You can think of the AxiDraw as a digital printer. Except, instead of spraying ink onto paper like regular printers do, it uses any pen, pencil, or marker you place in its head, turning out printed materials that look like hand-drawn and hand-written objects just like they had from back in the day.
Billed as a “personal writing and drawing machine,” it’s a pen plotter that takes 2D images from a compatible software and recreates it by applying pen to paper. Whether you want to print a matching illustration of an image from your camera roll, a handwritten label for a package you’re sending out, or a replica line drawing of an artwork you fancy, this thing is going to get the job done.
The AxiDraw can perform its plotting task on any flat surface – just lay a sheet of paper underneath and watch it go to work. It works with both open-source graphics software Inkscape and RoboPaint (with the AxiDraw extension), so it shouldn’t be that hard to get started, with a printing area that accommodates both letter and A4-sized paper. The pen head can accommodate most any writing instruments, so you can use Sharpies, colored pencils, chalks, brushes, fountain pens, or whatever else you want. Even better, you can either angle the writing instrument vertically or at 45-degrees, with the latter effectively recreating the ideal writing angle for fountain pens. It can draw at a rate of 11 inches per second.