Test Artillery Genius a Direct Drive 3D printer

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The Artillery Sidewinder X1 has become popular in the last few months, but maybe you are looking for a smaller and cheaper 3D printer? Its little sister, the Artillery Genius, might be of interest to you!

Just like the X1, the Artillery Genius is a pre-assembled direct drive FDM 3D printer that sells for between 230€ and 250€ (the X1 has been selling for between 330€ and 350€ lately) with a 220x220mm platen and a height of 250mm, which is equivalent to an Ender 3. It is therefore smaller than an Artillery X1 (300x300x400mm).

Artillery Genius dealers

Features of the Artillery Genius

  • 220x220mm 220v heating plate, with Ultrabase surface, 250mm print height
  • Extruder direct drive (facilitates the printing of flexible filament)
  • Silent motherboard
  • Filament end sensor
  • Colour touch screen
  • Dual Z-axis motors with timing belt
  • Resume printing in case of power failure
  • Micro-SD card reader + USB key port

This Genius is very similar to the X1 (but smaller), and is mainly distinguished by its direct drive extruder (less common with other Chinese manufacturers), and by its silent operation, as it is equipped with very quiet fans, and its 220v plate allows for a very fast heating.

Unpacking the Artillery Genius

The Genius is partially assembled, it takes about 20 minutes to assemble it and be ready to start your first print! Nothing very complicated, the assembly of this 3D printer is within the reach of Mr and Mrs everyone, no need to be a great handyman. The instructions are relatively well illustrated, a few screws to assemble to fix the 2 main elements of the structure, and some cables to connect the motors and other sensors. At first sight the components are of good quality, we also find inside the box a small pocket with various accessories (USB key, keys, spatula, spare tablecloths…), and a list of the various checks made by the quality control department at the factory. On the other hand, no filament spool is supplied with the machine, so don’t forget to buy a spool!

After assembly, the checks before the first print!

Before starting your first print, you will need to make a few checks, in particular to ensure that all the belts are tight, and that there is no play in the bearings (in this case you will need to adjust the eccentrics). Finally, the chainring must be adjusted.

As this Genius is not equipped with a self-levelling sensor, you will need to check the gap between the platen and the nozzle for the 4 corners of the platen with a sheet of A4 paper, you should have the equivalent of a sheet thickness, by adjusting the height with the knobs on the bottom of the platen.

Normally you should not have to redo this setting too regularly, it may seem complex the first time, but you quickly get used to it, do not worry!

Once the plate is adjusted and stable, you are ready to launch your first 3D print! Before choosing a model, I strongly advise you to run the example model supplied with the machine, to make sure that the machine works correctly. On the USB key you will find a gcode file with the brand logo.

So here is my very first impression! The result is quite clean, I had no problem with the tray catching.

Slicer / slicing software configuration for the Artillery Genius

You can choose the slicing software you want to use for the Artillery Genius, I prefer Prusa Slicer (version 2.3), the Genius is not proposed in the list of printers, but you can start from a profile for Ender 3, by modifying the shrinkage value for extruder 1 (I set 1mm instead of 5mm, this machine being in direct drive).

To test this profile, we are going to print a Benchy (yes this is not very original if you already have experience in 3D printing!).

The result is clean, no stringing, and no apparent defects, so we can stay with this profile!

Impressions with the Artillery Genius

Here is a print, still with the same filament (Sunlu PLA+ blue), a little more interesting, a character from the video game Donkey Kong (file available on Thingiverse).

The result is really clean, I really like this model !

By the way, I’d like to confirm that this printer is really quiet when it’s working, which is really appreciable, compared to other machines I’ve tried, Artillery machines have this advantage, I’m not saying that you could leave the printer running in your bedroom while sleeping, but you can use it in a living room, it should be discreet.

Here is a measurement at 56 decibels, usually it’s around 60 decibels for competing brands (and this difference is huge), the difference is mainly on the ventilation, this machine being equipped with ultra quiet fans.

Other impressions with the Genius

Here is a slideshow of the different prints I made with this machine, with the following filaments: PLA+ Eryone grey, PLA+ Sunlu skin, PLA+ Sunlu black, PLA+ Eryone white. All with a layer height of 0.16mm

To conclude

This Genius is really very similar to its big sister the X1, I could get the same printing results between these 2 machines.

The main positive point of this machine is its silence, Artillery has been able to meet the customers’ expectations on this point, as it is still (too) rare for other manufacturers who equip their machines with silent motherboards, but who keep very noisy fans.

If I had to mention only one negative point, just like the X1, it’s the glued plate, I usually like these ultrabase plates that have a very good hot grip, for an easy cold take off, but the fact that Artillery glued this plate makes it difficult to replace, and yet the plate is a consumable, it wears out with time… you can always add a second plate on top, but I think it’s a pity !

This is a 3D printer, that I could recommend for a beginner, easy to assemble, easy to use, for a relatively attractive price with the proposed features.

Artillery Genius resellers

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