The Artillery X1 Sidewinder is a Direct Drive 3D printer that is becoming more and more popular. I had the opportunity 2 years ago to test this machine in Beta version before its release, since then this machine has undergone some improvements, it is now available in Version 4, Gearbest having contacted me to test this version, so this is the opportunity to see the improvements and test this new Artillery X1 V4 !
Officially there is no V2, V3 or V4, but unofficially there have been some (often minor) improvements for the Artillery X1.
Before starting this test, here is the list of improvements between the different versions.
Differences between V1 and V2 : no major difference between these 2 versions, Artillery has simply added the “Artillery” logo on the front of the printer. I did not have any logo on the chassis of my Beta version.
Differences between V2 and V3: Artillery has replaced the smooth glass plate with an “Ultrabase” plate, which is an interesting evolution, as the smooth plate needed glue to adhere well, which is no longer necessary with an ultrabase.
Differences between the V3 and the V4: Addition of the “reset” button on the front panel next to the screen.
Note that the first V4s were released in early 2020, there has been no “V5” since then, so for any new purchase to date you should have a version 4.
Concerning the price of the Artillery X1, the manufacturer has imposed a minimum price for a long period of time, for Europe around 399€, but since some time it is more and more available on special offers, around 310-330€.
Main features of the Artillery X1:
– Print area 300x300x400mm
– 220v heating plate (for ultra fast heating), ultrabase type surface, insulated.
– Direct Drive Extruder (Titan type)
– Dual motors for the Z axis with synchronization belt
– Colour touch screen
– End of filament detector
– Resume printing in case of power failure
– Silent motherboard + silent fans
The major assets of this 3D printer are its Direct Drive extruder, and its silence during printing (it is one of the quietest 3D printers I have tried so far). It also has a 220v powered platen for quick heating.
This machine is not equipped with a self-levelling sensor, and the “ultrabase” plate is glued to the platen (difficult to replace).
Unpacking and assembling the Artillery Sidewinder X1 :
The printer is very well packed, and partially assembled, you don’t need to be a great handyman to assemble this kind of machine, a few screws to assemble the chassis, a few cables to connect and your 3D printer will be ready to work in just 20min !
Once assembled, the chassis seems relatively robust and stable, which should allow for higher speed printing. The ribbon cabling also simplifies assembly, although it will make modifications to this machine more complex (to add a self-levelling sensor for example).
The 220v plate is insulated, which should allow a much faster heating and a more stable temperature.
It’s a pity that the ultrabase tray is glued, it will be difficult to replace it, I think it will be better to use another tray on top to avoid damaging it, it’s much more practical to have a removable tray to remove the prints more easily. You can add for example a Ziflex type tray, or another Ultrabase tray on top.
First print with the Artillery X1
Before starting your first print, you need to check the level of the tray, you can do this with a sheet of A4 paper, I’m not going to detail this procedure, you can easily find tutorials on the Internet, or read my other reviews in which I explain this procedure, nothing too complicated !
Once your tray is set up, it is also advisable to print the sample template on the USB key supplied with the printer.
By the way, we also appreciate the presence of a USB port and a micro SD card reader, which leaves you the choice.
Let’s go for the first print, a small cube with the Artillery logo on it. The result is clean! We also appreciate the silence of this machine compared to the competition!
Prusa Slicer configuration for the Artillery Sidewinder X1
I have been using Prusa Slicer for several months now as a slicer for all my printers, for its ease of use, and for the good printing results with default profiles. Since Prusa Slicer version 2.3 includes a Creality CR-10 profile, which is very similar to this Artillery X1, I will use it as a basic profile.
The main difference between the CR-10 and the Artillery X1 is the direct drive extruder, for which it will be necessary to reduce the shrinkage value from 5mm for the CR-10 to 1mm for the X1.
First impressions with this custom profile
A benchy for this first impression! And the result is relatively clean, with Tianse PLA filament at 200° and a layer height of 0.20mm.
Here is another print, this time with orange PLA filament from Sunlu, at 200° with a layer height of 0.20mm.
I took the opportunity to add a second tray on top of the original tray to avoid damaging it during this test.
The result is also good (better than my first print).
We continue the printing tests with SILK Gold filament, and it is really clean!
The test for these first prints is very conclusive, for a 3D printer in this price range, using a standard profile and without having made any modifications to the machine.
I took the opportunity to measure the noise level of the Artillery X1 during printing, at 55 decibels, we are far below a competitor machine in the same range, which is quieter in terms of ventilation than a Creality printer (usually around 60 decibels).
Finally, another print, this time to compare it to another direct drive printer (from Sovol). On the left the model printed by the X1. Same filament, same temperature, with a similar result in terms of quality but less bright with the X1.
To conclude, what can we say about this Artillery X1?
In the range of 3D printers with a print area of 300x300x400mm at less than 400€, this Artillery X1 is one of the most popular machines today, especially for those who are looking for a (rarer) direct drive machine for printing TPU type filament.
The big positive point of this 3D printer, is undoubtedly its silence, if you want to leave your printer in your living room or in an office next to a bedroom, without having to modify it, this is the X1 you need 😉
This machine is easy to assemble, and easy to use, so perfectly suited for a beginner. The growing community around this machine is also a good point if you are looking for help.
A few negative points in my opinion are the glued ultrabase plate, and the tablecloths that can make it difficult to add a self-levelling sensor or other modification.