Tufte style axes in 3D

Here you can sdee Tufte style axes in 3D. The axis affect is achieved by shifting axes, ticks and labels.

The command \pgfplotspointouternormalvectorofticklabelaxis{x} is a shortcut for \pgfplotspointouternormalvectorofaxis{\pgfplotsticklabelaxisspec{x}}. The documentation for \pgfplotspointouternormalvectorofticklabelaxis is missing in the reference manual.

Note that this shift is incompatible with the grid lines (by construction!). To see this, try to add grid=major and you will see the the descriptions would be slightly off.

This example was written by Christian Feuersänger on TeX.SE.

Tufte style axes in 3D plot

Edit and compile if you like:
  every axis/.append style = {thick},tick style = {thick,black},
  % #1 = x, y, or z
  % #2 = the shift value
  /tikz/normal shift/.code 2 args = {%
  range3frame/.style = {
    tick align        = outside,
    scaled ticks      = false,
    enlargelimits     = false,
    ticklabel shift   = {10pt},
    axis lines*       = left,
    line cap          = round,
    clip              = false,
    xtick style       = {normal shift={x}{10pt}},
    ytick style       = {normal shift={y}{10pt}},
    ztick style       = {normal shift={z}{10pt}},
    x axis line style = {normal shift={x}{10pt}},
    y axis line style = {normal shift={y}{10pt}},
    z axis line style = {normal shift={z}{10pt}},

  \begin{axis}[range3frame, view={55}{45}]
    \addplot3[surf, colormap/hot2, samples=41, domain=0:360] {sin(x)*sin(y)};
Click to download: tufte-3d-axes.textufte-3d-axes.pdf