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Who uses a plotter and which one
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-01 12:35 PM (#59816)
Subject: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
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Location: Near Houston TX
Hi all: DH and I are going over to Austin tomorrow to pick up a printer he won on eBay and while we are there we will visit the Plotter Store. I know there have been discussions on plotters here but I cannot find them so I am obligated to ask for the compound wisdom of those who have and use plotters. So, which plotter do you use, do you like the way it prints PMB patterns, where do you get the paper and any other pearls of wisdom you can share. I have wanted a plotter for a long time and now it appears I may have the opportunity. Thanks
Beverly A.
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Welmoed
Posted 2009-12-01 12:44 PM (#59817 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Elite Veteran

Posts: 954
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
I am absolutely in love with my plotter. It's an HP 650-C, and prints on rolls up to 36" wide. I get my paper from Freedom Paper (www.freedompaper.com); the prices are great. I got 4 rolls of 36" wide bond and 4 rolls of 24" bond for a little over $100.

My real concern is ink; this model is obsolete and finding good cartridges for it is tricky. I'm probably going to have to resort to a refilling company. But so far I haven't used a lot of ink, mostly because I always print in "draft" mode, which uses half the ink.

I don't have any problems printing to it from WG programs. It took a bit of sleuthing to figure out the settings, but now that it's all set up, it's easy.

It has made printing out patterns easy, but it unfortunately doesn't print out the extra time required to sew all these projects. Still, when I was doing the DreamGirls costumes, it was a godsend.

--Welmoed
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rowena___.
Posted 2009-12-01 3:25 PM (#59819 - in reply to #59817)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



20001000500100100100
Location: music city, USA
i had an HP plotter at work, i can't remember the exact model number but it was on the 500's.  it used 36"-42" rolls.  i don't remember about the ink but we always got the cartridges online with no problem.  

use the lightest paper you can find, print in draft mode and all black when possible.

if yours will allow it, set it to trim right after the print rather than a specific length.



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rosemary
Posted 2009-12-01 4:06 PM (#59822 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Certified Educator

Posts: 509
500
Location: Houston, TX
I have an HP designjet 500 and also get rolls - 24" wide - from freedom paper - the 16lb translucent bond I think it's called.
No problems - a great luxury and timesaver. Most everything I print fits on 24" so joining is rarely necessary. Good luck - I hope you find what you want.
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-03 6:51 PM (#59846 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
50010025
Location: Near Houston TX
Thanks to those who replied. We bought a HP 650C. I don't have it yet, they are refurbishing it and it will probably arrive on Monday. BTW, Welmoed, if you are having trouble finding the ink, the place where I bought my plotter can get your ink. If you are interested I can send you their e-mail addy.
Beverly A.
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Welmoed
Posted 2009-12-04 11:39 AM (#59869 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Elite Veteran

Posts: 954
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
I'd appreciate that, Beverly!
My husband had to do some refurbing on our printer, including replacing the LCD screen, but otherwise it's been great.
--Welmoed
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-05 7:41 PM (#59909 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
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Location: Near Houston TX
Hi Welmoed: The name of the business where we are buying the plotter is: Plotter Pro. www.plotterpro.com
DH went on line to look at prices of ink. He seems to think that you can get the ink cheaper at the fill-it-yourself places, and that stands to reason. I won't have this concern for a while but it is good to know that the ink is available one way or the other. The owner of the business is also setting up the plotter for networking and will install DH's ip address. Apparently that is a bit tricky. I know I can get the paper from him also but from the comments here, it sounds like it can be obtained elsewhere much cheaper. That, also, won't be a concern for a while as he is giving me two additional rolls, one 24" and the other 36" along with the roll already in the machine.
Beverly A.
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Welmoed
Posted 2009-12-05 8:16 PM (#59910 - in reply to #59909)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Elite Veteran

Posts: 954
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Ours is set up as a network printer as well, so all the computers in the house have access to it. I was lucky that it included the network card; those are costly.

The only problem with having a plotter is it's so much easier to print out patterns that I find I'm printing out more than I can possibly sew in a reasonable amount of time. But it sure is fun!!

Enjoy your new toy!

