Plotters are best known for their superior quality imaging and highly sophisticated detailing in drawings. This makes them the ultimate choice for architects and engineers who use them for publishing architectural designs, maps, and engineering designs.
While most regular printing jobs can be accomplished using the standard printer, wide imaging needs are served best by plotters. Banners, posters, massive plot designs- the plotter is your buddy and is irreplaceably useful in creative businesses.
So, thinking of getting your own plotter? Today, our list brings you to find best plotter printers that will surely fit your budget and help you achieve large format printing with no trade-off of quality.
Comparison Chart Of Top Plotter Printer
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a plotter printer?
A plotter printer is a printing device mainly used for producing vector graphics or vector images, which are images made up of paths or lines with starting and ending points.
Plotters utilize stationary writing tools for drawing continuous lines, unlike traditional toner printers that use a series of tiny dots to produce images.
The resulting images are of superior quality and are widely used for large-format printing.
What is plotter paper?
Plotter printers only use specific types of paper. Plotter printers are versatile printers suitable for printing on various surfaces, including shower curtains, cardboard, vinyl, plotter paper, etc.
Plotters support several types of plotter papers. These include Premium bond plotter paper, Translucent plotter paper, Vellum plotter paper, Xerographic copier paper, and Recycled inkjet plotter paper.
What type of document would typically be printed on a plotter?
Plotters are versatile computer hardware capable of a wide range of printing. However, they are commonly used in technical fields where high-resolution imaging is critical. These sectors include engineering, construction, and maps. Due to the necessity of incredibly detailed images and large format printing, plotters are preferred to traditional printers for producing CAD drawings, architectural drawings, and billboard and advertising board prints, ensuring precision and accuracy in detail.
What Is The Difference Between A Plotter Printer And a Large Format Printer?
Large format printers and plotter printers both produce high-resolution image replication, but the processes of reproduction used by the two printer types differ greatly due to subject matter, file materials, and. Plotter printers use vector files, which are images made up of lines, whereas large format printer uses raster files, which are images made up of pixels on a grid.
Top 5 Best Plotter Printers Reviews
1. HP DesignJet T130
An affordable fit, the HP DesignJet T130 makes in-house printing cheap and easily accessible.
The HP DesignJet T130 is an excellent high-speed printer for A1/D- size printing. Taking only 35 seconds per page on A1 prints, you can have 70 A1 prints in just an hour.
Whether it is an A1, A3, or A4 image, you are guaranteed to produce sharp images, with bold colors matching perfectly to the print’s size. You will never fail to impress your clients with a maximum print resolution of 1200 x 1200 optimized dots per inch.
Besides a broad range of connectivity options, the plotter also provides several wide-format printing options, including sheet feed, roll feed, input tray, automatic horizontal cutter.
All in all, the HP DesignJet T130 is suitable for line drawings, presentations, and renderings, just to name a few.
- Wide range of media handling ability including sheet feed, roll feed, input tray, automatic horizontal cutter
- Maximum large format page size of 24 inches
- Built-in A3/A4 tray allows perfectly matched color images for both small and large format printing.
- The instruction manual can be confusing
- Drivers need to be downloaded
2. Epson SureColor T3170 | small plotter printer
The Epson SureColor T3170 is built to produce high-resolution images of up to 2400 x 1200 dots per inch, sure to enhance your work and impress your clients.
In addition to superior quality, this plotter from Epson beats the clock with its breakthrough print speed — you only need 34 seconds to produce a precise A1/D-size print.
The large, intuitive 4.3 inch LCD color touchscreen is a handy addition engineered to make printing blueprints, line drawings, and posters a simple task.
The Epson SureColor T3170 plotter is equipped with PrecisionCore MicroTFP printhead and Precision Droplet Control, offering vibrant color and precision to the drop with wide format printing of up to 24 inches.
Better yet, the high-capacity color and black cartridges reduce the need for frequent ink replacement.
- Compatible with high-capacity cartridges of up to 50 mL color and 80 mL black, cutting down frequent ink replacement
- Produces A1/D-size prints in 34 seconds
- Versatile media support for rolls up to 24-inches wide and sheets up to 11 x 17 inches through the Auto Sheet Feeder
- Difficult to remove paper jams
- High ongoing costs for Epson paper
3. Canon image PROGRAF TA-30
Does your business demand considerable amounts of large-format printing? The Canon image PROGRAF TA-30 is ideal for busy offices, being the fastest of all the plotters in this list. A D-size print can be produced in just 27 seconds, thanks to the PROGRAF TA-30 from Canon. With 113 images per hour, you can employ more time in making impactful impressions.
