Do you want to buy a plotter to print your plans and do not know how to choose it? Here we tell you how to do it!
A plotter is vital for the work of every Architect or for every company since you can print your own plans.
We have talked in several articles about how to set up an Office or Office of Architecture and how to manage or manage it, well, today we will talk about a basic work tool for an Architect and is: The plotter.
A plotter is a printing device that is connected to a computer (just as a printer does) and its function is to print on a large scale with great precision, this tool is useful for printing plans of different sizes and can even be printed. print canvas for advertising or other items. In short we can say that a plotter is a large-scale printer that allows through the computer to print in this case architectural or construction plans.
There are several printing systems and the plotter can adjust to them, among the most used systems today are the inkjet and laser, basically these systems are the same as we use in a conventional printer, however there are differences, advantages and disadvantages between each of these systems. In general, the print width of a plotter varies and can range from 90 to 150 or 160 centimeters.
Injection of ink and laser
The inkjet printing is done directly with the ejection of ink on the paper itself but without making contact with it, this ink comes out through nozzles that are in the head of the plotter.
The printing is done by horizontal stripes that run along the surface as the strips are printed, the paper is circulated or rolled to complete the entire print. One of the great advantages is its low price compared to laser printing.
The cost per print is much lower although its main disadvantage is the time it takes to print and more when they are very detailed jobs or printouts of renders.
Laser printing is done using a toner (or several, depending on whether it is monochromatic or color), this toner is ink in the form of electrically charged powder, which is used to pigment paper in this printing system.
The toner is located in a tank that is attached to a photoconductor of the plotter, this system is more expensive than the inkjet and in the case that you want to print monochromatically only a toner is used, but to print in colors it is necessary have four (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) the great advantages offered by laser printing is its high quality and speed of printing, this makes the system is ideal in offices, construction or architectural offices that generate a large volume or have a great demand for plans and renders.
When looking to acquire the best large-size printer for a business, this device needs to be efficient and allows to obtain high quality products. The overall performance of a plotter printer is one of the most important points to consider when choosing a machine of this type. However, it must also be ensured that the device has the capacity to fulfill all the required functions.
A plotter can print several square meters of paper in a few minutes, the best plotters are those that are endowed with a high resolution and speed of printing, are compatible with various materials (paper, canvas, etc.) and usually also accept various lengths , widths and thicknesses.
To choose the plotter that best suits your needs you must know the average number of impressions that you will demand per day. Generally more than 50 impressions per day is considered a high performance for a plotter.
The average number of impressions is a fact that has a great importance, since, it is possible to calculate with greater accuracy the expense of supplies that the plotter will have, this for an Architect is important since this expense represents an indirect expense that can be charged in future jobs. Remember that the higher the demand for plans, you will need a plotter that prints at a higher speed.
You have to check the technical specifications of all the equipment, the plotter needs inputs to work (toners or other attachments) you have to verify which ones are needed, their price and approximate life, you also have to verify which formats and sizes of paper you can print as well as the type of paper (bond, photo, etc). Another important and vital point to consider is the resolution of the printing, the resolutions of impressions are measured in dots per inch, which are also known as PPP, a high value of dpi means a higher resolution and definition of the print.
When choosing a plotter, you should find that this device meets the functions we need. There are some large printers that have a built-in blade, which gives the finished product a clean and smooth edge, without the need for any additional equipment. In addition, USB ports are an interesting addition, because they offer the possibility of printing directly from external devices.
Currently the devices that can be used wirelessly provide greater comfort and control over the prints, so you do not need to be in front of them when you need to print. Some plotters have connections to internal networks to access them from other locations, which represents a great advantage of operation.
Another point that you should take into account when choosing a plotter for your Office of Architecture or Design is the versatility of materials that can be printed, if you only need a plotter for your plans or if you are going to print adhesives or canvas, this opens a range of possibilities for which the plotter can be used. In this sense choose well, since not all plotters can print a lot of materials.
Prices and costs of Consumables
The price of a Plotter depends on many factors, starting with the size since, there are different widths of printing, however we can say that a plotter about 36 inches wide is in the market at a price of about 2,000 dollars . Remember that another factor that determines the price is the plotter’s trademark as well as the cost of its accessories and consumables.
24-inch-wide plotters can usually be found on the market at a price of approximately $ 1,000, just like 36-inch plotters, their price may vary depending on add-ons and consumables. The cost of the consumbiles will vary according to the factor of impressions that we will update, usually each manufacturer offers detailed information on the performance of the ink cartridges or toners for impressions.
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