What Kind of Plotters Are There?

The world of print is always changing as more advanced printing technology becomes available. For example, pen plotters used to be commonly used for the purpose of printing large vector graphics. Now there are multiple kinds of plotters available and the pen type are basically obsolete. Plotters are commonly used in the process of architecture and design, because they are able to print clear blueprints and design layouts. Many of them use plotter vinyl rolls of paper, but they print in different ways.


Inkjet plotters basically live up to their name. They involve jets of ink being sprayed on the plotter paper to create some kind of design. They use a heating element to disperse the ink when a current passes through. They are capable of printing black and white or color.


Drum plotters use a rotating drum in combination with a pen to cover the vertical and horizontal axis of the paper. The drum moves in a vertical direction and its size can limit the width of the final image. A larger drum is needed for larger width prints, although the length of paper is not limited.


These plotters are unique in the fact that they don’t print vector graphics. They print raster graphics instead. They use a toner ink and create high voltage charges on the paper to draw designs. They are a nice choice for speed and price, but their quality isn’t always as good.


Cutting plotters are exactly what they sound like. They use knives to cut media into the paper. These tend to be used more for fabrication purposes than print design, because they don’t print images in the traditional sense.

Plotters are used in a variety of industries for many purposes. They can also be used on a variety of medias. Plotter vinyl rolls are common, but materials such as wood, cardboard, and steel can also be used depending the type of plotter. The kind of media and plotter used is going to depend on the job at hand, and different industries will have different needs. However, they are very commonly used for blueprints as well as items such as banners or large posters.

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