How to buy a used plotter printer

If your business relies on the production of large-scale vector graphics such as plans, charts and blueprints, you’ll need a plotter printer. Also known as large format CAD (computer-aided design) printers, plotter printers create line images with razor sharp accuracy based on mathematical formulas, and form a vital component in the architecture, engineering and construction industries.

Buying a used plotter printer can be a cost-effective option for your business; there are many older models available that still perform to the highest of standards. However, what may sound like a simple task can be fraught with pitfalls, not least because many resellers offer little or no ongoing maintenance and support for plotter printer models which may have been out of production for years.

Here we take a closer look at how plotter printers work and why it’s so important to buy your used plotter printer from a printer supply specialist.

How does a plotter printer work?

A plotter printer differs from a traditional printer in that the images it creates consist of continuous lines, rather than dots or pixels. Plotters use writing tools like pens and pencils to interpret vector (or line-based) files while traditional ink jet or laser printers reproduce raster files, which are images made up of tiny pixels on a grid.

A vector file is based entirely on mathematical values; the location, length and arc of every line is decided by programmed formulas, which means that no matter how large a vector file is printed, it remains exact. Conversely, traditional prints can become distorted when enlarged due to the fact that the dots making up the image are simply printed on a larger scale.

Why is it better to buy a used plotter printer through a specialist?

It’s possible to buy used plotter printers from many popular reseller sites, including Ebay. The deals on offer can seem like a great value, easy solution for your business but what happens when something goes wrong?

Many companies that simply sell on used equipment offer nothing in the way of support in the event of a problem, and when the kit in question is something as high spec as a plotter, the need for maintenance is more than likely. Used plotter printers available through many resellers tend to be models that are out of production, so replacement parts can be very difficult and expensive to come by.

When your business eventually has to source and pay for used replacement plotter parts and costly specialist labour, your bargain used plotter printer can end up costing you much more than you budgeted for.

What should you look for when buying a used plotter printer?

There are certain key things to keep in mind when sourcing a used plotter printer. Firstly, be sure to have the belts and gears of your plotter assessed and given the green light, these are some of the most delicate parts of a plotter printer and the most likely to cause you a problem.

You should always get a qualified technician to install and set up your plotter, and inspect the entire system for any potential issues. Make sure your used plotter comes with a warranty that covers as much time as possible, most resellers will offer at least a 30-day warranty.

Better yet, buy your used plotter from a full-service reseller who can provide ongoing expert support and customer care as standard.

What can Perfect Colours offer when you buy a used plotter printer?

As an award-winning large print solutions supplier and service provider, we can ensure that a used plotter printer bought from us won’t cost you more than it should. Our specialist technicians will fit and set up your product to get you going and our expert team are just a phone call away with free advice about your printing system anytime.

We offer comprehensive extended warranties for your used plotter that can cover it for up to five years. Our Total Care package covers you anywhere in the country with a one hour response rate, and we aim to fix 97% of printers first time thanks to our brand knowledge and spare parts carried, even if it’s out of warranty.

We stock a huge range of parts for both new and used large format printers, including plotters, many of which are for obsolete models. If we don’t have a part in stock, we’ll aim to get it to you on the next working day, minimising any downtime for your plotter printer.

What’s more, you can trade in your old plotter printer to get an even better deal on your next one, even if it no longer works.

Contact us today on 0845 680 9000 to find out more about our used large format print solutions and the support we can offer. 


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