Updated: 06/21/2017 by Computer Hope

A plotter is a computer hardware device much like a printer that is used for printing vector graphics. Instead of toner, plotters use a pen, pencil, marker, or another writing tool to draw multiple, continuous lines onto paper rather than a series of dots like a traditional printer. Though once widely used for computer-aided design, these devices have more or less been phased out by wide-format printers. Plotters produce a hard copy of schematics and other similar applications.

Advantages of plotters

  • Plotters can work on very large sheets of paper while maintaining high resolution.
  • They can print on a wide variety of flat materials including plywood, aluminum, sheet steel, cardboard, and plastic.
  • Plotters allow the same pattern to be drawn thousands of times without any image degradation.

Disadvantages of plotters

  • Plotters are quite large compared to a traditional printer.
  • Plotters are also much more expensive than a traditional printer.

When was the first plotter invented?

The first plotter was invented in 1953 by Remington-Rand. It was used in conjunction with the UNIVAC computer to created technical drawings.

Flatbed plotter, HPGL, Plot, Printer, Printing terms, Resolution