As 3DPrint.com Executive Editor Joris Peels has regularly pointed out, an emerging sector of 3D printing may disrupt much of the industry as we know it. That is, low-cost machines from Asia that could feasibly make up a print farm for batch production. Among the latest firms in this category is Shenzhen Yuntuchuangzhi Technology Co., Ltd. founded in just 2018 and already proving popular with its Artillery 3D printing brand.
Artillery first released a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer in 2019, the Sidewinder X1, a streamlined desktop 3D printer that was widely shared on social media and became a big seller in the low-cost printer segment. This was complemented by the Artillery Genius line of products, which maintained the classic design aesthetic of the X1. Yuntuchuangzhi Co. has since built upon the X1 significantly, introducing the Sidewinder X2 with larger number of improvements that rival costlier FDM machines on the market.
The X2 features a direct-drive extruder, 32-bit motherboard, automatic leveling, 2.8-inch, color touch screen, tempered glass platform, and print recovery in the event of power failure. Automatic bed leveling relies on a 25-point matrix, as well as intelligent induction and support for dynamic leveling compensation.
The swappable, quiet motherboard was developed in-house by Artillery, with the company claiming that offers strong performance and “ultra-high operating speed”, making it ideal for complex models. The all-copper direct-drive extruder, featuring high temperature resistance, is capable of 3D printing soft materials as well as rigid ones. With a build volume of 300 x 300 x 400mm, the system has a robust envelope in which to produce large or series of parts.
Yuntuchuangzhi Technology Co. claims that its tempered glass + AC hot bed, not only heats uniformly, but reaches 110°C in two minutes. The machine’s dual Z-axis aluminum design incorporates a screw drive, closed-loop timing belt, and Z-axis coupler meant to result in good synchronization performance. The printer also includes power failure/material interruption detection, allowing it to resume function once power or material are restored. This includes an alarm that sounds ahead of material interruption.
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The Sidewinder X2 undercuts most desktop 3D printers at a price of $479, with the company claiming that it is easy to set up and lacking in messy cables. However, Artillery also sells the even less expensive Genius Pro, which is $349, and the Hornet, which is only $199. These systems are somewhat smaller than the Sidewinder X2, with build a volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm on each. Both offer quick heating and rely on the Artillery motherboard. The only real difference between the Genius Pro and Sidewinder X2 seems to be the size, while the Hornet also doesn’t include automatic bed leveling or a color touch screen.
All of them are low-cost enough that they would make perfect gifts for hobbyists this holiday season. However, the Sidewinder X2 would be the most ideal for professional 3D printing or setting up farms. One could easily imagine a fleet of these machines producing parts endlessly, provided they produce parts of significantly high quality.
To learn more, visit the Artillery website here.