Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pen Plotter, History

Pen plotters print by shifting a pen or other device across the face of a piece of paper. This signifies that plotters are vector graphics apparatus, rather than raster graphics as with other printers. Pen plotters can illustrate multifaceted line art, including text, but do so unhurriedly because of the power-driven movement of the pens. They are time and again incapable of capably creating a solid area of color, but can hatch vicinity by sketching a number of close, standard lines.

Plotters presented the fastest way to economically create very large drawings or color high-resolution vector-based artwork when computer memory was very high-priced and processor power was much regulated, and other kind of printers had restricted graphic output capabilities.

Pen plotters have in essence become outdated, and have been supplanted by large-format inkjet printers and LED toner based printers. Such devices may still comprehend vector languages initially designed for plotter use, since in many uses; they recommend a more economical alternative to raster data.

Hewlett-Packard made its first acquirement in 1958 when it acquired the F Mosley company from California. Mosley made graphics recorders for implements. This industry subsequently became the San Diego Department which made Hewlett-Packard’s pen plotters. In the 70’s, pen plotters were the only way to get high-resolution hardcopy graphics production from computers. The outcome of output from graphics printers normally varied between 70 dots per inch and 100 dots per inch. But, even Hewlett-Packard’s first digital pen plotters could create a line resolution equivalent to 1000 dpi. Until 1987, pen plotters were also the lone cost-effective means of getting color output from computers.

Put side by side to modern color inkjet and laser printers, pen plotters were very time-consuming and unwieldy to use. Users had to frequently worry about a pen running out of ink. If one pen ran dried out at the end of a plot, the total plot had to be re-done. Hewlett-Packard plotters were also restricted to a maximum of 8 dissimilar colors, without having to alter pens in the halfway point of a plot. Lastly, plotters could only illustrate lines and vectors; they couldn't duplicate raster or accurate images. In spite of these limitations, the extreme resolution and color capability of pen plotters made them the color hardcopy output device of choice until the late 80’s. During this time, Hewlett-Packard benefit from a worldwide market share of over 50%.

Plotters were a fine, while not spectacular, dealings for Hewlett-Packard through the end of the 70’s. After that, the business expanded quickly due to 3 factors. 1st, Hewlett-Packard introduced paper-moving plotters to change the old flatbed technology. 2nd, Hewlett-Packard entered the outsized -format plotter business which had beforehand been the domain of companies like Calcomp and Versatec. 3rd, association of Hewlett-Packard pen plotters to non- Hewlett-Packard systems developed dramatically. The link to non- Hewlett-Packard systems was driven by use of business graphics on IBM and well-matched Personal Computers.


These commodities were utilized at Hewlett-Packard’s San Diego Branch. Pen plotters were product line 30 for the section until the product lines were split up in 1989.

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