The toughest thing for a beginner to learn is to judge the quality of their
output as it appears on the screen rather than on a paper plot. However, when
you are able to view a drawing on the computer screen and identify your
mistakes or scale problems, you will not necessarily need a plotter.
I have not owned or had a plotter in my office for over three years. When I
am ready to plot - I email the plt file to my local printer who creates blue
lines directly from my plt file or will create a vellum if I request it.
I determined that I don't produce enough plots each month to cover the cost
of the plotter and materials (printer cartridges and paper). I set up an
account for my clients (or use their existing accounts) to bill repro work
and essentially eliminate it from my expenses. If contractors need bid sets,
we give the blueprinter special instructions to produce the sets and charge
the contractor for anything more than the first set.
I've been doing this for over three years (without a plotter in the office)
and have not had any complaints about the quality of the package.
I realize that this is not the best advice for a novice - who should consider
a deskjet type plotter in the cost of setting up a cad office. This is
invaluable in the first few years of doing cad work as you learn to associate
what appears on the screen and what comes out of the plotter.
In a message dated 6/21/99 12:02:57 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< The cost of a Cad system must always include a plotter. Simple plotters
fairly cheap. If you have a fast computer (350 Mhz or higher) with a lot of
ram (128 MB, or more) you can always configure your plot "in computer" and
is not too bad. However, if you really start producing Cad drawings you
want to look into an HP1050. They are not cheap, but they limit the time
computer is tied up with "in computer" conversation with the plotter. >>