Published: 22 Jun 2022

What is a Plotter Printer?

To print the very best posters or large banners, you need to use a plotter printer. Businesses will use their plotters for more creative reasons and custom products.

digital plotter printer is a wide format printer that may look like the old dot matrix printers you used in high school, but they are much more powerful than their older counterparts.

These types of printers can print in multiple colors and even various sizes in one print job using specialized papers designed to support this style of printing.

A plotter printer is also known as a graphic art printer or an output terminal. It is used mostly by graphic designers, architects, and other professionals who need to present their work in an eye-catching format.

Changing paper roll in functional printer plotters to prepare for a new printing project.
Digital plotters are high-end machines needed in various industries.

What Is a Plotter Printer Used For?

A wide format printer plotter can be used for many tasks, but typically they’re used to create signage and visual design. For example, they can be used in an architecture office to help create plans or renderings on paper or vinyl.

These printers are often purchased with an existing design, so it’s important to make sure you purchase one that will produce high-quality output. You should also consider how much space you have available because plotter printers usually take up more room than standard A4 or A3 inkjet printers.

The cost of buying and operating a plotter printer depends on your print requirements, but printing large banners can easily run into thousands of dollars per year.

Discover the Difference between Printer and Plotter

A printing plotter machine is typically used in high-end industries like vinyl printing, so most people will never own one. The term plotter itself hasn’t been used much anymore because the differences between the technology have become minuscule.

But if you want to understand the difference between a printer and a plotter, here are some of the key differences.

They Offer a Precise Method of Marking on Paper

Because drawing plotters are better at laying down the design on paper. A color plotter printer offers a more precise marking method.

This means that when you lay out a blueprint or blueprint template, it will be more likely to look like what it’s supposed to look like when you move into production—which can mean big savings in time and money.

They Have a Bigger Footprint and Price

A digital plotter has a larger footprint because of its size, requiring more room to operate. In addition, it’s more expensive than a printer. They tend to range from around $2,000 to over $20,000.

Depending on your model, printers are usually cheaper than plotters in terms of upfront costs and supplies when you factor in the cost of supplies.

They Are More Accurate

Unlike printers, plotters are specifically designed to work with paper to produce more accurate drawings.

If you’re working on a blueprint for your home renovation project or blueprints for the new construction of buildings, plotters are ideal for your needs.

Printers don’t have enough precision to handle these jobs without making mistakes. In most cases, if you want something perfectly drawn, you’ll need an actual plotter.

A large printer plotter for cutting designs is working on a piece of blue vinyl.
Using a plotter to make design cuts on materials is very precise.

A Few Details on How to Print to a Plotter

You don’t need to be an artist to use drawing plotters. If you work in architecture, building construction, engineering, or graphics design, you might want to invest in one.

To print using a plotter, first load paper into its feed tray. Many devices have special paper made specifically for them—check your device’s user manual to find out if yours does too. Place it into its proper slot once you’ve chosen your paper type.

Next, connect your computer to the color plotter printer via a USB cable (or any other connection method) and turn both devices on. You’ll also need to install drivers on your computer; check with your manufacturer or search online for instructions specific to your model.

Once everything is set up, open an image in an image-editing program such as Photoshop or GIMP. Use these programs’ tools to select different colors of ink and different line weights, then export your image as a PDF file. After opening your PDF in a separate window, click File and Print. In the dialogue box that appears, choose your digital plotter from under Printer, then click OK.

Your image will now be printed. If you don’t have time to wait for it all to finish printing, you can always interrupt the process by pressing Ctrl + Pause/Break. Then close your document and re-open it later when you’re ready to resume printing.

Find the Best Printing Plotter Machine for Your Needs!

A large printer plotter aims to give your documents and graphics professional quality. This type of printer has many features, including width adjustment and resolution settings, which will allow you to create what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) output.

Whether you’re an artist or an engineer, plotter printers give you the freedom to create any document or graphic design your heart desires.

Answering “what does a plotter printer do” is also essential if you want it to perform optimally and last for years. We’re here to help with any questions about printer technology or industry-related topics and review. Contact us today to get started.