How Much Do Plotters Cost | 3 Things to Know Before You Buy
How much do plotters cost is a question we get quite often when we speak to small and medium-sized businesses that are either struggling with old technology or spending a lot of time driving to and from a blueprint or copy service. In this blog, we explain 3 key aspects of wide format printing that will help you determine the monthly cost of owning your own device.
What Size of Drawings do you Produce?
The number one difference in plotters is the width of the paper roll they will accept. The common sizes are 24”, 36”, and 44”. If you are printing ANSI D size drawings (24”x36”) you can use 24” wide paper and print a sheet 36” long, or you could use at 36” wide page and print 24” long. The same concept works with ANSI E size drawings (34”x44”) by printing up to 44” wide. The advantage of printing onto wider paper is faster production. If speed is not a major concern, it is more affordable to rent or own a narrow device. On average there is about a 10% premium in price each time you increase the printer width. If you need to increase from 24” prints to 44” inch prints, plan to spend about 20% more on the hardware.
Do you Need to Scan Pages Back to the Computer?
The second most common option in a plotter is whether you need a scanner. The growth of being able to send digital files readily available lends itself to getting a device that provides both mono & color scanning capabilities. Scanning feature also provides you with digital files in color that make it easier to read notes & corrections on your construction document. The by-product of scanning is the copying function for walk-up copying needs. Many manufacturers include two versions of the same device so you can choose if you want to include the scanner with the device. Again, additional capabilities come with a premium on hardware price. If you choose to include a wide format scanner, plan to spend an additional 50% for the hardware.
How Many Pages do you Print?
While all printer specs look similar for image quality, there is a huge difference in operating cost when comparing high-end production devices with units designed for small to medium business use. Most devices today operate affordably with ink technology. The advancement in color ink technology makes it possible to produce water-resistant prints onto durable print media. The prints are great for outdoor use and hold up to the rigors of construction sites and manufacturing environments. An experienced reseller helps you calculate the operating cost of each device and provides a side-by-side comparison based on your estimated use. As an added convenience, many devices are also available with 2-rolls of paper online for easy printing onto different sizes or types of media.
Conclusion – How Much do Plotters Cost
So, how much do plotters cost? Plotters can be a very affordable addition to your business starting as low as $39 per month to rent. Depending on your exact needs, there is more than likely a product that will fit your environment, provide years of hassle-free service, and save you hours of running to and from the print shop! Contact Us to learn more!