What Is a Plotter Printer Used for?

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Plotters get used in computer-aided drawing, and scientific and line-art applications. These printers operate a bit differently from the ink jet and laser printers commonly used.

What a Plotter Is

A plotter is a type of printer that focuses on drawing line art. These devices have become less popular over the years, but still produce high-quality drawings.


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Pen Plotters

The plotters draw on paper using a pen. If a pen runs out of ink before the plot is finished, the user needs to reprint the document. Pen plotters allow for multiple colors, but the user must switch the pen color during the plot.


Most Common Plotter Uses

Businesses use plotter printers to draw charts. Architects and engineers use plotters to draw blue prints.

Flatbed Plotter

With a flatbed plotter, the paper lies flat on the surface of the plotter and the pen moves over it.


Roller Plotter

With a roller plotter, the paper gets moved through the plotter while the machine prints out the drawing.