Artillery Sidewinder X1 Mods: Extruder Ribbon Cable Strain Relief
Early on when Artillery released the Sidewinder X1, Like a number of other users I had one of the machines in our studios display the behavior we all know now as "ribbon cable" related- Extruder clicking, erratic X-carriage movement, and even the LCD showing a -15 temperature reading. The reason was evident (after checking the Z pillar connection for integrity) it was at the extruder-to-cable connection. Of course the recommended fix is to reseat or swap the ribbon cable; pretty easy but I wasnt satisfied with the possibility of it happening again so I decided to fix it then, or at least experiment and come to a conclusion after a period of time. If your board has already been burnt, you must obviously replace that as well. I dont like replacing boards, and without a correction of some kind you are just setting yourself up for failure again. Dont.
I dont like, wait, will not accept an act of random when it comes to printing in the studios here. We often are on tight testing schedules and also when we print, we print dozens of models with some being quite lengthy so a failure for something simple like this just wont do. I'm sure everyone feels the same no matter what their thing is, but Im not one to speed through a solution or settle for mediocrity.
After a number of videos and inspection to confirm my suspicion, what I feel it came down to was the rapid movements of the extruder on the x-carriage created a regular lateral (side to side) movement concentrated at that connection, in addition to a lesser degree the forward/backward tension and release either working the ribbon loose, or at least periodically altering the connection at the contacts in the connector.
So the testing begins.
I knew a permanent solution was a design change, but at the time my schedule didnt allow me the cosmic centering to just do one. I also dislike being wrong, so for the short term testing I went old school. I set up the hot glue gun, and using LOW temperature glue, I ran a bead along the connector and ribbon junctions. A couple hundred hours later and during the time I was testing the profile package for Cura and Simplify 3D (I really taxed the jerk, speed and movement changes to the hilt here) I was pretty sure it was working. Not just a couple of machines but also on a few that I service and provide support for.
So, with that I sat down to create a permanent solution which is the files I listed on thingiverse and in the file areas on 3D Nexus. I wanted to create one that was as universal as possible considering most people have made or used variations of the extruder cover.
Its pretty straightforward- it uses the default mounting holes for the extruder cover. All you need is a pair of M3X40mm hex head screws to cover the additional length required, a pair of M3X16mm hex head screws and a pair of M3 nuts. Lastly, 2 strips of 7mm X 26mm tape- the cloth tape artillery includes in their kit that came with the printer is fine, or you can use duct tape, or electrical tape- this is to create a slight cushion between the clamp section so you dont crush or distort the ribbon.
(1) Strain Relief Parts
(2) M3X40mm Hex Head Screws
(2) M3X16mm Hex Head Screws
(2) M3 Nuts
(2) 7mm X 26mm Strips of Tape
Assembly is straightforward.
Apply the tape to the inner surfaces of the clip.
Remove the screws from the extruder cover.
Partially assemble the clip by inserting the M3X16mm screws through the small bar and into the clip, and add the nuts. Leave it slightly loose so you can insert the ribbon through it.
Insert the ribbon cable through the clip, the extruder cover, and insert it into the connector on the board.
Screw the M3X40mm extruder cover screws through the clip, through the extruder cover and tighten on the board.
Tighten the M3X16 screws until they are snug. Do not over tighten, just enough to grip the cable.
I hope you enjoy using and benefiting from this modification.