JGMaker Artist-D Pro Review – An IDEX 3D Printer

Hi, Karl here for a new 3D printer review. Today we are going to take a look at the JGMaker Artist-D Pro. The Artist-D Pro is the successor to the non-professional version which debuted on Kickstarter and is an IDEX printer. IDEX is short for Independent Dual Extruders and is a fancy way of saying that it has 2 full hotend sets. From my perspective, Artist-D was introduced with great fanfare. I had several friends who picked up the original on Kickstarter and they seemed to be happy with it. But I didn’t see much value in it. I thought this was going to be just another printer that can print 2 different filaments. I have looked at printers that had similar capabilities with one key difference being that they shared common components. BUT… I quickly realized that one aspect that no one talks about is speed during production runs.

Unpacking, construction and calibration

JGMaker Artist-D Pro Unboxing

The Artist D Pro comes mostly assembled and the instructions were pretty good. It doesn’t take long to put together a mostly assembled machine like this. I still remember my first kit. It took me about 8 hours to build and then another 2 hours to manage the wiring. I couldn’t imagine doing this again. Just a few bolts, electrical connections and a few junk and the construction is done.

Artist-D Pro User Guide

Flush strawberries
Flush cutters are made in the USA

3D printer assembly tools

After building any printer with aluminum extrusions and wheels, I came to expect to tighten eccentric nuts, belts, etc. I pulled the bed back, loosened the 2 bolts holding the extrusion in place and pulled them apart. Then tightened the bolts. Then repeat the same process on the 2 rear bolts. I changed the eccentric nuts and it fixed the bed issue. I then dragged the bed to the first nozzle.

3D printer offset settings1 more item to take away. The printer nozzle offset has not been set at the factory. I guess it’s by design. The offset ensures that the 2 nozzles can be perfectly aligned in 3D space when both hotends are used on single prints. There are instructions on how to set it up in the manual. There are 2 models on the USB stick as part of this calibration process. As soon as I saw the models and read the instructions, I immediately resized the models to a suitable size. I shrunk to 1mm thick. They were about 10mm thick. No need to waste so much filament and time. It took me 4 tries and about an hour. I misinterpreted the manual and got the x and y axes wrong the first time around. Relatively easy and painless to calibrate. You can see my error on the x and y axes. I doubled the 3rd and finalized the 4th.

3D printer retraction calibration

I lied, one more thing to do. i use my calibration tool to find the best retraction settings. I received messages on the Facebook group with unreadable results and couldn’t figure out why sometimes it doesn’t work. Finally, I received a printer whose default settings did not work immediately. I was not getting good results and I reduced it to the temperature. I repeated the test at 10 degrees cooler to get readable results.

JGMaker Artist-D Pro teardown

Counsel to MKS Robin. Exceptionally tidy here. I would say the cleanest I have ever seen.

Makerbase MKS Robin Pro

Careful wiring of the 3D printer

RSP-500-24 power supply

Makerbase Connection

JGMaker Artist-D Pro Nozzle
The hotend set is unique. They have an exclusive nozzle system that allows quick nozzle changes. I bought larger nozzles but haven’t used them yet

Production machine

I have been 3D printing for a while now and almost 100% of the time I use the printer as a tool now. 2-color printing no longer interests me. But what if I told you that this printer can print twice as fast as most other printers.

JGMaker artist-d pro bleed buckets
One flaw that has not been fixed compared to the non-pro version is the placement of the drain buckets.

Above you can see the nozzle in the park position. It sits directly on metallic bristles and I could tell it had the potential to be messy with a hot nozzle resting on bristles containing oozing filament. I was right and it ended up causing fine streaks of filament between the purge bucket and the model being printed. I went on the trusty old Thingiverse and found that my buddy had already created a replacement bleed bucket. He only modeled the left side and I was able to use one of the first special modes of an IDEX printer. This is mirror mode. In the printer menu, there is a place to choose the mode you want. In mirror mode, anything you set to print with extruder 1 will be mirrored on the second extruder. I just pushed the model on the left side of the build plate into my slicer. I went a little further than I needed but I was careful. It printed brilliantly and that’s when I got the aha moment. I started in conservative mode at 60mm / s and basically printed twice as fast as both nozzles were running at the same time. There is a catch with that. If you remember, the nozzles are not perfectly aligned on the z axis. I had to drop the left side of the bed to accommodate this. I went a bit too low at first and lifted off the bed a bit as you can see in the photo.

Interesting impression

mirroring a 3D printerAfter mounting the new bleed buckets, I noticed something peculiar that was reflected perfectly in the print. In the past when I saw this I assumed it was just the pattern… or the slicer did something wrong. After a little troubleshooting, it turned out that the extruder steps were not calibrated. It was a lot. And that uncovered a problem. The extruder is inconsistent. When calibrating my e steps, repeatability was an issue. By testing and telling the extruder to extrude 100mm of filament, I would get a delta of + -5mm.

Examples of Artist-D Pro prints

IDEX 3D printer

I was looking for something to print and my son showed me this corner finder video. I was curious if anyone had made one for the print and once again Thingiverse to the rescue.

Examples of JGMaker Artist-D Pro printsgear measuring tool

It’s not really functional but it’s a nice little toy. He just doesn’t have the resolve to use it seriously.

3D printed two-tone frogI reprinted this tree frog. Turned out ok. Definitely the fastest I have printed. No need for a purge block with an IDEX. I don’t think I had a compound retraction at this point.

JGMaker Artist-D Pro small prints
3D printed whistle

Some more random impressions. It prints pretty well small.

Final thoughts

IDEX. I like it. I can see a lot of potential with that. Of course, with any dual nozzle printer there can be some big challenges to overcome. There is a lot more complexity. But my mind is wandering. It makes me want to make a 4 nozzle printer for kicks. Not fully independent like an IDEX. I suggest sharing the movement to only get the duplicate mode. I can see printers like these being used in printer farms. If the printer could reach a bank of 45 minutes. That would put him in the realm of 11.25 minutes per bench …. which is very respectable. See Speedboat challenge.

I’m a little disappointed. Hope more fixes will be applied before releasing a newer version. I’m not the only one who had these hiccups. As I always suggest joining a Facebook group for a while before making a decision. On the other hand, you have to keep an open mind. There is always more disproportionate negative feedback.

I would like to thank JG Maker for sending the Artist-D Pro for review. It can be found on Amazon currently $ 600 but has a $ 60 coupon available. Or directly from JG Maker here currently $ 529.

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