AxiDraw V3/B6

High Performance Personal Writing and Drawing Machine
No longer in production.

Recommended replacement:
Bantam Tools NextDraw™ 8511

The AxiDraw V3/B6 is a compact version of the AxiDraw V3 with a smaller plot area. Additional information about the AxiDraw family of drawing machines can be found on that product page.

Handling pens and paper:

The XY travel (printable area) of the AxiDraw V3/B6 is just over the B6 (7 1/2 × 5 1/2" or 190 × 140 mm) paper size. It can work with any paper up to and including that size, including note cards and envelopes. The AxiDraw comes with a mounting easel (board with clips) that can be used for holding paper, cards, and envelopes of various sizes.

However, its unique design features a drawing head that extends beyond the body of the machine, making it possible to also draw on flat objects bigger than the machine itself. For example, you can set it right on top of a box to write an address or add decorations. You can even set it on top of a poster board, chalkboard, or whiteboard to draw graphics in place.

The pen holder fits a wide variety of pens, including Sharpie fine and ultra-fine point markers, most rollerball and fountain pens, small-bodied whiteboard markers, and so forth. It can even hold a fountain pen at a proper angle of 45° to the paper. You can also use implements that aren't pens, such as pencils, chalk, charcoal, brushes, and many others. However, you'll get the best results with instruments such as fountain pens and rollerball pens, which do not require the user to apply pressure.

Getting Started

The AxiDraw V3/B6 comes fully assembled, tested, and ready to use, right out of the box. A universal-input plug-in power supply is included with the AxiDraw, as is a USB cable, and an optional paper-holding easel. Assuming that you've installed the software first, you can be up and plotting within minutes of opening the box. Our comprehensive PDF user guide walks you through every step of the process.

To operate AxiDraw, you will need a reasonably modern computer with an available USB port (Mac, Windows or Linux), plus internet access to download necessary software. Pens and paper are not included. (You can use your own! AxiDraw does not require proprietary pens or paper.)

AxiDraw is normally controlled through a set of extensions to Inkscape, the excellent, popular and free vector graphics program. Basic operation is much like that of a printer driver: you import or make a drawing in Inkscape, and use the extensions to plot your text or artwork. It's all handled through a straightforward graphical user interface, and works cleanly on Mac, Windows and Linux. Additional software interfaces available to AxiDraw owners include AxiDraw Merge, for auto-populating documents with data sourced from a CSV spreadsheet file.

More about AxiDraw

AxiDraw V3 is the third-generation version of the AxiDraw, 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 with significantly higher precision and speed than competing and previous generation machines.

AxiDraw is a project by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, working in collaboration with Lindsay Wilson of IJ Instruments Ltd.

AxiDraw machines are designed and manufactured by Evil Mad Scientist in Sunnyvale, California, with both domestic and imported components. The major structural components, including our aluminum extrusions, are all made in USA.

AxiDraw comes with lifetime technical support. We stand by our machines, and we're here to help whenever you need it.

What comes with the machine:

  • The AxiDraw V3/B6 drawing machine, fully assembled, tested, and ready to use.
  • Universal-input plug-in power supply with US-style plug. For other regions, an inexpensive plug shape (but not voltage) adapter will be needed.
  • USB cable
  • Easel (Board and clips) for paper holding

Additional specifications:

  • Usable pen travel (inches): 7.48 × 5.51 inches (Just over B6 size).
  • Usable pen travel (millimeters): 190 × 140 mm (Just over B6 size).
  • Vertical pen travel: 0.7 inch (17 mm).
  • Maximum XY travel speed: 15 inches (38 cm) per second.
  • Native XY resolution: 2032 steps per inch (80 steps per mm).
  • Reproducibility (XY): Typically better than 0.005 inches (0.1 mm) at low speeds.
  • Major structural components are machined and/or folded aluminum.
  • Holds pens and other drawing instruments up to 5/8" (16 mm) diameter.
  • Overall dimensions: Approximately 16.5 × 11 × 4 inches (41.7 × 28 × 10 cm).
  • Maximum height with cable guides: Approximately 8.5 inches (22 cm).
  • Footprint: Approximately 14 × 3.5 inches (43 x 9) cm.
  • Physical weight: 4.5 Lb (2 kg).
  • Shipping (Dimensional) weight: 12 Lb (5.4 kg).
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Drive directly from within Inkscape, using the AxiDraw extension.
  • Comprehensive user guide available for download.
  • Driver software software free to download and open source
  • Internet access is required to download software.
  • Additionally, AxiDraw Merge software available at no cost to AxiDraw owners.
Programming interfaces:
  • Note: programming is not required to use the AxiDraw.
  • Stand-alone command line interface (CLI) .
  • Available AxiDraw python API.
  • RESTful API available for full machine control, stand-alone or accessible by running RoboPaint in the background.
  • Simplified "GET-only" API available as well, for use in programming environments (such as Scratch, Snap) that permit only retrieval of URLs.
  • Direct EiBotBoard (EBB) command protocol available for use in any programming environment that supports communication with USB-based serial ports.
  • Code that generates SVG files can also be used to (indirectly) control the machine.

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