The installation of a plotter to a computer takes knowledge and skill, but it does not require expertise in computer engineering or physics to be able to set it up in your computer. In fact, all you need is a USB and that’s it! With a step by step guide, getting it setup is as easy as a breeze.
However, before you worry about how to set it up, it’s important that you know what a plotter is for. How different is this hardware from that of the regular printer that people usually use for their home or in their office?
What is a plotter?
A plotter is a hardware device that is much like the printer that people often use. The only difference is that plotters is used particularly for printing vector graphics. Instead of the usual dots that the regular printer uses, the plotter uses lines for printing. Also, it uses a writing tool in doing the process. It can be a pencil, a ballpoint pen, marker or any other writing tool to draw multiple lines, continuously, on the page. Although it has once been the only device used to work on computer aided designs, these devices have been replaced by wide-format printer.
Schematics and other similar software programs use the plotter to make a print out of the output that is on the screen. Plotters are used to print in very large papers and still the quality of the prints remain the same. Everything come in high resolution, that’s why it remains to be one of the favorite hardware devices for vector graphics printing. Did you know that plotters can also print in other surfaces as long as they’re flat? May it be wood, sheet steel or even aluminum, the plotter can be used to print on them.
How is the plotter installed in the computer using the USB?
Before you set the plotter on to the computer, you must first install the printer driver that comes with the package. It is the first step as it is needed to eventually install the program that will make the plotter work with your computer. How is this done? Here are the steps:
Step 1: Click the Start button and go to Windows “Faxes and Printers.” Click the right key on the Printer Driver and select Properties.
Step 2: Go to the Ports tab and check which USB port is the printer driver is using. Usually, it will show USB 1 or USB 2. (NOTE: if you cannot read the USB port, simple click the box to expand the column using the mouse.)
Step 3: A dialogue box will appear. Click the Add Printer button to install a generic only printer. Then simply follow the instructions in the dialogue box. Click next until the installation is done.
Step 4: Select the correct USB port, then select the term Generic under the Manufacturer and click Next.
Step 5: Leave the name of the printer as generic and click Next.
Step 6: Remember to click on the Do Not Share Printer option. Then click Next.
Step 7: You will be asked to do a test print, but click NO.
Step 8: Then click Next until you reach the box that says the process has been completed. Click FINISH and the Generic Printer has been installed.
Step 9: When you open the plotter program, you will be given the option to do a test print. The plotter should be able to do the file that you’ve chosen and your plotter is good to go.
Plotters serve their purpose. And even if there are multiple options today that are more technologically advanced, the plotter remains to be one of the popular option because of the quality of work that it is able to produce.