Brushless Servo Upgrade Kit for AxiDraw
This upgrade kit, compatible with most AxiDraw V3 and AxiDraw SE family machines, replaces the standard pen-lift motor with a remarkably strong and fast brushless servo motor. It's a substantial performance and reliability upgrade, lifting and lowering your pen up to 100% faster, and making frequent servo motor swaps a thing of the past. It also includes a spring kit that gives your AxiDraw the option to use traditional ballpoint pens and other implements that require substantial pressure to write.
The upgrade includes the brushless servo motor fitted with a custom aluminum lift-arm (servo horn) that features a rolling wheel. It also includes an upgraded power supply for the AxiDraw and a power supply adapter that gives a new motor power switch to the AxiDraw and improves cable management. The upgraded pen-lift stage can be used with or without the included spring kit, at your choice depending on what type of pen you are using.
Check compatibility and tools notes below (1) to make sure that this upgrade will work with your AxiDraw, (3) determine which version of the upgrade kit you need, and (3) to see which tools are required for installing the upgrade. Note also that the Brushless Servo Upgrade requires AxiDraw software 3.8 or newer.
Pros and cons for this upgrade
- Much faster; reduces plot time for plots that have a lot of pen lifting and lowering.
- Much stronger; greater lifting capacity. Can lift heavier pens.
- Much longer life; better reliability.
- Upgraded power supply helps deliver performance at higher speeds.
- Can optionally be used with included spring kit to provide pressure to write with ball point pens.
- A more professional final appearance, with its nice all-metal case.
- Long lasting, replaceable roller wheel on the aluminum lift arm reduces friction and wear.
- New AxiDraw power switch and light added with power adapter module.
- Integrated strain relief option helps organize cables, pointing them towards the back of the AxiDraw
- Costs more.
- Heavier; can slightly increase "tuning-fork" ringing at faster speeds.
- Potentially louder (overall) than a regular servo, due to noise of pen hitting paper faster.
- Reduced vertical travel range when using spring kit to provide downforce.
- Extra cables visible by the electronics area of the AxiDraw.
- Installing this upgrade is more work than replacing a regular servo motor.
- Certain tools are needed to install the upgrade; you may need to get them (see below).
The Brushless Servo Upgrade Kit is compatible with most AxiDraw V3 and SE family pen plotters. To verify compatibility, look at the bracket where your existing pen-lift servo motor is mounted, comparing it to the photo here.
If it looks like the photo, with a silver-colored aluminum flap over the top of the servo motor, your AxiDraw is a good candidate for this upgrade, and needs the version with the servo mount included.
If the bracket has the same general shape, with a black color metal flap over the servo motor (like the ones shown in some of the upgrade kit pictures), your AxiDraw is a good candidate for this upgrade, and does not need the servo mount.
If the bracket does not have a metal flap over the top of the servo motor, it is likely not a good candidate for this upgrade. Please contact us if you need help determining compatibility.
Certain tools are required to install this upgrade. First, the 2 mm and 2.5 mm hex L-wrenches that are included with new AxiDraw machines. You will also need the following which are not included with the AxiDraw or upgrade kit:
- Wire cutters or sharp scissors for cutting cable ties
- One specialized screwdriver; type to be determined below.
If you are getting the version without the servo mount (if you already have the black servo mount with the flap over the servo), the screwdriver that you will need is a Pozidrive PZ1. Our recommended driver is this one from Wera, however any PZ1 driver that can reach should work fine.
If you need the version with the servo mount, then you'll need to remove the pen clip in order to determine which screwdriver you need. After removing the pen clip, lower your pen position to its lowest point. Look through the hole in the front face of the pen slide to see the two screw heads visible inside. You may need to manually lift the pen slide up a bit in order to see them.
If the two screw heads have a 6-pointed star shape, the necessary screwdriver is a Torx T20.
If the two screw heads have a cross shape, the necessary screwdriver is a Pozidriv PZ2, sometimes called a Pozi #2. Our recommended driver is this one from Wera, however any PZ2 driver that can reach should work fine.
What comes with the upgrade kit
- AGF A20BHS brushless servo motor, custom programmed and customized with shorter wire leads. The AGF A20BHS brushless servo motor has a full metal gear train, dual ball bearings, and a full machined aluminum case.
- Pre-installed custom aluminum lift-arm (servo horn) with rolling wheel
- Universal input 9 V, 2.5 A power supply (US plug or International multi-plug)
- Power adapter module with integrated power switch and indicator light
- Spring kit, with a light and heavy spring
- Cable ties, screws, and plastic rivets for mounting
- For models that include it, a new black servo mount