The TA-30 is an entry-level plotter excellent for architectural and engineering firms, creative design companies, and even schools. It is compatible with various print media, including banner paper, fabric, and glossy photo paper up to 36-inches.
This plotter comes with free poster creation software raising your business’ creative potential to the next level. Better yet, the pigment-based inks are ideal for producing weather-resistant prints that are long-lasting.
- Maximum printable width of 36 inches
- Greater media thickness of 0.1 to 0.8 mm
- Produces an impressively fast 113 24 x 36 inches posters in an hour
- Compatible with long roll media and offers borderless printing
- No wireless connectivity
- Canon inks can be costly
4. HP Designjet T120
The HP Designjet T120 is an easy-to-use wide format printer with multiple connectivity options ranging from Wi-Fi, Ethernet, AirPrint to ePrint, allowing you virtual access from almost anywhere, whether it is an android device, an iOS device, or a laptop you are using.
You can quickly access your files from cloud storage, which instantly retains copies of your work and even shares them with the HP Designjet ePrint & Share.
This 24-inch plotter from HP produces prints of excellent quality with a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch. Additionally, this compact yet smart plotter can produce 40 A1 prints in an hour.
This small plotter printer can handle a wide variety of media up to 280 GSM and large-sized printing of up to 24 inches. The built-in feeder tray has a capacity of 24 x 74-inch cut sheets input and a front-loading roll for large-format prints.
- Intuitive 4.3″ touchscreen simplifies printing
- Multiple connectivity alternatives including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, AirPrint, ePrint for ease of access and printing
- Maximum cut-sheet print size of 24 x 74″ and roll printing up to 24″ wide
- Prints black better than color
- Print heads are fragile
5. HP DesignJet T530 | best large format plotter
Our list’s last plotter printer is yet another HP plotter ideal for architects, engineers, and construction professionals. This small plotter is compact and lightweight, making it convenient to be moved around the office.
With no compromise to print quality, the HP DesignJet T530 is still one of the fastest plotters available, with a speed of 30 seconds per page of A1/D print and print resolution up to 2400 x 1200 dpi.
This 24-inch wide sheet plotter supports plain, film, matte, glossy, semi-glossy photo paper, and self-adhesive paper, just to name a few.
The DesignJet T530 is the perfect fit for your office and budget, saving time while delivering sophisticated prints to ace challenges and master projects no less to any other plotter.
- Brilliant print speed of 30 seconds per page on A1/D prints
- Versatile media handling ability, including sheet feed, roll feed, and automatic sheet cutter
- Multiple connectivity options including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, AirPrint, ePrint for ease of access and printing
- Occasionally poor line accuracy
- It takes time to get correct print settings
Plotter Printer Buying Guide
Large plotter printers are much more common than they used to be, and you can certainly get your hands on one to meet your needs. In this guide, we will tell you about the features that make the best plotter printer so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Plotters can come from anything as little as 17-inch to as large as 60-inch. The 60-inch plotters are at the higher end of the market, and we haven’t looked at those today as they are more for industrial printing.
The largest plotter we saw was the Canon imagePROGRAF TA-30, which is a 36-inch plotter.
Other plotters reviewed are all 24 inches.
However, be careful with some plotters. For example, the HP DesignJet T130, while a 24-inch plotter, will only take 24-inch print media manually. If you want to use the main input tray, you can only load this up with 13×19 inch paper.
You will find plotters using pigment inks and plotters using dye inks. For graphical work, pigment ink is the better option.
The Epson Surecolor T3170 and Canon imagePROGRAF TA-30 both use pigment inks.
On the other hand, if your work is less graphical or less technical, you can use a dye ink plotter.
You will find the HP DesignJet T530 uses dye-based color cartridges and a pigment black. The same is also true of other HP models such as the DesignJet T120 and the DesignJet T130.
Not all plotters can handle the same thickness of media. If you are likely to print on media with a thickness above 0.3mm, we recommend the Canon imagePROGRAF TA-30, which can print on media up to 0.8mm in thickness.
All other printers on the list work with media up to 0.3 inches in thickness.
Wireless connectivity is important as not everyone works from a computer anymore. All the printers we looked at other than the Canon imagePROGRAF TA-30 can be accessed wirelessly.
All the printers are compatible with Windows or macOS, other than the HP DesignJet T530, which only has Windows compatibility.
We’ve been looking at the best plotter printers, and we’ve found a great bunch that does exactly what every architect or engineer needs.
Coming from HP, Canon, and Epson, these plotters offer you wide format printing, and each has at least one extra feature that makes them stand apart.
Now you need to consider the following: Do you want a plotter with a high resolution? Or perhaps you want one that has versatile media support?
Whichever plotter you go for, you are sure to find quality.