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Apart from the basic features of a plotter, you may also need to consider certain additional value-added features when buying the device. The more common add-on features include:
Scanning and copying
Among the more important features of wide format printers and plotters is the ability to scan and copy large documents. While some printers may have scanning and copying as in-built features, for others you may need to upgrade your printer and purchase the scanning module separately. The scanning function is usually very important for AEC users since scanning makes it easy to reproduce large-sized project blueprints.
Purchasing the additional module will inevitably raise the initial investment necessary; and therefore, it is important to assess the extent to which you need this facility.
Software and drivers
To ensure optimum performance, you need to ensure the communication between the printer and the software used is as direct as possible. Most software applications require some drivers to be installed to enable communication between the computer and the printer. Check with your vendor about the drivers that need be installed to run specific applications. Also, ensure that the drivers are certified by the software manufacturer.
There are different printer languages required to complete the printing tasks. For example, Postscript and PDF are used to complete most tasks associated with the graphics industry while HPGL, HPGL2, TIFF are used widely in the engineering sector. It is important to ensure that the printer and software support the language you require as per your business needs.
Multiple Paper Widths
This feature allows you to print on different paper sizes because the printer can hold more than one type of roll at a time. This reduces the time taken to change the roll of paper as is the case with a single roll-holding printer.
A paper cutter, sorter and media bin may be built in to allow the printer to automatically separate individual print outs, separate the multiple outputs with the help of a sorter and organiz*e the same in a media bin. The entire process is done mechanically without human input. Inbuilt accounting features may also be available, which helps to bill the prints to different clients or projects.