5 Most Common Problems with the Artillery Sidewinder: Troubleshooting Guide
Often times most people have complained of having trouble navigating the Artillery Sidewinder 3D printer and certain problems arise quite frequently. Still, most of these problems arise from improper setup, general lack of knowledge about the 3D printing process, or understanding of the roles of basic components in the 3D printers.
Luckily, this article talks about the most common problems with the artillery sidewinder that most people experience and how to solve them in clear, simple details.
All You Need to Know About the Artillery Sidewinder
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is a desktop consumer-grade FDM 3D printer that was created in October 2018, and upgraded versions like the Artillery Sidewinder X2 that stand as worthy contenders to other printers in the 3D printing world have also been released over the years.
This 3D printer offers an impressive build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm making it possible for it to be employed for large-format 3D printing projects, a direct drive system, AC heated bed, and a super silent motherboard and fans.
Although there are some cons to this 3D printer like the ribbon cables being prone to break over time, and the thermal inequality of the build plate that can cause problems when printing with temperature-sensitive filaments, it is still a solid starting point for beginners and even experienced users.
This particular 3D printer has its power supply, mainboard, and touch screen neatly stored in the base unit, giving it a sleek and professional appearance. Its design sets it apart from other similarly priced printers, making it an immense success as it appeals more to users of 3D printers.
The Artillery Sidewinder makes use of ribbon cables, unlike its competitors, elevating its design perspective right to the top. The large ribbon cables are also neatly arranged so it doesn’t appear too messy and while there have been some issues with the ribbon cables wearing out or breaking at the connector pins as a result of rapid motion, the Artillery Sidewinder offers spare ribbon cables in the package. The lifetime of the ribbon cables can also be prolonged using cable covers and strain reliefs.
The Artillery Sidewinder possesses a rare use of hefty 20 x 60 mm extrusions for the bed rail and x-axis; while the z-axis, made of strong 20 x 40 mm extrusions, is operated by a dual lead screw set up with anti-backlash nuts on the back. There is a connector belt with a pulley available to keep them synchronized so as to address the potential desyncing of the dual lead screw motors over time.
Every 3D printer should have a superb print bed and the Artillery Sidewinder does not disappoint. With its print bed comprising of a 300 x 300 x 400 mm sized porous ceramic coated glass surface; the Artillery Sidewinder is slightly above average.
Due to its heater mounted directly to the underside of the glass sheet with no metal plate in between, and the bed being AC heated instead of the commonly used DC heated variant, this 3D printer achieves a very high speed.
The extruder is a very important component of a 3D printer and in this case, there’s a possession of a direct Titan Aero-style extruder and a Volcano-style hot end. This makes it possible for the printer to perform well, allowing for stable travel of the print head and reducing backlash, as well as the sturdy gantry and dual Z-axis lead screws.
The hot end on the other hand has a high heating speed and can go as high as 270˚C but we recommend staying within the consumer material temperature range of about 250˚C for the most part to avoid the extruder’s cold end being damaged. The Artillery Sidewinder extruder also has two fans like any other 3D printer, one for cooling the extruder and the other for cooling the prints.
The Connectivity & UI
This 3D printer provides a wonderful feature which is a 3.5-inch color touchscreen to oversee the whole printing process. It is so easy to use and quite accessible, with different colors for different submenus. Also, the Artillery Sidewinder supports both a micro SD and a USB in terms of connectivity.
The Setup and Preflight Settings
The Artillery Sidewinder is well packaged and easy to set up. All you have to do is to mount the gantry to the base with four screws, plug in the neatly arranged ribbon cables and bolt the filament holder to the top to complete the setup. Although it doesn’t have bed leveling sensors and you will have to slide a sheet of paper in between the bed and nozzle, and turn the knobs under the bed till it’s even; the Artillery Sidewinder’s assisted leveling system pins the hot end to the four corners of the bed which makes it an easy task.
One of the great things about the Artillery Sidewinder is how easy it is to use. It displays a colorful menu bar with straightforward functions that do exactly what you want when you touch it. Its inbuilt features like filament run-out sensor and resume print function also work smoothly as the bed stays heated even when the filament runs out in order to keep the print adhered. The feature ensures that you are able to come back hours later and restart the print without worrying about the print detaching.
Another feature is how silent this 3D printer is compared to others, and the operational noise level is around 45dB meaning it is really quiet. This is great because it keeps the distraction at bay and lets you enjoy the printing process without the annoying background noise.
Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D Printer Kit
The contents inside the Artillery Sidewinder cardboard box are quite standard and some of the things you can find in there are:
- Artillery Sidewinder X1 3D printer kit
- Spool holder
- USB drive
- Power cable
- User manual
- Warranty card
The Five Common Problems with Artillery Sidewinder
There are a few problems users often encounter with this 3D printer and here are five common ones. While these problems may want to discourage you from acquiring this printer, solutions have been presented by the makers themselves on how to ensure a smoother printing process.
- Poor Spool Holder: This component in the Artillery Sidewinder is quite poor and despite being adjustable, it is prone to causing spools to fall off. Also, it is only adjustable by first loosening t-nuts and this can be very time-consuming. However, with the use of a side spool holder which is quite inexpensive, holding a differently sized filament spool becomes quicker and easier. The side spool holder also prevents spools from falling off easily, granting you a smooth printing experience.
- Poor Idler or Feeder Arm Grip: The arm that holds the filament against the extruder gear so that the filament moves accurately and doesn’t slip is called the idler or feeder arm. Unfortunately, this is prone to flexing and improper pressure on the filament in the Artillery Sidewinder. To solve this issue, you can purchase a metal feeder arm that will grip the filament better and stop it from slipping constantly.
- Poor Part Cooling: The Artillery Sidewinder has airflow issues which can cause poor part cooling as it does not direct enough airflow at the pint and around the nozzle. Getting part cooling minimizes stringing and with a part cooling fan duct, you can get the layer support and general fan and nozzle cooling your printer needs.
- Faulty Cable Connectors: Ribbon cables are used to connect the components of the Artillery Sidewinder. Although these cables give it a neater look, they are prone to coming loose during the printer and this can result in your printer stopping mid-print with an error, or continuing with the disconnected component that is no longer working. However, you can avoid this by getting ribbon cable relief brackets that will hold the cables in place. These brackets will prevent the cables from disconnecting mid-print and print failures.
- Failing Heat Bed Cables: There is a lack of proper support for the Artillery Sidewinder’s heated bed cables just like many other consumer printers and this can be a bit touch to replace when they break prematurely. However, a cable chain relief will support the cable properly and prevent it from getting tangled with other components.
The Artillery Sidewinder offers a handful of great features that helps you achieve the best printing quality and guarantees smooth printing processes. Although it has some disadvantages to it, it brings good value for its price overall. There are also solutions that have been provided to help solve some of the common issues that people sometimes encounter when making use of this 3D printer. If you are an entry-level, experienced user or small business owner, this 3D printer is perfect for printing materials like household items, tabletop figurines, miniatures, accessories, props, etc. Feel free to contact us for more information!