What is the Difference Between Plotter and Printer?

What is the Difference Between Plotter vs Printer?

Both wide-format printers and plotters create high-resolution image replication, but the methods of reproduction the two printer types use differ vastly due to file format, materials and subject matter.

Plotters rely on a vector format, or images created with lines, while wide-format printers utilize raster files, or images constructed on a grid with pixels.

Difference Between Plotter and Printer


Plotters work best for simple colored sign making with vinyl — vinyl plotters use a blade instead of a pen.

Plotters are also more cost-efficient than format printers; however, only one color of vinyl can be cut at a time, so this process is more time consuming than using a format printer

Format printers can reproduce color images, shadows, gradients and other design elements. For example, full-color banners and posters are perfect for format printers, and large-scale graphics also benefit from wide-format printers.


As of April 2020, plotters’ costs range from low-end printers for sign-making at around Rs.200000 to large plotters that cost more than Rs750000. Format printers, while equally pricey, can be ideal for your business if you reproduce a large quantity of printed projects, saving you money by enabling you to scan images for reproduction.

With plotters, on the other hand, you must convert your materials to a vector format before printing them.

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