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Sudden jerks, belt slipping


Hoping someone can help here- Perhaps the Evil Mad Scientists themselves? I've been working with the Axidraw v3 extensively for a few weeks, and I'm having an issue which I can't seem to solve. This issue occurred on my very first plot (first plot with my own file anyway, not your test files), and is still happening regularly.

When drawing certain paths, the Axidraw will suddenly spaz out- the arm will make a jerky movement resulting in a sort of grinding sound, and usually a stray line. When these jerks are severe enough, the belt seems to slip, so the drawing will proceed in the wrong location on the page. Everything drawn after the jerk will be correct, but in the wrong spot. When this happens, I have to disconnect the machine and manually reset to the home corner, but usually the drawing has been ruined.

This happens reliably with certain paths, but I cannot predict which paths will cause this until it happens. Sometimes it happens on a path with an extremely tight loop or curve, and in that case, I can eliminate the loop and it fixes the problem. But other times, there is no obvious culprit, so it is hard to know what exactly to change in order to prevent it from happening the next time I plot. It is becoming a major source of frustration, because I am making complex drawings with dozens of pen-changes, which take several hours, and sometimes this will ruin one right at the end! I am also worried that the grinding/slipping might be physically damaging the machine.

I have tried running the machine at lower speeds (usually I am around 18% speed, but I have lowered to 8 with no results)

Is this a known issue? Are there settings I should try changing? Thanks in advance for your help in diagnosing the issue. Should I email an SVG file to the EMS team that causes the glitch on my machine, and see if you can reproduce it?



  • No, that's not normal at all. If it's been doing this since your first plot, it sounds like your machine may have had some damage in shipping, or perhaps there is a problem with the power supply. Please contact customer support directly so that we can follow up personally, ask some follow-up questions, and determine the best way to get you back up and running.

    Your grinding sound is when the motor "cogs" to the wrong position -- that's "loss of position control" as described in section 11.4 of the user guide. If you were running near the upper end of the speed range, I might advise that you turn down the cornering speed factor, but my suspicion is that something is very wrong if you're seeing this at speeds like these. If you'd like to send us a zipped SVG file for a sanity check, we'd be happy to look at it as well.

  • Thanks for the quick response! I will find a file that causes the issue and email it to you once I'm back at my desk - Other than this glitch, I'm having a blast with the machine, and I'm very impressed with it!


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