Michael Fogleman

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AxiDraw January 2017

37 Python Vector Hardware

Unofficial Python library for working with the AxiDraw pen plotter.

The AxiDraw is a very nice modern pen plotter. It ships with Inkscape-based software for controlling it, but I was more interested in programmatically controlling it myself. So I wrote this library that controls the plotter directly over the USB serial port.

The most interesting part of this project, for me, was writing my own motion planning algorithm. I stuck with constant-acceleration for simplicity, and the code for the planner came out to just a couple hundred lines of Python!

See the motion planning algorithm in action in this web-based visualization.

Features

  • control the AxiDraw directly from Python with a simple API
  • convenient command-line utility
  • constant acceleration (trapezoidal velocity) motion planning
  • path drawing order optimization
  • drawing transformations
  • preview drawing (render to png)
  • turtle graphics
  • lindenmayer systems