When choosing paper for your plotter there are a few questions you need to ask. What are you printing? What are the different types of paper? What type of quality do you want to achieve? How long do you intend on keeping the print for? What size is your print spindle or what size core do you require? What width is my plotter? What is the maximum diameter of the roll I can fit on my plotter.
These are important things you must consider when you buy plotter paper. This guide will assist in answering these questions.
What are you printing?When choosing a paper you have to know what you are printing. There is no point using high end heavyweight coated paper or satin photo paper on a draft. When choosing a plotter paper know what you are printing and at what stage of the print run you are. Only use your good expensive paper on final drafts and end printing. Use cheaper bond paper on drafting and setting up your plotter.
What are the different types of plotter paper?Here is a list of the main papers you will use on your plotter.
Bond Paper - The most common paper used on a plotter. This is the cheapest paper available and starts from around $22 per roll. This is used for drafting and low quality print. It is basically the same type of paper you have in your desktop printer. It is usually around 80gsm - 90gsm. A standard roll of bond paper is 50 meters in length. it also comes in 100 meter and 150 meter rolls.
Coated Paper - Coated paper is bond paper that has been coated. It comes in different grades and quicknesses. Standard coated paper is around 100gsm and can go as high as 180gsm and starts around $60 per roll. This would be used for printing presentations where you want to have a slightly better print quality than bond paper. It is usually starts at around 30 meters per roll. Coated paper can come as standard coated paper, heavyweight coated paper and super heavyweight paper.
Satin Paper - Satin paper is great for printing photos. It is not as glossy as a glossy photo paper and not as matte as a matte photo paper. Its finish is somewhere in the middle. It starts at around 130gsm and starts at around $90 per roll. As mentioned previously it is great for printing photos, graphics and posters. The satin finish gives you a high quality print and is used for all types of graphic reproductions.
Photo Paper - Photo photo paper is used for photo reproduction and comes in 2 finishes. The finish can be glossy which will give you a nice shine off the photo, or matte photo paper which will give you no shine. Both Canon and HP make great photo paper. It starts at around 130gsm and can be as tick as 280gsm. The cost starts at around $80 per roll for the cheaper photo paper. As mentioned previously it is great for photo reproduction and posters.
Canvas - Canvas is used for very high end graphics reproduction. Canvas is very thick and is manufactured to keep for long term. Canvas is better printed on with pigment inks as the print is less likely to fade. It starts at around 230gsm. The cost starts around $200 per roll for the cheaper canvas. Canvas can be as expensive as $400 per roll.
Film - Film is used when you want to shine a light behind the print. It is usually displayed in a lightbox in venues. It is a specialised product with very specific applications. The cost starts at around $150 per roll. Canvas can be as expensive as $400 per roll.
What kind of quality do I want to achieve?When printing for the first time it is a common mistake for operators to print on the paper they want the finished product to look like. Setting up and getting a print correct is best done on the cheapest paper possible. Once a print is ready then use your good paper for a final draft. Don't waste your good quality paper on drafting.
How long do you intend on keeping the print for?The longer you intend of keeping a print the better quality paper you will need. Plans can be folded up and put away and unfolded and passed around between people frequently. Using a standard bond paper for this will shorten the amount of times this can be done. If you intend of handling the paper a lot then a thicker grade paper should be used.
The same can be said for photo reproduction. As canvas is quite thick is will last a very long time. For posters a high quality thick coated paper is ideal.
What size is your print spindle or what size core do you require?Spindles usually come in 2 sizes, 2 inch (51mm) and 3 inch (76mm). Be careful to choose the correct size core. The more paper on the roll the bigger the core needs to be. Anything over 100 meters generally needs to be on a 3 inch core as a 2 inch core would crush under the pressure of the paper. Tammex has both 2 inch plotter paper and 3 inch plotter paper.
What width is my plotter?You will need to know the width of your plotter before buying plotter paper. Most sizes start at around 12 Inch (297mm) and go up to around 60 Inch (1524mm). Below are the most common sizes you will find for plotter paper.
• 297mm - A3
• 420mm - A3
• 594mm - A1
• 610mm - A1
• 707mm - B1
• 841mm - A0
• 914mm - A0
• 1067mm - B0
What is the maximum diameter of the roll I can fit on my plotter?You will need to check the maximum diameter of paper that will fit in your plotter. This can be determined by measuring from the spindle to the most nearest obstruction. Generally a roll of 150 meter bond paper has a diameter of around 155mm. If your spindles allow for it a 2 inch core of 50 meter bond paper will fit on all plotters.
If you need more help choosing a plotter paper please call our experts on 1300 722 341 and they can assist.