Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Select the Right Drafting Plotter Pens

Plotters are tools that have a place in business, design and engineering. Choosing a new pen can be confusing if you don’t know exactly what you need. There are a few things to consider when looking for the right plotter pen.

Plotter Model

The very first thing to look for is the model number of the actual plotter you are used to using. Not all pens will fit into all plotting attachments. Some are too thin or too tall. Nearly all drafting plotter pens state exactly which models they will work with. The manufacturer of the pen does not always have to be the same as the manufacturer of the plotter. Many pens work with multiple types of plotters.

Tip Type

The next decision should be about the type of tip on the plotter pen. There are three common options. A fiber tip pen can draw quickly and consistently especially when first starting. The tips do wear down and thicken over time with use. This can make later plots less crisp. Hard-nib pens are similar to rapidographs. These pens produce the highest quality plots although they are more expensive than other options. A final choice is a roller ball tip similar to a typical office pen. These pens produce low-quality results and are best for test plots.

Media Type

The next consideration should be the target media type. Nearly all drafting plotter pens work on regular paper. If the target media is going to be mylar, acetate or another type of material, then it is important to check that the pen can handle the surface. Mylar can tear apart some tips. Other pens will not create smooth lines on acetate. The manufacturer or seller should clearly state what media is supported.

Ink Style and Choices

Ink style and choices should be considered carefully. Archival ink plotter pens will produce graphs and drawings that do not fade over time or eat away at the underlying paper. Refillable pens might be an option if many plots are needed every week. A final consideration should be the range of ink colors. Not all pens offer a full selection of colors. This can make a difference if color plots are ever needed.

To find the best pen for you, it is best to view a variety at a specialty online drafting tools store. 


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