The AxiDraw SE/A3

AxiDraw SE/A3

We’re very pleased to introduce a new member of the AxiDraw family: the special edition AxiDraw SE/A3. This new model joins our existing models including the AxiDraw V3 and AxiDraw V3/A3.

Like the AxiDraw V3/A3, the AxiDraw SE/A3 has an XY travel suitable for use paper up to 11×17″/A3 size. However, in place of the central extrusion that makes up the body of that machine, the AxiDraw SE/A3 has a central beam that is CNC machined from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aluminum, and then anodized to a sleek black finish.

This heavy, rigid structure — it’s a solid block of metal! — provides dramatically better straightness and stiffness, even compared to the already-stiff AxiDraw V3/A3. This design adds mass exactly where you want it: to the non-moving base that forms the X-axis of the machine. In order to keep the weight light where it matters, the moving Y-axis of the AxiDraw SE/A3 uses the same stiff and light custom aluminum extrusion that we use on the AxiDraw V3/A3.

We made a video showing off the SE/A3, and how it’s made:

The AxiDraw SE/A3 is available to order now at the Evil Mad Scientist shop.

CMYK Portraits with AxiDraw

Maker Faire NY Panel: Ask a Maker!

Jimmy DiResta, Sophy Wong, Lenore Edman, Matt Stultz

I’m excited to be hosting an “Ask a Maker!” panel at Maker Faire New York. The panel will be on Saturday, September 22 at 3:30 pm on the Make: Frontiers stage. My guests will include Jimmy DiResta, Sophy Wong, and Matt Stultz.

I’ll be accepting audience questions for these amazing makers with a broad range of skills and experiences. If you have questions but aren’t going to be at Maker Faire NY, you can submit them in the comments here, or send them to me by email. Questions about aspects of making including processes, tools, inspiration, sourcing, design, and techniques are all welcome. I’ll accept questions about genres of making including electronics, woodworking, sewing, digital fabrication, papercraft, writing, video making, cooking and more.

The rest of the schedule of performances and talks looks amazing, and there is a great group of makers showing their projects as well. Hope to see you there!

Linkdump: August 2018

Two New Accessories for AxiDraw

We’ve just added two new accessories for the AxiDraw V3.

XL Pen Clip

The first of them, shown above, is the XL Pen Clip — something that we’ve had a number of requests for. The pen holder on the AxiDraw normally fits pens and other instruments up to 5/8″ (16 mm) in diameter. However, this new XL pen clip can hold instruments up to 1″ (25.4 mm) in diameter.

That is to say, it can hold things like this freaking huge marker:

huge pen

The second new accessory is a little more subtle: an Italic Pen Adapter that gives the AxiDraw a “right handed” grip on pens.

Italic Pen Adapter Italic Pen Adapter
Italic Pen Adapter Italic Pen Adapter

It’s a little bracket of anodized aluminum, with captured screws and threaded inserts, which rotates the AxiDraw pen clip 45° out from the X-axis of the AxiDraw. This angle can give a slightly more “natural” look to certain types of handwriting-like plotting.

Italic Pen Adapter

And of course, it’s ideal for use with various types of blunt-tipped pens, including chisel-point felt tip pens as well as pens with stub and italic nibs.

Both the XL Pen Clip and the Italic Pen Adapter are in stock at the Evil Mad Scientist shop. They join the Rigid End Effector and Tripod Mount on our AxiDraw Accessories page.

Linkdump: July 2018

SMT LED sitting on mirror to show directional marking on component underside

New Book: 10 LED Projects for Geeks

We just got our author copies of 10 LED Projects for Geeks! Our friend John Baichtal shepherded this book into the world as its editor, getting contributions from a great set of folks.

The book, published by No Starch Press, turned out beautifully. It has good pictures, clear drawings, and bright colors.

It brings a few of our classic projects onto the printed page, including LED-lit Sea Urchins, Electric Origami, the Dark Detecting LED, and Edge-lit Cards. Thank you, John, for letting us be a part of this!

Linkdump: June 2018

Tips and Tales from the Workshop

I’ve been meaning to post a review of Tips and Tales from the Workshop by our friend Gareth Branwyn, but every time I start, I get distracted by the book itself. I keep flipping through and learning new things or being reminded of tricks I once knew.

The subtitle A Handy Reference for Makers is spot on. I imagine that if you’ve worked in a particular kind of workshop all of your life, you already know pretty much all the tricks for your field. What’s great about Gareth’s book is that he sought out tips from those life-long workshop inhabitants and shared them with dabblers like me who like to try all the things or who haven’t had the opportunity to spend the years it takes to amass that knowledge.

One of my favorite tips comes just after the forward in the “Tips credits” where Gareth lists people he gleaned these from.

All of these people are amazing makers and almost all of them have websites and YouTube channels. Do a search. Having all of these people on your radar will yield an ongoing and inspired feed of great shop tips, techniques, and project ideas.

I was tickled to see a bunch of friends names in the list (including our very own Windell) but also pleased to see new names to go seek out for inspiration.

As for the book itself, the illustrations are wonderful, and the organization into types of tasks totally makes sense. When a tool is mentioned, the discussion often delves into details of how the tool works and why it’s designed the way it is.

It is all good stuff, including the quality of the book. I love the way a freshly printed book smells, and the paper used for this is a pleasant weight with a smooth, almost glossy finish.

Thank you, Gareth! This book is a gem!

AxiDraw on t-shirts

We’ve seen a bunch of posts about using AxiDraw for fabric lately!

Fabric makers and sharpies are both making appearances.

Previously: