Introducing the AxiDraw V3

We are pleased to introduce the AxiDraw V3, a new generation of our flagship writing and drawing machine.

This new AxiDraw has been redesigned from the ground up for high performance. It features smooth rolling wheels on custom aluminum extrusions, specially designed for high stiffness and light weight. Its sturdy, rigid construction gives it finer quality output and in most applications allows it to operate at up to twice the speed of the previous AxiDraw, which it replaces.

As with the previous version, AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications. Its unique design features a writing head that extends beyond the body of the machine, making it possible to draw on objects bigger than the machine itself.

AxiDraw V3 is available to order today, and begins shipping next week. See it in action and learn more on the product page.

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42 thoughts on “Introducing the AxiDraw V3

    1. It’s a full mechanical redesign. It’s much more sturdy, and can operate with good quality at a much higher speed because it is stiffer. Although it won’t affect most applications, the new version is also designed for long-term survivability. Essentially any part can be replaced, if that should ever become necessary.

  1. hello is that any video that shows how to design on computer and run axidraw V3. i would like to order but i have to see how to do it.

  2. Hello,

    I am really impressed with Axi Draw and wanted to know a few details.

    Could Axi draw be used to say put frosting on a cake and use a frosting filled cone instead of pen? How much extra work will that require , I presume there needs to be a plunger and also some sort of servo motor sending the signal on when to push etc. Something along these lines…

    http://www.schmalzhaus.com/FrostBot/

    Thanks

      1. If I purchase this , would you be able to help me in figuring out how it can be done and where I could find the relevant hardware and software?

  3. Just curious to know how tough the machine is on different pens? ie: -generally, the more you use a felt tip pen or Sharpie the fatter and less ‘crisp’ the lines get, does that happen quicker with the AxiDraw? And does using it tend to go through pen ink quicker compared to using it by hand?
    Looking forward to playing with mine when I get it, cheers.

    1. In practice, felt tip pens do tend to wear down relatively quickly with a plotter. There are a couple causes of this. One is that people don’t tend to spend hours on end writing with felt-tip pens, but are happy to slap one in the AxiDraw. That’s not necessarily a big problem — felt tip pens are inexpensive — but we have managed to wear through some after many hours of writing.

      The second reason is that, when writing by hand, you tend to vary the angle that you’re writing at, which leads to a rather even wearing of the tip. Since the AxiDraw holds it at a very consistent position (potentially for hours on end), you can eventually wear a “facet” into the place where the tip contacts the paper. The texture of the surface that you’re writing on does also have an influence. We’ve seen that cardboard boxes tend to be a bit more abrasive on felt tips than regular paper.

      For doing long-term work (many pages, or many boxes), you’ll likely find as we have that using a metal tip (e.g., fountain pens, roller balls, and technical pens) will last much longer.

      As far as ink goes, it’s the same story as with the pen tips– you don’t tend to go through it quicker except in the sense that you might be happy to let the machine spend all day writing things that you wouldn’t by hand.

  4. As it relates to bulk-writing, does the AxiDraw require the user to change each sheet of media or is there an auto-feed feature?

      1. How does it work with bulk printing of envelopes with varying addresses? are he addresses preloaded with pauses between each envelope?

          1. I’m really interested in purchasing a plotter from you. Any update on the timeline for larger size one? I’m wondering if I should hold out or get the AxiDraw v3 now.

  5. At 1:08 in the video, the machine is drawing a face with a series of sine waves of varying wavelength (shorter wavelength in darker areas). How was this accomplished?

    I am another fan looking forward to a larger machine. Since you commented on it earlier (December 29, 2016), do you have any additional tidbits as to price or overall travel?

    1. That drawing was made using a piece of software called SquiggleDraw.

      Sorry, don’t have any additional details to release on the new machine, except that we are still working on it, and we won’t have announce pricing or a release date until it’s actually in production.

      1. Thanks!

        I watched the BOLTR review of the machine on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SJ8TAvQJR0), and he mentions at the end that he’s had a lot of problems with Inkscape (including needing to unplug the machine at the end of a drawing because it wouldn’t stop drawing otherwise).

        Are there any improvements being made to the Inkscape plugin? Any chance for other software (Vectric, Illustrator, Grasshopper 3D, etc.)?

        Also in the video he shows a drawing where a circle is placed in the wrong spot. I think he speculated that his Sharpie pen might be too heavy- does that sound right? Can the machine lift a Sharpie, or are lighter pens a better match for the machine?

        1. We have had consistently good luck with Inkscape, which is the primary reason that is still our primary supported platform.

          The only time that we’ve ever heard of an issue like that (not stopping) is when someone does not read the user guide. There is a physical pause button that you need to press to stop a plot that is in progress.

          Yes, we are continually improving the Inkscape plugin. We do also have several other options for driving the AxiDraw. We are not currently working on direct integration into any commercial software package. Many people do their design work for AxiDraw in Illustrator and other applications, and just use our software for final page setup and plotting.

          The AxiDraw pen holder is designed to hold pens up to 1.6 oz (45 g) in weight and up to 5⁄8 inch (16 mm) in diameter. Most Sharpie pens are well under this. I don’t recall what happened in the video that resulted in a circle in the wrong spot; you would need to look at the file and setup to see what went wrong.

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