Should Your Firm Select a Wide Format Printer or a Plotter?

Today, rapid recent high tech advances in the printing industry permit printer and copier sales firms to offer a dazzling array of capabilities to their customers. The development of wide format printers and plotters exemplifies this trend. City planners, surveyors, real estate developers, builders, architects, cartographers, engineering firms, photography studios, advertising agencies, theatrical set designers, and many other enterprises benefit directly from this technology.

Some Advantages of Wide Format Printers And Plotters

The use of wide format printers and plotters transformed the way many companies conduct business. Design, mapping, and photography projects that at one time required small businesses to contract with third party suppliers for document preparation now frequently occur entirely in-house. This change assists many customers in reducing operational costs over the long term. It also fosters enhanced security.

Typically, a wide format printer employs rolls of paper for printing purposes. Individuals using this specialized equipment enjoy considerable latitude in printing “oversized” documents, maps, blueprints, charts, posters, art work, and other materials. Most printers now include automated sharing features, too, enabling employees in remote locations to collaborate and exchange ideas and documents more easily.

Wide Format Printers Versus Plotters

Managers sometimes wonder whether they should select a conventional wide format printer or a plotter? This decision typically revolves around the degree to which the firm requires precision in reproduction. Wide format printers rely upon the use of pixels to reproduce images and drawings. This may result in a slight blurring around the edges of printed lines when customers obtain enlargements.

By contrast, plotters employ vector graphics to capture minute details with precision. A plotter reproduces fine lines with accuracy. It represents an ideal choice for many companies printing detailed blueprints, architectural plans, and engineering diagrams.

Impressive Improvements in Plotter Capabilities

One interesting aspect of modern plotters appeals to history buffs. It relates to the significant improvements engineered into this technology. Historically, this equipment originated from a different source than pixel-generating office copier machines. Plotter technology developed during the era of analog computers.

Decades ago, engineers began creating digitally controlled pen plotters to record measurements taken by instruments in a variety of settings. They utilized computer scripts to operate these devices. Manually controlled pen plotters had previously assisted in the reproduction of charts and blueprints. The bulky analog “pen plotters” of the 1950s and 1960s bear little resemblance to today’s remarkable office plotters!