A plotter is a machine that can interpret commands from a computer and make drawings on paper. A plotter can operate using automated pens.
Plotters are generally used in architectural blueprints, drawing maps, and geographical layouts. They can be directed through a computer to produce computer-generated graphics, making hard copies of our designs and various other engineering drawings.
This article focuses on the main available types of these machines used to make drawings and images on drawing paper.
The rapid technological growth has resulted in remarkable innovations, growth, and demand for more output from various industries, including the drawing and design field. There are various types of these machines that it’s essential to be aware of and learn about since they are equally important. Below explained are some of the available plotters in the market.
In this machine, the paper is placed on a flat surface where the drawing pen can move along the x and y axes, making drawings. The pens come in different sizes and colors. The paper is held firmly by frames so it does not move. This type of machine is preferred mainly when making drawings of roads, cars, planes, and other items related to flatbed plotters.
Artists mainly use this type of plotter, which applies the use of three colors: magenta, cyan, and yellow. Depending on the need, it can use four colors: the mentioned three plus a black one. This machine can mix these colors, make any color, and make drawings on paper.
This machine employs more speed and is faster than other types of machines; however, its images are less quality than those of other pen plotters. Images are drawn using raster graphics, where toner ink generates matrix pixels. It creates a high voltage on the paper, attracting ink and making graphics.
This type of plotting machine is faster in making billboards, signs, and vehicle graphics on a large scale. It has automated knives that make graphics by cutting the sheet on the surface.
There are two types of potter machines, which are; the internal drum and the external drum. In the internal drum, the paper is wrapped within the interior surface of the machine, whereas, in the external machine, the drawing paper is rolled on the external surface.
Here, the drawing paper is rolled around a drum, and as the drum rotates, the automated pen moves across the drum, making drawings on the paper.
Pinch roller plotter
In this machine, the drawing paper is passed through a pinch-roller mechanism where the paper and the pen can move in the opposite direction of each other and draw the intended images. This type is not commonly used.
Plotter machines have impacted drawing and design art significantly in drawing building plans, drawing computer-aided designs, charts, architecture, and even textile printing. This article has outlined in detail the main types of these machines.
When you want to engage in this field, researching which type of machine to use for a particular purpose, this article can be of great importance for reference.