PrintersWide Format Printing

CAD Printers are Being Used in 5 Common Alternative Ways

Starting from an idea, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software is the primary point to creation.  CAD printers are the pivotal component that offers professionals like architects, engineers, and designers to actually see the drawings and plans as they create, modify, and alter the designs throughout the process. These professionals also utilize large format printing for collaboration on projects and to deliver prints for the client, permitting, bidding, and construction.

Epson SureColor T3170M, desktop printer, best desktop printer,CAD printers, or large format plotters aka blueprint plotters that are designed for CAD professionals are now equipped with some really nice features, and come at cost-effective price points.

Large format plotters have long been thought of for only a particular use; yet now these large format plotters are commonly used in a variety of unique ways to help enhance productivity and efficiencies in a wider range of industries.


Large format plotters utilize printing technology that provides easy access to pertinent information, streamlines communication, and therefore improves the projects workflow.  This aids professionals to plan and execute projects more effectively.

Large format CAD plotters allow professionals to print and view 24”x36” or larger plans; as opposed to viewing PDF documents on a smaller screen.

Adding a wide format scanner provides copying capabilities, and makes it easy to send scanned copies virtually anywhere.  Some scanners also offer the convenience of annotating directly on the digital image, which can be very useful for collaborating.

Alternate Uses


Often a blueprint plotter is purchased for a specific purpose; however, once you own one, wouldn’t it be nice to find other uses for it?  Well, a lot of companies feel the same way; often successfully finding other uses for it.  Some large format plotters are equipped to provide top-notch graphics applications.  Companies are realizing that these large format plotters can also be quite versatile in what they can print. So, printing promotional / marketing posters or break-room posters becomes a lot more economical when the blueprint plotter is already in-house.  Additionally the large format plotter can print useful direction and safety signage, and aesthetically pleasing wall art or graphics.

Some particular large format graphics plotters can print on paper as well as on vinyl and and adhesive material; so some companies put these plotters to use for printing banners and decals. Signage can also be customized more easily if you own your own large format photographic plotter.

Project Charts

Although most architectural and engineering firms as well as construction companies most commonly purchase large format plotters to print blueprints, technical documents, renderings, and drawings; there are still other uses as well.  These can be project timelines, flowcharts and spreadsheets; which can also be quite helpful with collaboration and for keeping the projects on schedule.

Maps / GIS

Since a large format plotter prints with precision and accuracy they are ideal for printing maps for engineering or Geographic Information System (GIS) applications, as well for anyone that has a need to print large scale maps.  These can include industries such as: forest services, municipalities, Real Estate, agriculture, mining, and travel.

Emergency Response

When responding to emergencies or natural disasters such as hostage situations or wildfires, it’s critical for emergency response agencies to have accurately detailed information for planning a safe and effective response.  Large format printers can print large scale plans and maps to properly display the pertinent details.  By looking at large prints emergency responders can pinpoint potential dangers, safe zones, and plan-out possible evacuation routes.  Additionally, the large print outs can show important information such as topography, roads, vegetation, water sources, power & gas lines, and other critical factors that are analyzed and used to assess the hazard and risk for an area.

In Summary

Sure, large format printers are used for blueprint printing, but as we discovered, there are a plethora of other uses for this fine technology as well.  So if it’s for blueprint printing for collaboration, charting the progress of a project, printing graphics, map printing, or for emergency response; finding the right large format plotter is crucial as all large format printers are certainly not the same.  Prior to making any decisions, it’s important to discuss your intended alternative uses with a wide format printer expert, so that you get the proper recommendation. If you’d like to speak with our printer experts please call us at (602) 224-9971 or contact us now, we’re happy to help!

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