The Shenzhen based company Artillery was founded just recently in October 2018, but with the release of its first printer, the Artillery Sidewinder X1, they already managed to put out a worthy contender to the Creality CR-10, right off the bat.
Artillery is always very keen on improving its printers based on community feedback. Their new and smaller model, the Artillery Genius, was released in mid-October 2019.
• Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian Style
• Build volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
• Feeder system: Direct Drive
• Print head: Single nozzle
• Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
• Max. hot temperature: 240 °C
• Max. heated bed temperature: 130 °C
• Print bed material: Steel
• Frame: Aluminum
• Bed leveling: Semi-Automatic
• Connectivity: USB, TF-Card
• Print recovery: Yes
• Filament sensor: Yes
• Camera: No
• Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
• Filament materials: PLA, ABS, TPU, Flexible, Wood, PVA, HIPS
• Recommended slicer: Cura
• File types: STL, OBJ, AMF
• Weight: 8.9 kg
After the community voiced their missing needs on the Artillery’s former bet, the Sidewinder X1, the Chinese-based manufacturer has raised the expectations for improvement on its Genius model. But does it really comply with its name? Let’s find out what the latest iteration brings to the table.
Patented Z-axis Coupler
When it comes to FDM prints, Z-banding is always an issue. Artillery seems to have taken further measures to improve the accuracy of its newest model and invented a proprietary nut coupler system. According to the manufacturer, this should resolve the slight layering problems the company’s predecessor, the Artillery Sidewinder X1, had to struggle with. We can say after testing the Genius the results may be comparatively better than former Artillery releases, but not quite to a consistent level.
Fast Heating Print Bed
Yet another feature Artillery upgraded is the (even) faster heating print bed.
While the Sidewinder X1, equipped in its 4th iteration with an Ultrabase, instead of the previously used glass bed, was already heating up to 80 °C in just under two minutes. However, Artillery has now gone further, and the Genius’s Ultrabase-equipped bed is now capable of reaching up to 100 °C in about the same amount of time.
This feature greatly satisfying. We can also add that you can see a high speed in the nozzle heating.
Auto Bed-Leveling Ready
In its regullar state, the Artillery Genius only features manual bed leveling. However, Artillery left some room for DIY improvements. The machine now reserves bed-leveling connectors, allowing the user to easily upgrade the printer.
Direct Drive Extruder
To handle the wide variety of materials, the Artillery Genius is said to do; a direct drive system is indispensable. In some ways, a direct drive extrusion system can be superior to a Bowden mechanism, especially if you handle flexible or intricate filaments, such as TPU.
Silent Stepper Driver
Being silent is undoubtedly an advantage for any FDM 3D printer (better yet, any machine). According to Artillery, their previous printer, the Sidewinder X1, was already quieter than most enclosed 3D printers.
After printing with it, we can say that the Genius is at least as quiet as a Prusa i3 MK3S in silent mode – a commendable achievement.
Additional features of the Artillery Genius include:
• TFT Color Touch Screen
• Resume print function after power loss
• Filament runout detection
• Inductive Sensor Endstops
Let's see the two tests, using PLA filament and averaged slicer settings for the ranges specified for the material.
We used white eSun PLA+ filament. We set the hot-end temperature to 215 °C and the bed to 60 °C for the benchmarking process.
Benchmarking Object 1: Benchy
We measured the physical dimensions of the print. The Artillery Genius achieved 14 out of 15 points. Yet we found several problems at the visual inspection.
• Surfaces: some surfaces were under extrusion in the print. We also found a poor Z-alignment. The bow’s overhang displayed as well inconsistent layering.
• Details: The results were somewhere passable. The helm was under extruded and the front window frame had a variable width on the vertical axis. However, the chimney and the box were nicely printed and kept their relative proportions.
• Overall consistency: The overall consistency was passable, but far from excellent. Some of the main aspects to tackle are the inconsistent layers and the under extrusion at different points in the print.
Benchmarking Object 2: Kickstarter Autodesk Test
The Autodesk Kickstarter test model looks at an FDM printer’s precision.
With a score of 18 of 30 points, the Artillery Genius delivered only mediocre results. While inspecting the test visually, we found several problems:
• Surfaces: The main problem that we could identify was the poor Z-axis alignment, which was consistent through the benchmarking. A secondary problem was seen in the numbers accompanying the fine negative features. Additionally, the surface had small spikes left by the melted plastic upon completing the details.
• Details: We found the numbers to be slightly diffused. We also found some messy layers in the targets, in particular on the ~10 mm one, which showed some over extrusion. This problem can be minimized (and possibly eliminated) by lowering the printing speeds.
• Consistency: The overall consistency was not ideal.
The Artillery Genius is a promising printing platform, but be aware that as a user you may need to spend some time tweaking your slicer settings to get the best possible quality out of the machine.
There were only two observable issues, the first being some slight banding in the Z-axis. The second issue, while more subtle, is that fine details parallel to the y-axis were not as well defined. We believe this to be an indication that the default printing speed is too high, as the weight of the bed has not been compensated for.
We did like the fast heating bed and the speed at which the nozzle heats up. We were also positively impressed with cable management, which was excellent. Yet, you will need to have some patience to get the optimal settings running on this machine.
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