Different Types of Plotter and Their Uses Functions Types with Differences

Introduction to Plotters

Plotters are similar to printers, they are used and utilized in drawing illustrations, diagrams, construction maps, architectural plans , engineering drawings, business charts, 3D printing and are also used in printing chart rather than alphanumeric characters.

It has been found that plotters are quite expensive when compared to printers.

The plotter are used in specific assignments and tasks associated with engineers, architect, graphic architects and so on.

They are well known for their contribution in planning and drawing therefore abundantly used by professional.

In this article we are going to learn and discuss on different types of plotter and its uses, functions and types with differences. Let us dig in the topic in more detail.

Types of Plotter and its Uses Functions

Types of Plotters
Types of Plotters

What is a Plotter?

Remington Rand invented the first Plotter in the year 1953.

As discussed earlier, plotters are similar to printers whose primary function is to offer users printouts whenever requested or demanded. Hence, it is called the output device of the computer system.

The Plotter is a type of computer device used to print vector graphic images and pictures of relatively big sizes compared to printers.

What is Plotter and Its Type
What is Plotter and Its Type

The Plotters was used in CAD computer-aided design, which was removed from conventional printers. Usually, Plotter utilizes pen, pencil, and marker for drawing without using toner.

The modern plotters can be used as a component or device of a computer system or a standalone device. 

Different Types of Plotter

There are six different types of Plotter which are discussed and explained below.

  • Drum Plotter
  • Flatbed Plotter
  • Inkjet Plotter
  • Cutting Plotter
  • Pen Plotter
  • Thermal Plotter
Drum Plotter

Drum plotters are also pen plotters. These drum plotters were used as the output devices to print graphics, engineering drawings, diagrams, construction maps, architectural plans, engineering drawings, business charts, etc.

They used to work with different colors of pens and helped in presenting an output of the color printout.

A pen plotter covers the paper on every side and throughout the drum with a pin feed attachment. 

There are two types of drum plotter, which are internal and external drum plotters.

Internal drum plotter used to cover paper as a sheet, whereas outer drum plotter covers and wraps the paper externally over the drum.

Flatbed Plotter

The flatbed plotter is used in complex design, engineering drawing, construction maps, and architectural plans. 

The design and architecture of the flatbed plotter are so that they can be kept on the table.

These plotters have built-in pens and holders, which are available in various shapes and sizes. These pens have different ink filled in them.

These pens with various colors filled in them help in drawing multicolor designs and drawings.

Due to pens and holdings, they can quickly draw, complicating drawing and structures like highway design, engineering drawingconstruction maps, modern cars, aircraft, etc.

The flatbed plotter consists of the horizontal surface where paper is placed and with the help of a traveling bar which moves up, down, horizontally, and vertically with (X-axis and Y-Axis) to draw on the paper or sheet.

Inkjet Plotter

The advertising agencies and printing press uses inkjet plotters where images are created and developed with the help of ink droplets which are sprayed on the paper to derive clean and proper output.

These inkjet plotters are used in printing large images and documents like billboards, hoardings, large designs, massive banners, etc.

These inkjet plotters are available in both thermal and piezoelectric models.

The thermal inkjet plotters used heat to spray ink droplets on the paper to produce super fine outputs, whereas piezoelectric plotters used charged crystal to apply ink on paper.

In various types of Plotter, the inkjet plotter is considered the best in producing excellent quality of design and outputs.

Cutting Plotter                                        

This cutting plotter is a large cutting device that helps in producing vinyl lettering and huge graphic designs.

These plotters are attached to a computer system that helps develop designs, and also these plotters are equipped with automatic plotter knives that cut the sheet when kept on a flat surface.

These plotters are well-known for developing and creating high-quality graphics, banners, designs of vehicles, billboards, sign making, etc.

They generally work with almost 100% accuracy as they possess some of the excellent features and have easily replaced old-fashioned plotters. 

Pen Plotter

Pen plotters are commonly found working with color pens where several colored inks are filled in them.

This ink, when used with pen and holder, produces high-quality multicolor graphics and design.

These drawings produced by pen with various colors can be printed on paper sheets, plastic sheets, or any other conductive material.

Thermal Plotter

This Thermal Plotter is a well-known plotter used in all sectors where high-quality designs and products are required.

To produce output, it takes the help of an electronic pin which is developed by heat that assists in building images and design as output.

How Does Plotter Works?

Flatbed plotters are a system where paper is fixed on a flat surface and inked pen is moved left-right, up-down to draw on the paper or paper sheet.

The drum Plotters pen moves up and down, whereas the paper rolls in the left and right direction when the drum is rotated to obtain the final output.

The Plotter uses more than one inked pen to draw multi-colored designs and graphics.

10 Uses of Plotters

  • A plotter can be considered a computer printer primarily used in printing and obtaining the output of vector graphics and images with high resolutions. Plotters are capable of drawing pictures and design using a pen. 
  • They are also used in CAD [Computer Aided Design] and CAM [Computer Aided Machines].
  • They are used in substantial engineering applications and projects.
  • They are also used in designing and creating architectural plans for buildings and new constructions.
  • They are used in developing diagrams and constructions maps.
  • Drawing illustrations and engineering drawings with business charts are developed in plotters.
  • They are primarily used in printing agencies where design and develop giant banners, signboards, signboards, and billboards.
  • They are used by professionals like engineers, architects, and graphics designers.
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Features of Plotter

  • Plotters can print A1 paper-size documents.
  • They have fantastic speed therefore used in good numbers.
  • Dot per inch is up to 1200 * 1200

Advantages of Plotter

  • They can print on huge sheets to obtain results in high resolution with maintaining and preserving DPI.
  • They are capable of printing on various other materials like plastic sheets, wood, aluminum, and steel.
  • They can print with incredible speed.
  • They can work with almost 100% accuracy.
  • Working with speed does not harm the design and quality of the output produce by plotters.
  • Professionals use them for quality output.
  • The large volume of production can be obtained in less time with plotters.

Disadvantages of Plotter

  • They are pretty big compared to old printers.
  • They are pretty expensive.
  • Large in size, therefore, need massive space for installation.
  • Some plotters make noise while printing.
  • A plotter needs maintenance.

Applications of Plotter

There are various applications of Plotter. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Architectural Designs
  • Building Design and Architects
  • Charts
  • Diagrams
  • Electric Circuit Layout
  • Construction Designing
  • Printing Press
  • Agencies
  • Fashion Industry | Garment Industry

Printer vs. Plotter

The printer is an output device of a computer used to obtain a hard copy from the storage device.The Plotter is also an output device used to receive sizeable graphic vector images with high resolutions.
Printers can work with any image reading software.Plotters can work with specific software like Adobe Illustrator, Corel, Flexi, and CAD.
Printers are cheaper compared to plotters.Plotters are pretty expensive.
There arainly two types of printers impact and non-impact.There mostly six types of plotters they are Drum Plotter, Flatbed Plotter, Inkjet Plotter, Cutting Plotter, Pen Plotter, Thermal Plotter.
Printers are slow.Plotters are comparatively fast.

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