--Welmoed
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-05 8:22 PM (#59911 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
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Location: Near Houston TX
Well, you will have the patterns ready when the urge strikes! I have several saved and ready to print but since my printer is being stubborn, I don't have any printed up even when the urge does strike.
Beverly A.
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cindysews
Posted 2009-12-06 10:37 AM (#59917 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Elite Veteran

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Location: Florida
Do these older refurbished plotters have drivers for Windows 7(or Vista even)? This is an interesting thought....maybe down the road, it sure would be nice to be able to print out patterns without piecing them all together. What is a ballpark figure for picking up one of these refurbished units?
Thanks!
Cindy
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-06 3:33 PM (#59934 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
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Location: Near Houston TX
We are paying $795 + tax and shipping for a refurbished HP650C. Check out eBay. That is how DH found the place I mentioned in my message to Welmoed. New they can cost $2,000 and above depending on the model. I'm sure others here can add to what I've said. I see you live in Florida but you might email the place I bought mine to see what he has and if it is worthwhile to you. If you care to telephone him: Geno Muto 512-382-5912 fax 877-382-7568 Again, they are in Austin, Texas
Beverly A.
PS: I'll have to ask DH about the drivers. I don't use Windows7 as yet although he is threatening to build me a new computer and it will have 7 on it.

Edited by Beverly A. 2009-12-06 3:36 PM
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-22 7:39 PM (#60178 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
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Location: Near Houston TX
Plotter has arrived and been put into service. DH decided to put 36" paper in first but I am having problems with setting up to print as economically as possible with that size. I know I can rotate 90 degrees to try to fit the pieces in but somehow things don't quite work out. What setting for paper size do you all use for 24" and 36" to get the "best" use of the paper.
Cindy: go here to read about your question. Google: plotter drivers windows 7. The first result has this reply: Installing Older "Unsupported" Large Format HP Printers on W7 x64? - Oct 8, 2009 DH also says there is a driver available but it is expensive.
Thanks.
Beverly A.
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Welmoed
Posted 2009-12-22 9:24 PM (#60180 - in reply to #60178)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one



Elite Veteran

Posts: 954
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Cindy, I found mine on Craigslist for $250; it needed a $300 part, so total cost was $550.

Beverly, I tend to use the 36" wide paper and set the length to just a little over what my longest piece is. I print from PE, which allows me to merge patterns if I'm printing more than one, for more efficient printing.

Another hint: the paper is much sturdier than regular 20# bond, so try this: print small pieces like facings and pockets within larger pieces, like skirts. You can then cut the small piece out of the large piece, leaving a hole, but the large piece will still maintain its shape and won't distort.

My husband downloaded a driver from the web, which allows me to set the paper size and print quality (I almost always print in draft mode to save ink). If you want, I can look up the settings I use. He set it all up for me; it's a bit fiddly but once it was set up it works very easily.

--Welmoed
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Beverly A.
Posted 2009-12-23 6:27 PM (#60195 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Elite Veteran

Posts: 631
50010025
Location: Near Houston TX
Welmoed: Thanks for the reply. Yes, I would like to know about the driver you mentioned. Thanks
Beverly A.
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NancyM
Posted 2010-01-08 2:50 PM (#60501 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


Extreme Veteran

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My truly ancient refurbed DesignJet (am at work & don't remember model number) uses only 24" rolls. I have set up several custom paper sizes. The sizes I use most often are Arch D (36" long) for tunic-length tops, 30" for most tops, and 48" for most pants. I almost always mirror front and back pattern pieces and collars in PE so I don't have to cut things on fold (hate cutting knits & slippery fabrics on fold), and it usually takes me two 30" x 24" sheets for a sleeveless top, three for one with long sleeves. I do save paper patterns--there are a few that I've made six or more times. When I need to make minor modifications (e.g., new sleeve), I reopen the style, modify as needed, save the new pattern, merge it into the original version, and delete all but the modified sections of the garment, then print only those sections. Sometimes I can get a new collar or cuff onto legal size paper (one or two sheets) & avoid using the plotter for the new sections--which is good, because I haven't been able to figure out how to create a custom paper size shorter than 24".

Nancy

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CarlasInspirations
Posted 2010-12-29 2:49 PM (#71705 - in reply to #59816)
Subject: RE: Who uses a plotter and which one


I am interested in buying a plotter to make patterns especially since I want to use PMB to create dresses mostly and who wants to tape together enough sheets of paper to make a skirt. I liked the links present but has there been anyone else that uses a plotter more recently than 2009?
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