Plotter printers

Plotters and Their Types: Uncovering Plotter Cost Considerations

Plotters have become a game changer in how people and businesses print in large formats. Over the years, plotters and their types of applications have seen plenty of advancements that have outpaced traditional options. They have brought many benefits, like creating large and detailed images, allowing continuous printing without losing quality, and more.

This continuous development of plotters in recent years has also brought different types of plotters into the market. However, knowing about plotters and the types of features that suit your printing needs can be challenging. That's why many firms and people rush into choosing their plotter based on cost, assuming that being more expensive guarantees quality results. While this may sometimes be true, there are instances that it may not.

This article explores the different types of plotters you can find and gives a detailed analysis of the factors that you should look out for while determining if their cost is worth your choosing. Read on to learn more.

What Makes Plotter Printer Cost Vary?

The cost of a plotter printer varies according to numerous factors. Many users consider its upfront cost the only factor, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Several less visible but significant factors add up to the long-term expense of a plotter printer. Here's a quick rundown of different plotters and their types of costs:

Upfront Cost

The first cost businesses incur while buying a plotter printer is its upfront cost. The average price of a plotter printer starts at around USD 900, which varies according to its specifications. This represents a considerable investment into your printing business.

Ongoing Operational Cost

Like any other equipment, plotter printers are vulnerable to breakdowns depending on the scale of tasks they manage. Therefore, before you choose one for your business, you need to consider its maintenance cost to determine whether it's worth investing in.

Supply Costs

Supply cost refers to the continuing printing cost that results from the paper used, inks, and other equipment needed. Each type of plotter uses different supplies for its operation. This can significantly impact the total cost accumulated throughout its use.

Market Demand Costs

This is another hidden cost that most firms and individuals assume while choosing plotter printers for their businesses or companies. It represents all the costs incurred to match your customer demand. This may include the cost of promoting your business, diversifying your printing procedures, and more. This depends on how many types of plotters you have.


With so many printer brands in the market, it's inevitable to find plotter printers selling at different prices. These brands also have unique features and selling points that significantly influence their cost.

Different Types of Plotters and Their Cost Considerations

There are various types of plotters, but the three most commonly used options are electrostatic plotter, pen plotter, and inkjet plotter. Determining the right model of plotters and its type of features will make all the difference. They sell at varied prices based on media cost, maintenance, and service agreements. Here's a breakdown of how these factors determine the cost of these plotter printers.

Electrostatic Plotters

Electrostatic plotter printers generate graphics using the electrostatic principle. It offers faster printing speed than other plotter types, runs quietly, and has prints that last longer and resist fading. While buying your electrostatic plotter, you should consider the following factors:

  • Media Costs: Some of the media costs incurred in an electrostatic plotter printer include purchasing items like the inkjet toner used in printing.
  • Maintenance: The maintenance cost varies according to the frequency of the electrostatic plotter printer's usage. A frequently used plotter printer will likely incur a lot of maintenance costs.

- Service Agreements: The nature of your service agreement can also influence your electrostatic plotter printer's price. For instance, monthly service agreements are higher than yearly options, making plotters under these agreements a bit expensive.

Pen Plotters

A pen or drum plotter is a large format printer that uses a pen mounted on rotating drums to draw graphics on media. It's suited for intricate drawings requiring a high degree of accuracy and precision. It's also suited for printing on large media sizes that require extended continuous drawing.

Some factors that influence its costs include the type of media used in printing. Its maintenance also affects its overall cost despite being relatively low. Its service agreement also influences its price, which varies according to the terms of its maintenance.

Inkjet Plotters

An inkjet plotter is a plotter that uses inkjet technology to print high-quality images and graphics on various paper media. It has a high-quality output with high-resolution colour and accuracy and operates quietly compared with other options. Some factors that influence its cost include:

  • The cost incurred in purchasing the type of print media used
  • Its maintenance
  • The service agreement that varies according to its warranty agreement

3 Best Inkjet Printers to Make an Investment In

If you're looking for an HP inkjet large-format printer, here are three options you should consider:

HP DesignJet Studio 24

The HP DesignJet Studio 24 is a simple-to-use, low-volume plotter suitable for small firms. Other pros include:

  • Rapid print speed
  • Easy to use
  • Compact and elegant
  • It comes with a touchscreen interface

HP DesignJet T650

The HP DesignJet T650 is one of HP's latest large-format printers designed for architectural or engineering drawings, maps, coloured posters, and presentations. Some of the factors that make it unique include:

  • Fast print speed
  • It comes with a stand
  • It allows the use of different media options

HP DesignJet Z9+ PS 44

The HP DesignJet Z9 + PS is a highly-rated inkjet plotter printer that uses nine colours of stable, fade-resistant pigment inks with an optional Gloss Enhancer transparent overcoat. This technique is the reason behind its exceptional colour. Other factors that make it a suitable option include the following:

  • Excellent speed
  • Uses a secure wireless connection
  • Much quieter in operation, even in large-volume printing tasks

Other Factors Influencing Plotter Cost

Along with the factors discussed above, other factors that influence the cost of a plotter printer include the following:

Volume and Frequency of Print

The print volume is one of the critical considerations that significantly influence the price of a plotter printer. Large-format printers with high volume and frequency print tend to sell at a higher price than those with a slower volume and frequency. Therefore, while determining your best option, it's best to look for one with a print frequency or one that can handle enough volume to match your demand.

Quality and Speed of Print

Another crucial factor that influences plotter costs is the quality and speed of print. Printers with high speed and better quality sell at a higher price than those with low quality and slow print speed.

Additional Features

The following additional features can also influence the price of a plotter printer:

  • Colour Printing: Plotter printers with colour printing capabilities sell at a higher price than those without. This also puts them in high demand for businesses and firms that require coloured large-format prints.
  • Scanning: A scanner extends the capability of a plotter printer, allowing it to reproduce paper or hard copy images. This also influences the overall cost of your plotter printer.
  • Network and Connectivity: Plotters compatible with specific software and computer systems sell at a higher price than traditional ones. Other connectivity options, such as Ethernet, USB, or wireless, can increase pricing.

Reach Out to HP With Your Large Format Printing Needs

At this point, it's clear what factors influence the price of large format printers. It doesn't matter how many types of plotters there are. All you have to do is evaluate each of the factors discussed above and find one that matches your business needs.

However, with HP's varied options, it’s best to work with an expert to choose a large format printer that fits your needs. Our experts can help you evaluate your needs and select a plotter printer that suits you. Contact us today to learn more about HP’s plotters and their types of accessories, services, and products.

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