specs first:

Large Build Space

With a build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, this FDM desktop 3D printer will take up some serious space in any workshop. Overall, the sheer dimensions the Sidewinder X1 offers is a factor worth considering for buying this machine.

Its price lies currently $100 below Creality’s CR-10 Pro, which offers an identical build volume.

(Image: Artillery)
(Image: Artillery)

Direct Drive System

In many ways, a direct drive extrusion system is superior to a Bowden mechanism. This is especially true if you want to print with flexible materials like TPU.

If you want to know more about the alternative 3D printing extruder systems, please continue here.

Silent Printing

Being silent is certainly an advantage for any FDM 3D printer. According to Artillery, the printer is even quieter than most enclosed 3D printers – we also found it to be relatively quiet, but not ultra-silent.

Fast-Heating Bed

With its glass heated bed, the X1 Sidewinder has the pleasant characteristic of heating its printing bed to 80°C in under two minutes. However, as with every glass bed, adhesion could be better. You might need to have your glue stick or Kapton tape around. For solving PLA adhesion problems, check some these easy fixes.

Artillery X1 pritning bed
Fast-heating printing bed. (Image: Artillery)

Touchscreen

The colored, user-friendly touchscreen ensures an easy usage of the Artillery’s main feature set.

Tactile touch screen. (Image: Artillery)

Power-loss Recovery

After long hours of waiting for your print to finish, the last thing that you want is to restart the process because of a power loss. Even though it is becoming an increasingly common feature, it is worth mentioning this deal-breaker function.

Power recovery system. (Image: Artillery.)
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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review Benchmarking

Image of Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review: Benchmarking
The Sidewinder's Extruder and Hotend assemly. (image : All3DP)

To get a good first impression for this Artillery Sidewinder X1 review, we took the machine for a test ride by printing the two most popular torture tests. If you want to know in detail how we benchmark, please continue here.

Setting up the 3D printer was painless. As we ran into no problems, we started printing our benchmarking tests. The printing bed needed to be leveled manually, but after adjusting it once we never had to fiddle with it again.

For printing the test objects, we make sure to get a vanilla-state machine, normal PLA filament, and middle-of-the-road slicer settings. If you want to know more about our test scheme, read more here.

Benchmarking Object 1: Benchy

A big fat ugly layer line is running all around the Benchy’s hull (Source: All3DP)

It took us one attempt to 3D print a decent Benchy (STL file here). We used amazon white eSun PLA+ filament. For preparing the needed Gcode, we used Slic3r with the profile included on the Sidewinder’s USB drive. We set the temperature to 215 °C, the bed heated up to 60 °C.

Then we measured the tolerances of the print (jump to the detailed results here).

The Benchy overall turned out mediocre. On visual inspection, we found under-extrusion and a big visible layer-line going around the hull.

The overall dimensional accuracy was good; the Artillery Sidewinder X1 achieved 13 out of 15 points.

Benchy Details!
The layer lines were the biggest problem, the actual dimensions themselves were quite okay. (Source: All3DP)

Benchmarking Object 2: Kickstarter Autodesk Test

This torture test brought the machine to its limits (Source: All3DP)

The Autodesk Kickstarter test model looks at an FDM printer’s precision. You can find the file and read more about it here. We used the same white eSun PLA+ filament and the same temperature settings (215 / 60).

Overall, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 did well in dimensional accuracy.

Kickstarter bridges
Sadly, all bridges of this test failed (Source: All3DP)

We encountered some problems with bridging and the Z-alignment of the machine, the rest of the tests were fine.

In the Kickstarter test, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 scored with 17 from 30 points.

Benchmarking Verdict

Our benchmarking prints put the Artillery Sidewinder X1 on the same level as Craftbot 3, Lulzbot TAZ Workhorse, and Flashforge Finder.

Overall, the printing process was easy. There seems to be an issue with the Z-axis of our test model, as sometimes an over-extruded layer was printed at around 20mm height. Furthermore, it looks like the part-cooling fan doesn’t have enough power.

After approx. 10-hours printing with the Artillery Sidewinder X1, we’re were neither totally impressed nor underwhelmed. There are clearly some issues with the machine, but it looks like most of them can be corrected. As the machine has an impressive feature set for its price, we are looking forward to take an even close look at the machine.

Stay tuned for our longer-term impressions and final verdict on the Artillery Sidewinder X1.

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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review Technical Specifications

Image of Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review: Technical Specifications

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Technology: FDM
  • Type: Material extrusion
  • Year: 2019
  • Assembly: Pre-assembled
  • Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian
  • Manufacturer: Artillery

3D PRINTING PROPERTIES

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm (11.8 x 11.8 x 15.75 inches)
  • Layer height: 0.05 mm
  • Extruder type: Single, Direct Drive Extruder (Titan Type)
  • Nozzle type: Volcano
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. extruder temperature: 240 °C
  • Max. heated bed temperature: 80°C
  • Frame: Aluminum Extrusion
  • Print chamber: Open
  • Bed leveling: Manual
  • Print bed: Rapid Heating AC bed
  • Display: Touch screen control
  • Connectivity: SD, USB cable
  • Built-in camera for monitoring: No
  • Print recovery: Yes
  • Filament sensor: Yes

MATERIALS

  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Third party filaments: Yes
  • Materials: PLA, ABS, Flexible PLA, TPU, Wood, PVA, HIPS, and more.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

  • Recommended Slicer: Cura
  • Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

  • Outer dimensions: 550 x 405 x 640 mm
  • Weight: 16.5kg
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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review Where to Buy

You can purchase the Artillery X1 from the following online retailers:

Artillery Sidewinder X1

Product image of Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D Printer
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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review Benchmarking Results

Here you find the detailed results for the Artillery Sidewinder X1 test prints. For our benchmarking procedure please click here.

