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Artillery Sidewinder X1: Setup, Mods, Improvements, How-To [serious]

Greetings all! I thought of making this thread when I originally got my printer as I saw several others starting to pick them up as well, but here we are. This will be the official repository for knowledge on the Artillery Sidewinder X1 on this forum. I purchased my Sidewinder on Amazon because I didn’t trust the reviews from Banggood (slightly cheaper) where they said that they had issues with it ever arriving. I trust Amazon’s coverage and Prime delivery much more than Banggood.

This was inspired by Creality Ender 3, setup, mods/improvements and how-tos [serious] and requested by @Geo_Engineering_FTW

I’ll start it off with a bit that I did when I first received mine. I first watched videos from a bunch of different Youtubers on the printer and its setup. Notably, Maker’s Muse, 3D Printing Nerd, Thomas Sanlanderer, Myers Woodshop, Just Vlad, Fugatech 3D Printing, and Teaching Tech.

I also followed many of the instructions on the following site when I opened the box, and the tuning of the v-slot wheels really helped me get it running smoothly.

While I have found this to be a great printer so far, I will always recommend doing some due diligence and research before purchasing. Here’s my printer!

I have to say, personally, I am impressed with the build quality of the printer and I think it is very well built. I did not have any issues assembling it right out of the box and I think I had the test print going within an hour or so of opening it. One thing to note is that this printer does take up a tremendous amount of space, with the benefit being that you really can print some huge objects!

If there was anything to gripe about I would say that the Z axis belt at the top was (is) pretty loose, and while this is supposed to keep the left and right steppers bound together, it definitely isn’t doing a ton. I don’t really see this being an issue and in fact, a lot of people discussed online that they just take the belt off. I think it would pose a problem if you were to do a mesh bed leveling or BL touch. The BL touch module is compatible with this printer and there is a kit that you can get online. I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

The bed leveling is accomplished by a four-point leveling system on the bed. These points have nice large thumbwheels that make small adjustments pretty easy. I’ve found that the leveling program on the printer has worked fine for me so far. Here’s some close up pictures of a benchy-groot-yoda print that I did to help me tune my Simplify3D settings.

I already knew pretty decent settings to put into simplify and I think I followed someone’s video on suggestions for settings, but I don’t recall where I found it. The print came out really great, probably one of the better benchy’s I’ve seen, along with the detail and the rest of the print being great as well.

I may post some more pics of prints later but I wanted to get this started to let people start discussing and sharing information. I’ve currently printed PLA+ and TPU on this printer. Since this printer has an Ultrabase coating on it, I used blue painters tape to print the TPU as I didn’t want any chances of ruining my brand new print surface or getting TPU permanently stuck in it.

PLA+ prints stick super well, I print first layer at 80C (Ultrabase coating advice) and then at the 3rd layer, I let the bed cool to 60C. After the print is done and the bed has cooled down, the prints just magically pop off. TPU takes a lot of effort to even get off of blue tape though so I am glad I was using it. The TPU settings took a bit of tuning on my side but it seems to print it with no problem.

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@Vanarian
hehehehe, Ryan started something nice here for you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :hugs:

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Lol I think he’s gonna get to it on the weekend

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Yes he wil hahahhhaha, yihaaa!
Cool you got the same printer, even when i think he already knows all about it :smiley:
cANNOT get much out of this for myself, but itsalways a pleasure for me to read through your threads. Your 3d printed enclosures caught my eyes from the first day. The grey one is stealthy AF and the other one matches the cigar so nice. Like the modular system as well, even if I know this is not your enclosure thread :joy: :joy: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:
…but…I saw a guy smoothing the surface uby heating a bit aceton in a box with the subject also in this box, you know what im trying to tell you? :see_no_evil: Not necessary but another option for maybe a next step,no?

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Hmmm yeah that is a good idea, thanks for the compliments! I printed those black enclosures out of PLA+ so I can’t acetone smooth it like with ABS, but I may try getting a better finish later on.

That board is a bit of a trip to ride, the bushings are still bad because I haven’t replaced them and hub motors are still hub motors haha

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ahhh, me stupid again, hahahahaha :see_no_evil: :joy:
I was some kind of sure you already know about this smooting shit with chemicals nobody needs :joy: :joy: :joy:

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I need to be doing this

Also, I’ve been using Cura. Do you think Simplify is a better option for this printer?

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I’ll just drop this here and come back later :kissing_heart: Merry Christmas to you all :heart::christmas_tree:

P.S. This is ASA filament :fire:

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Awesome! I haven’t tried any exotic or high strength materials yet.

@Geo_Engineering_FTW I’ve been using Simplify for like 6 years so I’m pretty used to it. I’ve heard Cura is good too but since I’ve had the most configurable slicer the whole time I don’t know what the free ones are missing out on

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the only real way to compare this machine to others is to see a time lapse of a Dino dick and compare quality afterwards

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Nice write up @ShutterShock! Are you planning on adding the BLtouch? Does the process seem difficult? How’s the UI? Is it pretty self intuitive?

