Difference Between Plotter and Printer

Plotter Vs. Printer: Know the Difference Between Plotter and Printer

Both of these are types of printers, but there is a fundamental difference between plotter and printer. A plotter is a device that receives commands from the computer and then draws its picture on the page. A printer is a device that prints texts and images on a page after receiving commands from a network. We will look into more ways in which both of these differ. But let us first know a bit more about them individually.

What is a Plotter?

It is basically a category of printers. They receive the commands from the computers and then create drawings on paper using pens. We use plotters for producing various hard copies of designs, large graphs, etc., on paper- such as engineering drawings, business charts, construction maps, architectural plans, etc.

A plotter is either a standalone device that has its own internal processor or a peripheral computer that we add to a computer system. It performs the production of data in the form of hardcopy at a comparatively slower rate than a printer. We mainly use these in specialized fields, such as engineering, architecture, and drawing.

What is a Printer?

It is basically a hardware device (output) that lets a user acquire graphics and text output from the computer for generating a hard copy. Basically, a printer processes the available soft copy for producing the hard copy for it. These printers are of various types on the basis of the quality of hard-copy produced, size, cost, complex construction, and speed. As compared to a plotter, a printer is capable of producing hardcopy at a much faster speed. It basically prints one line at a time and is used for producing text and graphics on physical mediums like papers.

Difference Between Plotter and Printer

Let us talk about the differences present between Plotter and Printer.

Parameters

Plotter

Printer

Reading Files

A plotter is capable of reading the available files in Al, CDR, DWG, and other types of vector formats.

A printer is capable of reading the available files in formats like JPG TIFF, PDF, BMP, etc.

Meaning and Definition

A plotter is a device that receives commands from the computer and then draws its picture on the page.

A printer is a device that prints texts and images on a page after receiving commands from a network.

Cost-Effective

These are less cost-effective and much more expensive.

These are more cost-effective and much cheaper.

Continuous Lines

It is capable of drawing continuous lines.

It is not capable of drawing continuous lines.

Speed

It works at a comparatively slower speed.

It is capable of working at much faster speeds.

Software Used

CAD, Flexi, Corel, Adobe Illustrator, etc., have support from the plotter.

Photoshop and various other image-editing programs are some of the software supported by printers.

Output Format

The output format of a plotter is similar to that of a vector graphic.

The output format of a printer is in the form of pixels, bitmap, etc.

Examples

A few examples of plotters are Inkjet plotters, Electrostatic plotters, Pen plotters, Flatbed plotters, Drum plotters, etc.

A few examples of printers are 3D Printers, Home Inkjet, Business Inkjet, LED Printers, Ink Printers, Laser Printers, etc.

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