In this case, only the width is limited, and the length of the finished product can be any. Many models of such plotters are equipped with a cutter to automatically cut the sheet when the desired size is reached.
In addition, there are also flatbed plotters - devices that allow you to print on hard surfaces. For them, the ink block itself passes over the fixed sheet, applying and fixing the image. Thus, they create drawings on glass, corrugated board, plywood, veneer. The size of the carrier, as a rule, does not exceed A2 in this case, and the devices themselves are massive, with a floor installation, depending on the type of material.
Just like conventional printers, plotters can be laser (mainly used in engineering and architectural systems) and inkjet (the most common type for low-volume printing). For printing on thermal paper, direct output devices are often used, which do not require consumables.
As a rule, office and home printers have simple tasks: output of acceptable image or text quality. Printing requires more detailed settings, so that plotters allow you to adjust a variety of print parameters manually or automatically.
And the last thing in which the difference between a plotter and a printer is especially significant for the layman: the cost of large-format devices can go up to $ 60,000, depending on the level of printing color and the maximum possible format. Equipment for printing ordinary posters, posters and reproductions A3 or A2 will cost an average of about $ 1000. A regular home printer can be purchased for $ 50. This (and the dimensions, of course) makes large-format devices the inhabitants of studios and printing centers, but not offices.
Unlike wide-format machines, the cutter is not designed for printing. Technologically, it is much closer to traditional plotters, but instead of a writing block it has a cutting block. This technique is used to cut and perforate material when creating, for example, patterns, patterns, stickers. Some models allow you to replace the knife with a felt-tip pen or a lead, as a result you get a drawing.
|Traditionally - a vector plotter that draws an image; in modern realities - a large-format printer||Printing device without creating a printing plate; usually refers to an office or home apparatus|
|The size can reach several meters in length, there are floor-standing options||Desktop compact devices|
|Designed for printing images of A3 - A0 formats||Works with A4 and smaller formats|
|Pen plotter is used to create drawings, laser - in CAD systems, inkjet - in small-circulation printing||It is used for printing documents|
|Can be flatbed: the material on which the image is applied is rigidly fixed||Type of paper feed in modern printers always reel|
|Handles rolled media||Handles predominantly sheets|
|More flexible and fine tuning||Minimum configurable parameters|