Artillery SX1 And Genius Ribbon Cable Strain Relief - One Year Later...
The ribbon cables. Plague for some, and no consideration for others.
Last year I introduced a fix for the problem some were having and I'm just here to report the findings after about, a year, on multiple machines. The one ribbon that went rogue last year May to date (the reason I devised the solution), has been the only one replaced. Yep. Each machine (6 and counting) has been happily chugging away almost daily since and I stopped concerning myself with the possibility of it happening around oh, October 2019.
What did I do?
No elaborate teardown, no wheel existed at the time to reinvent. I made a strain relief for the Extruder that (can) use the default cover, and the remaining points on the X and Z simply had (drum roll) a small bead of LOW temperature hot glue ran across the facing side of the connection. The fix was done in about 5 minutes (except for printing the strain releif itself, about 15 minutes).No hassles. No engineering degree needed. Not even a reddit page or video production. Just a hot glue gun and some already available screws.
Its been a standard bit of advice on all the machines we have serviced and preloaded for customers. Not a peep out of anyone. Lately it looks like Artillery might be reintroducing the clip type connectors again, but you know, it cant hurt to follow through and spend 15 minutes on your printer if you hate surprises. Up to you. Since then there have been remixes and wheels re-invented, you can hunt them up if you wish. Cant speak for them, dont need to.
(Excerpt from the original article which can be read HERE)
"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.