Key Difference: Printer is a peripheral device that creates a solid copy of the digital data that is represented on the computer screen. Printers can be used to connect to a computer using a USB or wirelessly. A plotter is a computer printer that is used for printing vector graphics. Though originally they were used for printing computer-aided designs, in many applications these have been replaced by conventional printers. These days, plotters are only used in architecture and engineering fields.
Each application requires a separate set tools, this works with printers as well. Many applications require various different types of printers. Plotter is a type of printer that is available and is commonly used in architecture and engineering. The main purpose of a printer is to convert digital data into a hard copy. Plotters work similarly but use a different technique and equipment. Plotters have a pen like instrument that is used to draw images on to the paper.
Printer is a peripheral device that creates a solid copy of the digital data that is represented on the computer screen. Printers can be used to connect to a computer using a USB or wirelessly. One printer can also be connected to many computers allowing all computers to be able to print on that printer. Many newer printers are also able to support memory cards, digital cameras or scanners. Higher end models for offices also come with other features such as scanner, copier and fax. These models are known as Multifunction printers.
There are various different kinds of printers that are available. These printers are classified depending on the type of technology is used in printing. Technology includes: Toner-based printers, Liquid inkjet printers, Solid ink printers, Dye-sublimation printers and Inkless printer. Toner-based printers use dry powered toner as ink, which is then fused on the paper by hot rollers. Liquid inkjet printers use liquid ink that is heated into a vapor bubble and then sprayed onto the paper. Solid ink printers use thermal transfer technology and use solid sticks of color that are wax-like in texture; these inks are melted and then sprayed on a rotating, oil coated drum, which passes the image onto the paper. A dye-sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card, paper or canvas. Inkless printer printers work by heating regions of a heat-sensitive paper that creates images or text on it.
A plotter is a computer printer that is used for printing vector graphics. Though originally they were used for printing computer-aided designs, in many applications these have been replaced by conventional printers. These days, plotters are only used in architecture and engineering fields. Plotters differ from normal printers because it has a computerized pen that is used to draw across the surface of paper. Plotters also vector graphics device rather than raster graphics, which means that plotters draw in lines rather than in pixels or dots. Pen plotters can draw complex line art along with drawing text. Plotters are incapable of doing broad regions of color, but can draw a number of close lines.
There are two kinds of plotters: pen plotter and cutting plotters. Pen plotters are used to draw or type of text. These are mostly used in architecture or engineering to create designs but can also be used to draw large maps or other such designs. Plotters were considered as an important tool as they previously allowed a fast way to create large designs and color high-resolution vector-based artwork. These plotters have become almost obsolete in many applications and have been replaced by large-format inkjet printers or LED toner based printers. Cutting plotters come with a sharp blade instead of a pen-like instrument and are used for cutting paper, mylar or vinyl. The person only has to put the dimensions into the computer and the plotter would cut the dimensions into the paper. Initially, these machines were used to cut material for billboards and other such advertising venues. There are also specific cutting plotters for cloth, hide and other hard materials.
Printers and plotters are different from each other in many ways. While printers spray ink onto the surface of the paper, the plotter actually places the pen-like instrument on the paper and draws on it. Plotters are more commonly for people that use auto CAD and CAM software. Printers are faster, while plotters take a while. Printers can color in huge sections, while plotters can only create close lines to color sections. Many plotted paper is also perforated to allow the user to rip the paper from the device, without tearing the image.
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