Beginner Tips for Pen Plotters

Tips from my first day plotting generative artwork.

Get the Gravity Assist Working

Problem: The Axidraw V3 relies on the weight of the pen to drop the pen holder assembly from the up position onto the drawing surface when the servo releases the pen slide.

Clean the Pen tip

Problem: Ink can buildup on the tip of the drawing instrument. A droplet will buildup, eventually brushing against the artwork's surface ruining a run.

Ink spillage was the №1 cause of ruined prints.

Cleanup your SVG

Problem: Plotting takes time and there are ways you can set up your artwork that increases plotting efficiency. This process can save more than just time, it can reduce the mechanical wear on your plotter’s motors.

Double Check Your Artboard Size

Problem: My plots were consistently off-center on letter-sized paper.

Remove Unwanted Geometry

Problem: Vector artwork that doesn’t have a stroke will be plotted. My exports from the computer-generated code included a hidden rectangle that was the size of the digital canvas. This would get rendered when I ran the plotter.