A3 pen plotter. There are 3 available.

Read the manual first (this is a summary)

Install the software

  1. Install Inkscape. (Free open source software similar to Adobe Illustrator).

Setup the Axidraw

  1. Move the AxiDraw to its Home Corner.
  2. Plug in power and USB cables.
    1. All USB plugs seem to work: in the back of the computer (iMac), in the keyboard, in a usb hub…
  3. Add the pen to the plotter.
  4. Position your paper with its upper-left corner below the pen tip.
  5. In Inkscape
    1. Select the drawing or text and select Path > Object to path.
    2. Extensions > AxiDraw Control. Go to tab setup. Click the Toggle pen between UP, DOWN option. Click apply to toggle the pen down and back up to check the correct vertical movement.
      1. Adjust the pen's height
      2. Try to keep the range of movement to a minimum. This will draw faster and is better for the servo motor.
    3. Extensions > AxiDraw Control. Go to tab Plot and click Apply to start plotting.
      1. Each visible layer will print.

Vertical documents in Inkscape will be rotated left 90° on the Axidraw:

For single line fonts, check Inkscape Extensions > text > Hershey text

Download the manual here

Tightening the V-slot wheels

When the Axidraw arm feels wobbly, tighten the eccentric nuts on the carriage to firm up the motion.

Locations of the eccentric nuts

The big wheels on the X-axis can be tightened here. Use a number 10 wrench. Only 2 big wheels need tightening.

The smaller wheels on the Y-axis can be tightened here. Use a number 8 wrench. Only 2 small wheels need tightening.

  • No need to loosen any bolts first.
  • Turn the eccentric nut one way or another. The direction doesn't matter. One way will be tighter, the other will be looser.
  • Work in small increments and feel with 1 finger if one of of the V-slot wheels can be rotated so it's slipping. If the wheels rotates, tighten the eccentric nut a little more and test again. When it's snug against the aluminum profile and doesn't slip anymore, it's good to go.
  • Wait 15 minutes and move the axes back and forth carefully. Feel for little bumps. If the tension was set too high, the wheels could be squished a little, resulting in bumps. If so, release some tension, wait another 15 minutes and feel for bumps again.

Based on this video, as there's no info about this in the Axidraw manual.

  • axidraw/axidraw.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/01/20 04:32
  • by formlab