If your office regularly pays a printing company to produce posters, banners, schematics or blueprints, it may be cost-effective to buy your own plotter. Although these large printers are expensive, it’s worth comparing how much money and time you’d save by having one in-house. Here are four things to consider before buying a plotter.
1. Find a Space
Plotter printers are bulky, weighing over 100 pounds and standing about 3 1/2 feet wide and 4 feet tall. They are noisy when printing. Make sure your office has a large enough space to accommodate the printer in a location where the noise is least likely to disturb employees.
2. Shop New Models
As with all technology, plotters have evolved over the years. In the past, the machines used pens to draw the ink on the paper. Today’s models transfer the image via inkjet, thermal, electrostatic or laser printing process. Although the price of a used model may look appealing, you may have a problem finding replacement parts or software support for the system.
3. Calculate the Maintenance Cost
A plotter printer needs regular maintenance to keep all of the moving parts running smoothly. Find a local company that offers plotter service Reston VA contracts as well as repairs. This keeps you working with one source for all your plotter needs and should give you priority access if a sudden fix is needed.
4. Price the Supplies
To make those large colorful creations, a plotter uses four ink cartridge colors, a printhead and a large roll of paper. Plan on keeping an extra of each on hand at all times to avoid running out mid-project. Estimate how many large print jobs you average in a month to calculate your anticipated monthly cost for supplies.
Once you have added up the cost for the printer, regular maintenance and supplies, you may be pleasantly surprised to find buying your own plotter printer is a money-saving investment for your office.