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 on paper rather than multiple dots, like a traditional printer. Plotters produce a hard copy of schematics and other similar applications. Though once widely used for computer-aided design, these devices were more or less phased out by wide-format printers.
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 more expensive than a traditional printer.