All posts by Windell Oskay

About Windell Oskay

Co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Linkdump: September 2018

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.

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

Linkdump: May 2018

Linkdump: April 2018

Linkdump: February 2018

San Jose and San Francisco and the Bay photographed from a U-2

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2018

2018 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our sixth year, and sixth set of cards: The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows. The 2016 set featured Pluto’s cold heart, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love, and last year’s set featured atomic orbitals, exponential growth, and an epsilon delta declaration of love.

This year’s set features parallel lines, friction, and activation energy:

My love for you is at a stable equilibrium and therefore resistant to external perturbations

What could be more romantic than telling someone that the second derivative of your potential energy is at its minimum when you’re around them?

I'll Never be NP Complete Without You

The perfect card to give to any computer scientist when you want them to both (A) appreciate being given a valentine and (B) secretly wonder whether you don’t quite understand what np completeness means, or whether you do but thought it was funny.

Parallel lines never meet. But we should.

Parallel lines never meet. But we should.

It takes a special person to overcome my activation energy to send this card to you and ask if you will be my  valentine.

For when you have chemistry with someone.

Let's  measure our coefficient of kinetic friction

Why measure? Because it’s generally considered impolite to ask someone what their normal force is.


2018 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 36 designs from all six years (a 1.6 MB PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

Linkdump: January 2018

Toss bombing