Plotter printers

How to Choose the Best Industrial Plotter for Your AEC Business

In any AEC business, selecting the best industrial plotter printer for your printing needs is a top priority. Investing in the right printer can significantly improve your business productivity, efficiency, and overall success. Whether your business focuses on architecture, engineering, construction, or design, the correct printer will streamline your operations while also elevating the quality of your output. With speed, precision, and printing quality balanced for your business needs, you can meet your production objectives and attain growth.

With the many industrial printer machines on the market, it's important to consider the key factors that define the ideal printer that aligns with your business' optimal printing performance.

We will take you on a deep dive into the qualities of industrial plotter printers and the role they play in your industry. Then, we’ll explore product-specific business considerations to help you find the right industrial printer for your workplace.

What Is an Industrial Plotter?

An industrial plotter printer is a commercial printer with three important qualities:

  1. It is capable of large-format printing, often including the ability to mount a roll of paper or similar media.
  2. The printer provides high-precision prints using plotter and exact-point technology, creating digital designs with a high degree of accuracy.
  3. It is capable of high-speed printing, ensuring that an office can rapidly produce printed materials.

Who Uses Industrial Plotters?

Industrial plotter printers work well for companies that need to print highly detailed or precise designs. Plotters are favoured in the AEC industry, also known as the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction industry. However, they are also valuable for any type of designer, including advertising agencies, graphic designers, and artistic print producers who also value precise, detailed, large-format, and high-volume printing in a business setting.

Top Applications of Industrial Plotters

Industrial plotters are most often used to print designs, whether blueprints, circuit diagrams, topographical maps, or graphic art. They are particularly effective at translating layered and highly detailed graphic files from design software into accurate 2D printed representations.

Industrial plotters can make diagrams that can be used to guide projects or sold as finished products.

Printer Considerations to Factor in When Looking for the Right Industrial Plotter

Every business has unique printing needs. Even two companies with the same business model may have different requirements for their industrial plotter printer. Consider the following four factors when comparing printers for your office or industrial operations.

1. How Large Can the Printer Make Your Documents?

How big do your documents need to be? Industrial plotters are typically large-format printers, but these come in a range typically between 18" and 36" across. Printers that can accommodate a roll of paper can accommodate a much larger maximum size. Also, tile or mosaic printer settings allow you to print much larger pieces that you then put together from multiple sheets of paper.

2. How Many Types of Media Can You Use With the Printer?

Will you be printing primarily on paper, or do you need to print on other media? All printers can accommodate paper. But only some plotters can handle alternatives like card, vinyl, or even fabric printing. Know your media requirements before you choose your printer.

3. How Qualitative Will the Print Output Be?

Plotter printers come in a wide range of detail options. Some are point-precise but only print in black and white, but others offer extremely high colour precision for designs that require absolute colour matching from the digital design to the physical print. All plotter printers offer highly detailed print precision, but some can achieve a higher degree of precision than others. Precision is measured in points per inch (ppi).

4. How Fast Is the Print Turnover Period?

What printing speed do you require? Businesses that sometimes need to print vast reams of documents or designs at once will benefit from a high-speed plotter to avoid slow-downs at the printer at critical moments. However, if you tend to print at a more measured pace, you can prioritise printers with other qualities.

Business Considerations to Factor in When Finding the Right Industrial Plotter

Examine the typical printing requirements of your business and consider how a high-quality printer could improve your workflow with the selection of features available in industrial inkjet printer design.

1. Assess the Needs of Your Business

Start by examining your business's printing needs. Consider what you require from a printer and your top priorities in terms of quality and performance.

2. Define Your Budget

Determine how much of your budget you can allocate when buying a new industrial plotter printer (or two) for your workplace. This will help you include or exclude printers based on what can fit into your budget.

3. Conduct Research on Available Printers

Explore the models, features, and performance factors of the industrial plotter printers on the market. Compare them to your business requirements and priorities to identify which printers best suit your business needs.

4. Compare Printer Features and Specifications

Create a list of printers that offer the features you need within your price range. Then, compare their list of features and performance specifications. This can help you determine which printers should be at the top of your list.

5. Read Reviews and News Articles About Each Printer

Sometimes, you can learn more about a printer by reading about other businesses' experiences with the same model. Explore reviews and news articles that describe how the printer performs in a real workplace environment.

6. Request a Demo

Contact the industrial plotter printer manufacturer or visit a retailer with the models you want, and request a demo. Bring a few design files that you can use to determine which printers provide the highest quality and fastest prints that meet your needs.

7. Consider Warranties and Support Service Options

Finally, compare the printers in terms of additional value, such as warranties and support services. A printer with a good warranty will be more affordable to maintain, and you are protected if there is a manufacturing flaw. The more advanced your printer, the more you will benefit from a knowledgeable support service that provides guidance and troubleshooting assistance in getting the best performance from your industrial plotter.

What Are Some of the Most Well-Rated Industrial Printing Machines Out There?

HP DesignJet Z6: 24 inch

The DesignJet Z6 24" is an excellent industrial inkjet printer optimised for beautiful graphics and vivid colours. It is ideal for a small to medium-sized design business that needs large-format printing but not the largest possible format. It is highly rated and performs well, with a roll feeder, sheet cutter, and touchscreen display.

HP DesignJet T950 Multifunction Plotter: 36 Inch

The DesignJet T950 is an advanced AEC industrial plotter capable of large-format printing up to 36 inches. It supports scanning and copying, contains 2GB of internal memory for large design files, and switches automatically from roll to sheet printing. It can also print up to 120 D prints per hour.

HP DesignJet T1700: 44 Inch

The DesignJet T1700 is one of the largest and most advanced industrial plotter printers on the market, capable of printing up to 44 inches of large-format printing. It is ideal for a mid-sized AEC business with CAD/GIS workgroups. It can handle 116 D prints per hour and has 128 GB of virtual memory for storing and printing large files (including in tile if necessary).

Reach Out to HP With Your Plotter Printer Needs

Are you ready to find the right industrial plotter printer for your business? Contact HP with your printing needs, and we will guide you toward the printers that best meet both your performance and quality requirements.

Download our eBook now and discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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