Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

CADALYST Labs Helps You Pick the Perfect Plotter

1 Oct, 2000 By: Cadalyst Staff


For longer than seems reasonable to recall, CADALYST has looked at plotters and tried to give readers some sage advice about what plotter to buy. The job has become easier over the years because the only plotter manufacturers that survive are those that make good products. Also, good plotters tend to remain on the market for several years, so there are few new models to review.

In this review, I’ll look at a diverse mix of machines. While it’s tempting to pick winners and losers (and the CADALYST Labs rating system requires that we score the machines), the most valuable service we provide here is to give you enough information to determine whether a particular machine is appropriate for your needs. Do you require color? Do you run a high-volume of plots? Do you often run many plots at one time? Does your plotter sit idle for long periods of time? Is cost per plot a factor, or are you reimbursed by your clients for plots? Do you run multiple sets, or do you run one set and have them bluelined? Do your users often stand around waiting for plots to complete? How many final plots (vs. check plots) do you run? Do you run half-size check plots? Do you include photographs or raster images in your plots? Do you often print renderings and photorealistic images? Is unattended operation important to you? Do many users share the same plotter?

Yes, you need to keep a lot of factors in mind, but I’ll try to make it easier. Throughout the reviews, I’ll point out which plotters make sense in the context of these questions. If, after reading the reviews, you decide that one of these plotters is just the ticket for you, that means I’ve done my job. Oh—and when you order your plotter, be sure to tell the salesperson that Evan sent you.


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
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