What is a plotter?
In the vinyl, ppf & tint industry, plotters are big cutting machines that work similar to a larger printer. There are various types of plotters used in numerous industries. Some plotters draw designs for architects, other plotters have ink and can create ink jet wraps & signs. These early output devices, plotters, were known as wide-format printers & large-format printers because they could print continuous lines and full size engineering designs and drawings. The vinyl plotters used in the ppf and window film industries use a blade instead of a pencil or ink to cut the material going through the plotter machine.
To operate a plotter, you will also need to hook it up to a computer and have some type of software to send instructions to the plotter on what to do. Cutting plotters maneuver a blade along the horizontal width (X-axis) of the machine cutting the product going through. PPF, tint or vinyl feed through the machine along the vertical Y-axis going back and forth as the material is cut with the plotter blade. If using various type of products in your plotter; you should get a different blade for each type of product. For example, have one blade for PPF, another blade for car tint and a third blade for vinyl. This will make adjustments to the blade easier when changing out the different types of products to cut.
One industry popular plotter is the Workhorse series of plotters that were developed to be sturdy and very cost effective to help business owners & tint shops to expand their business without spending a fortune. The series has the workhorse-1 and workhorse2 plotters that come in various widths that include: 28″, 53″, 55″ and 64″ wide plotters. PlotterDepot also offers the Eco plotter.
Cutting paint protection patterns by hand from bulk film can be very tedious and time consuming. Having FilmCut software and a Workhorse-2 cutting plotter to cut the car patterns makes the process very efficient and much quicker than doing it all by hand. FilmCut also lets you adjust the patterns if you want to add a little extra or remove a little bit. And you can cut various patterns at the same time to utilize the maximum amount of PPF & vinyl. For example, if you are cutting off a 60″ roll of Paint Protection Film laminate and have a hood to cut, you can also add on a few mirrors to utilize the entire width of the product.
Adding a plotter to your shop will increase your productivity so that you can spend your time with the installation process and be more efficient.