What is a plotter printer?

There is confusion occasionally as to why TriTech will quote certain printers for plotter services instead of desktop printer services. Often, our printer service technicians hear:

“It says printer on the box, not plotter.” We understand, but printer is a sort of umbrella marketing term and plotters fall under that umbrella.

Even Wikipedia lists plotter separately from printer, but that could be because traditional plotters produce differently compared to modern printers.

With the influences of product boxes and websites, it’s easy to see why customers are puzzled. What is a plotter? How does TriTech differentiate printers and plotters?

What is a plotter?

Technically, a plotter is a printer that uses pens in a continuous motion to draw technical designs and intricate lines onto paper; in contrast, an inkjet printer uses ink drops from a cartridge and a laser printer uses a laser beam. Plotter printers are now considered outdated – perform a web search for “plotter” and results seem to automatically redirect to “wide format.”

TriTech will service and repair plotter printers if we can get parts. Unfortunately, many traditional plotters are no longer supported by their manufacturer due to out-of-production status and availability of comparable modern alternatives (read: companies don’t find plotter support financially beneficial). Visit a print manufacturer website like Epson and Xerox and notice how there are no plotter pages.

printer umbrella

What is a plotter — to TriTech?

With original plotters phasing out, why even have a plotter service rate? TriTech defines plotter as printers that can output at a 10-inch width or handle a paper roll; this includes wide-format and large-format, regardless if you only use standard sheets.

Is your printer considered a plotter? A service dispatcher here at TriTech asserts, “if your machine is large enough for a roll of paper, it’s a plotter.”

What does this mean for you, the customer? If your inkjet or laser printer can produce onto a paper roll or page width of 10 inches, then TriTech may consider your machine a plotter and quote accordingly.

A few examples of large-format printers that would be considered plotters for TriTech services (but not limited to) are:

  • Epson SureColor: S-series, F-series, T-series, P-series
  • Epson StylusPro
  • HP DesignJet
  • HP DeskJet 9000-series
  • HP PageWide XL
  • Xerox IJP 2000
  • Xerox 6000-series

PLEASE NOTE: TriTech may consider your printer as a plotter even if it’s not listed above.

Large-format, Wide-format, Plotter Printer Services and Repair
in Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison

No matter the function of your printer – multifunction, digital press, mass production – TriTech is the only Epson Authorized Service Provider in Wisconsin and experienced with nearly all printing manufacturers and models.

If you have a specific printer that you’d like further details about for our maintenance and repair services, contact TriTech today at (262) 717-0037, 24/7 toll-free (800) 891-3388, or service (at) tritechcoa (dot) com.


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