I sold my old printer and looking to get a new one :sweat_smile:

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I’ll try to post some photos tomorrow, responding here so I don’t forget, as I’m well into the Xmas liquor tonight already.

Here’s the mods thus far to my Sidewinder:

Fully custom, high mass solid copper heat-block I machined for the Volcano nozzles, of which I’m running 3DME’s solid carbide nozzles, and some Nozzle X’s in various sizes. I built this block for printing CF-Nylon/PEEK/PC etc, specifically for esk8 parts.

Slice Engineering bi-metallic, all metal heat-break goes with above, everything is potted with Boron Nitride, and high temp thermal paste on the heat-sink, and progressively removing mass and material from what’s left of the stock hot-end.

Z-belt tensioner helps a lot with z-issues for me, my belt was slack as fuck. I haven’t done Z-braces yet, but I’m planning to, using CF tubing.

Big upgrade is swapping the stock 120VAC silicone heater bed, which is god-awful in terms of heat-distro, and weight with the glass bed, to an aluminum PCB, 24VDC heat bed, which is setup with a propylene bed “deck”, and flex steel pei coated sheet. This was also advantageous for my personal circumstance, as I’m moving to my off-grid cabin full time soon, which has a dedicated, 24VDC circuit, large powerwall, etc, just dedicated to the printers. Enough storage to run for 2 days without any solar or generator input to charge the batteries, and I sure as shit wasn’t going to run an inverter just for the AC heated bed, which while yes, is fast, only heats about 70% of the bed, leaving the outside 1"+ cold. I had to machine spacers, and mod a replacement CR-10 heat bed to work, as the hole layout for the Artillery bed isn’t compatible. I also had to hookup a mos-relay to power the new DC bed from the controller.

I was using a BLTouch style probe as well, but I haven’t reattached it since re-doing the hot-end.

All these mods are specifically for printing engineering grade filaments though, none of them were remotely necessary for PLA/PETG.

So far I’ve got a cludged together insulation-board and acrylic enclosure, with dedicated heat, but I’m working on adding a DC, resistive heater and blower for enclosure temp, and as soon as I can manage to get by some place that sells PC or Acrylic sheet that’s not on stupid holiday hours, I’ll do a nicer enclosure as well. My goal for this machine is high temp stuff. I don’t even have a part cooling fan on it anymore, just the main heat-sink fan.

Personally, I HIGHLY recommend removing the spool holder from the top of the gantry. Even though it’s nice, it’s a big contributor to the Z-issues of these machines. It’s simply too tall, too anemicly built, to support all that weight swaying around. I’ve got a shelf mounted above mine with a multi-spool setup that’s a pretty easy print and uses standard thane bearings for the rollers. I tired a dry-box method, but most of the stuff I’m wanting to print needs to be aggressively dried before use anyway, and doesn’t seem to matter if you house them in a dry box feeder, which just makes a tangle or spool jump even more catastrophic, but YMMV.

I’ve got a love-hate relationship with my Sidewinder personally, but ultimately, I wouldn’t mind having another. Other printers I’ve got are an older Ender 3 (non-pro, non-V2, also heavily modded), and a SeeMeCNC Rostock Max V2, already updated HE, and in the process of modernizing her with a Duet Wifi, and some other bells and whistles.

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WTF YOU CAN PRINT PEEK?

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I’m working on it, give me time. :wink:

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As soon as you get that going… lemme know :wink:

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Next mod should get me there, going full watercooled hot-end. I can currently run the hot-end at 300C pretty easily, but there’ll be some pucker factor running a print at 350+, that said, my “day job” involves constant work with steel at ~1300C, so, a walk in the park in terms of danger. :smiley:

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This thread is almost making me regret my CR-10S Pro V2…

It has been printing flawlessly since I got it though… hard to complain.
ugh, but I want to print nylon on a big bed though.
my wife is going to kill me if I get a fourth printer.

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Doesn’t the sidewinder x1 and the CR-10s pro have the same bed size?

Yep, same size. x1 has DD, cr-10s is just a really nice package that comes w/ bed leveling and just fucking works, and cost quite a bit more.

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Holy crap dude I’m intrigued and can’t wait to see pics of your setup. I’m very interested in printing nylon and the like. NylonX / NylonG would be great or some other carbon-mixed filament for beetleweight battlebots

Your bed replacement sounds really great. I knew going into this that the bed needed some work, heard complaints about the heat distribution and yeah, you can tell literally just by feeling around with your hand.

Your hotend mods sound crazy! Again, can’t wait to see them.

Thanks! I was thinking about adding the BLtouch but I haven’t needed to yet, and it’s something that I can always just do, so it hasn’t come up yet. I’ve heard that the process is pretty simple for this printer, but it sounds like @javand would know a lot more about the experience than I currently do.

WHAT :flushed:

Mine is slack too but I haven’t noticed any z issues. Were yours mostly banding and stuff or something more serious?

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