A wide format plotter is a machine that enables one to copy, scan and print large-sized documents. This machine is commonly used in printing signage, posters and banners. A plotter has a print width ranging from 17 to 100 inches. It makes use of a roll of print material as well as hot air dryers to prevent the sticking of items when they are printed.
There are several types of plotters according to the ink used. Aqueous printers make use of water-based inks, while solvent printers utilise petroleum-based ink. Dye sublimation diffuses ink into special media while UV plotters make use of UV-curable ink. Pen plotters, on the other hand, utilise pens. They are usually used for CAD drawings.
As previously mentioned there are many types of plotters out there. If you are looking to buy a plotter for whatever reason, then here are some factors that need to be taken in to consideration, to get the best product for your needs.
According To Your Business
When choosing a plotter, you need to buy one that is best for your franchise. If you utilise AEC applications, then you should pick a toner printer, which makes use of LEDs or lasers. As for graphic applications, inkjets are your best bet since they are capable of creating a matrix of colour.
The best plotter for your business will, of course, depend on the business you are running. Try the printer out first as a high-resolution machine does not necessarily mean that it will yield fantastic results. Try printing on the media you usually use (blueprint paper, tarpaulin paper, to name just a few) to see if the plotter can deliver the image quality you are looking for.
How much are you willing to spend? How much do you want to save along the way? If you have a reasonable budget, then purchase a toner printer. It is an expensive investment but yields cheaper printouts. If you do not have a lot to spend, go for inkjets. They are cheaper but the printout costs are markedly costlier.
Support for Different Paper Widths
Changing papers can be a difficult task, so if you want to eliminate this from the equation, then make sure to choose a plotter that offers support for different paper measurements.
Not a lot of wide format plotters can scan or copy documents or images. When you purchase a printer, make sure to purchase one with these features, especially if you deal with the AEC business, as full-sized blueprints are always needed.
Software and Drivers
You should also choose a plotter with the appropriate software and drivers that match the programs you always use. Ask if these programs are certified so you can be assured that they will work properly.
With the many plotters out there, you might find it hard to find the best machine to suit your needs. If you are looking for a device that will give you the best value for your money, then make sure to keep these tips in mind when buying a wide format.