Plotters are output devices used for printing vector graphics of different colors. Generally, we use plotter for printing construction maps, architectural plans, business plans or any other engineering drawings. Some plotters can be used as computer peripherals where some have internal processor as an standalone devices.
Plotter was first invented in 1953 by Remington Rand. There are different types of plotter we use now a days. The most popular six types of plotter will be discussed here in this article. We will also discuss about the advantage and disadvantages of plotter later in this article.
Types of plotters
As we say there are various types of plotters we use today. Among them some have really gained popularity among users. The most common six types of plotters are as follows.
- Flatbed plotter
- Drum plotter
- Ink jet plotter
- Electrostatic plotter
- Cutting plotter
- Pinch roller plotter
Flatbed plotter has a flat surface on which the paper is placed. The writing pen can move both x and y axis to create drawing and images on the paper. The pen can be of different sizes and colors. For this the paper does not move in a flatbed plotter. We can easily draw cars, airplanes, roads, ships or other engineering design by a flatbed plotter.
In a drum plotter, the paper in which we will create the drawings, wraps around a drum. The pens move across the drum and draw on the paper when the drum rotates.
There are two types of drum plotter we use today. One is internal drum plotter in which the paper is wrapped at the internal surface of the drum. Other is external drum plotter, where the paper is wrapped on the external surface of the drum.
Ink jet plotter
Ink jet plotter is also very popular type of plotter among artists. Some inkjet plotter has three color palettes of cyan, magenta and yellow and some have four color palettes of previous three and a black also. It can create design on paper by mixing these colors. As we know that we can make any color using these prime colors, and this principle is applied here to draw anything on a paper.
Electrostatic plotter gives much more speed than any other plotter although here the image quality is not high as other pen plotters. It uses raster graphics to draw the images. Here, the toner ink generates dot matrix pixels on the paper. The plotter creates high voltage charges on the paper. These charges attract the ink and thus it can draw graphics on the paper.
Cutting plotters have a great speed when we make sign, billboard advertising or vehicle graphics. It can be said as a large-scale cutting device. Here, automated plotter knives cut into a sheet on the flat surface. It is now not popular among users as like other type of plotter we have discussed before.
Pinch roller plotter
Pinch roller plotter has no much more used now. Here, the paper is placed on a pinch roller mechanism. The pen can move on the paper and draw the images. In pinch roller plotter the paper and pen move in opposite direction of each other.