Benchy

  1. Overall length (60 mm ±1 % tolerance): 59.62 mm, 1 point given
  2. Overall width (31 mm ±1 % tolerance): 31.2 mm, 1 point given
  3. Bridge Roof length (23 mm ±1 % tolerance): 23.06 mm, 1 point given
  4. Chimney roundness inner diameter (3 mm ±10 %): 2.76 mm, 1 point given
  5. Chimney roundness outer diameter (7 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 6.88 mm, 1 point given
  6. Vertical overall-height (48 mm ±1 % tolerance): 47.51 mm, 0 point given
  7. Box depth (9 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 9.00 mm, 1 point given
  8. Box inner length (7 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 6.99 mm, 1 point given
  9. Box outer length (10.81 ± 5 % tolerance): 10.79 mm, 1 point given
  10. Box outer width (12 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 12,08 mm, 1 point given
  11. Box inner width: (8 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 8.02 mm, 1 point given
  12. Hawsepipe inner diameter left (4 mm ±10 % tolerance): 3.56 mm, 0 point given
  13. Hawsepipe inner diameter right (4 mm ±10 % tolerance): 3.65 mm, 1 point given
  14. Bridge front window width (10.5 mm ±5 % tolerance): 10,35 mm, 1 point given
  15. Rear window inner diameter (9 mm ±5 % tolerance): 8,81 mm, 1 point given

Kickstarter Autodesk Test

  1. Dimensional Accuracy: 5 of 5 points (24.86 / 20.03 / 15.17 / 10.08 / 5.11)
  2. Fine Flow Control: 2.5 points (all spires were printed correctly, but some stringing occured)
  3. Fine Negative Features: 4 points (4 pins were removable)
  4. Overhangs: 3 points (dropped loops began at the 20-degree overhang)
  5. Bridging: 0 points (all bridges contacted the surfaces beneath them)
  6. XY Resonance: 2.5 points (no ringing detectable)
  7. Z-axis alignment: 0 points (layer registration effect visible)

Overall, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 scored 17 out of 30 points in this test.

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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review How we Benchmark

For the benchmarking element of our review, we use the following guidelines:

Unbox the printer: We unbox the printer and assemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Deficiencies and errors are noted and build around according to the consensus online for the printer.

Filament: We use white eSun PLA+ filament. Temperature settings are 215 °C for the nozzle and 60 °C for the bed.

Printing: We print two test models — Benchy and the Kickstarter x Autodesk FDM 3D Printer Assessment — using the manufacturer-provided/recommended slicer and settings. If the printer ships without a dedicated slicer and profile, we generate a generic Cura profile using the essential information of the printer.

After the first print, we inspect the object for easily fixable problems (i.e., a loose belt or a poorly leveled print bed) and then print again. If the printer can’t provide a decent result after three attempts, we stop. Printers that fail to produce a test object receive zero points for the respective test object.

1. Benchy

The Benchy 3D printer torture test is one of the world’s most popular prints. It helps to measure the dimensional accuracy capabilities of your printer and helps highlight other visible print nastiness.

We measure our best Benchy print using digital calipers, scoring 15 criteria against their target value. A total of 15 points are available.

  1. Overall length: 60 mm
  2. Overall width: 31 mm
  3. Bridge Roof length: 23 mm
  4. Chimney roundness inner diameter: 3 mm
  5. Chimney roundness outer diameter: 7 mm
  6. Vertical overall-height: 48 mm
  7. Box depth: 9 mm
  8. Box inner length: 7 mm
  9. Box outer length: 10.81
  10. Box outer width: 12 mm
  11. Box inner width: 9 mm
  12. Hawsepipe inner diameter left: 4 mm
  13. Hawsepipe inner diameter right: 4 mm
  14. Bridge front window width: 10.5 mm
  15. Rear window inner diameter: 9 mm

To accommodate the difficulty and inaccuracies when measuring small features, we have implemented a sliding scale of tolerance in our scoring. The smaller the feature, the greater our allowance for deviation:

  • 60 mm to 23 mm: 1 percent tolerance allowed
  • 23 mm to 7 mm: 5 percent tolerance allowed
  • 7 mm to 0 mm: 10 percent tolerance allowed

Finally, we do a visual inspection and note any flaws and problems we encounter.

2. Kickstarter x Autodesk FDM 3D Printer Assessment

The Kickstarter x Autodesk print exposes an FDM printer’s precision via six distinct tests in one object.

By pushing a printer’s hardware and software the system to the point of failure, the print reliably visible imperfections that can be used to assess the performance of the slicer, the extruder, and the motion system together.

The Kickstarter Autodesk test 3D printer test (image: Kickstarter)

Here’s what’s getting measured.

  • Dimensional Accuracy
  • Fine Flow Control
  • Fine Negative Features
  • Overhangs
  • Bridging
  • XY Resonance
  • Z-axis alignment

The tolerances and measurements are very detailed. You can find the exact measuring procedure on Github. The highest possible score is 30, indicating a very well-calibrated system.

It’s worth noting that these benchmarking tests are not a definitive measure of a printer’s worth. More an indication of a printer’s state out of the box with no-tinkering, it’s only after a full evaluation and in-depth review that we fully judge a 3D printer.

License: The text of "2019 Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review: 10 Hours Testing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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