Bantam Tools, Fresh From Its Evil Mad Scientist Acquisition, Launches the New NextDraw Plotter Range

Now available to order, starting at $699 for the NextDraw 8511, the new plotter family promises improved speed over the original AxiDraw.

Gareth Halfacree
30 days agoHW101 / Art

Three months after its acquisition of Dr. Windell Oskay and Lenore Edman's Evil Mad Scientist, Bantam Tools is launching the promised NextDraw plotter family — the successors to Oskay and Edman's earlier AxiDraw range.

"The Evil Mad Scientist team have brought their engineering prowess to Bantam Tools and the new Bantam Tools NextDraw series are proven creative tools that set a new standard in plotters," claims Bantam Tools chief executive officer Bre Pettis of the new devices. "The Bantam Tools NextDraw series of plotters are exceptional computer controlled machines for innovators."

"In the past few months we have been able to implement new firmware features and motion control software that improve the quality of the output while at the same time making everything dramatically faster," claims Oskay, co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist and now Bantam Tools' chief technical officer. "The whole series of Bantam Tools NextDraw machines look great and the new generation of firmware gives a whole new sound to the machine too."

Oskay and Edman founded Evil Mad Scientist, creator of the AxiDraw on which the NextDraw is based, in 2006 — drawing the attention of Pettis, who announced the company's acquisition back in January. Promising "an amazing year" to come, Pettis teased the NextDraw with the promise of a "significantly faster" plotter — and now intends to deliver on that promise with commercial availability.

"I can't wait for our past Evil Mad Scientist customers to get their hands on the new Bantam Tools NextDraw," says Edman of the new line. "The improved performance from the brushless motor, the ease of the new homing routines, and the overall improvement in acceleration and speed will allow artists to make more art in less time. For customers who use our machines for handwriting applications like sending out wedding invitations or thank you notes, they can create notes and address envelopes so much faster."

There are three models in the new NextDraw range at launch: the NextDraw 8511, which offers a US Letter/A4 drawing area; the NextDraw 1117, which offers a Tabloid/Ledger/A3 drawing area; and the range-topping NextDraw 2234, which has an ANSI D/A1 drawing area. All three are manufactured in Peekskill, New York, the company says, and come with improved software and the promise of a new application programming interface (API) for more advanced tasks.

More information on the new NextDraw range is available on the Bantam Tools website; pricing starts at $699 for the NextDraw 8511.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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