Why choose CSDS for your Plotter purchase?

As one of the country’s largest dealers of large-format printers, CSDS has been helping AEC professionals find the best solutions for their printing workflows for over 30 years. Our Printing & Imaging specialists assist you in finding affordable solutions that meet your specific business needs.

CSDS is a DesignJet “Graphics Specialist Design” Partner, signifying our unique specialty in the sale and support of large-format printers. As an Authorized HP Platinum Supplies Partner, all HP media, inkjet cartridges, toner and printer accessories purchased from CSDS are genuine HP products.

With the CSDS price guarantee, we will match any authorized HP dealer’s price on current printer models with the same level of service. Contact our store for details.

Printing Specialists

Our Printing & Imaging division has experienced professionals to provide you with all the facts you need to make smart decisions.

Installation & Training

Our HP-certified technicians have years of hands-on experience in providing installation and training for your large-format printers.

Ink & Paper Supplies

Your ink and paper supplies are available same-day or next-day from our 3 California store locations and online at store.csdsinc.com.

Service & Tech Support

CSDS Technical Support and
HP-authorized on-site service is available Mon-Fri, 7AM-5PM PST at  916-344-0232 ext 100.

Our 3 California store locations provide on-time delivery for plotters, ink, paper and more.

Visit one of our stores near you in:

Service only locations:

  • San Jose, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Santa Rosa, CA
Store Locations v4

What is a Plotter?

In the past, “plotters” specifically referred to devices that drew lines on paper with the use of pens. Today, pens are no longer used since they’ve been replaced by electronic printheads that can print any color and line width.

The term “plotter” is now commonly used in the printing industry to refer to printers that can produce prints that are greater than 12 inches in width, also known as large-format printers. Technical printers are large-format printers that are used by AEC professionals in order to print Construction plans and CAD drawings. Graphic printers are large-format printers used primarily by Marketing professionals for point of sale posters, or photographers and artists for Fine Art & Graphics printing.

Plotters help companies increase printing efficiency and effectiveness by producing high-quality images at fast speeds, economical prices, providing wireless connectivity and enabling users to print directly from a thumb drive without the need to connect to a computer.

CSDS represents two HP DesignJet printer series known as the T-series and Z-series, where the “T” stands for technical printers which are optimized for speed and line quality, and the “Z” represents the Graphic and Fine Art printers which are optimized for images and high-quality artwork. We also carry other categories of large-format printers, including Latex Printers, and HP PageWide XL printers. Our large-format printers range in width from 24 to 64 inches.

The HP DesignJet T2600 36″ MFP:
The latest workhorse model from HP

How much do Plotters cost?

Plotters can cost as little as $1,200 for consumer grade models belonging to the HP DesignJet T100 printer series. However, CSDS typically sells more professional-grade models which range in price from $2,695 at the low end for an HP DesignJet T830 24″ MFP up to $54,999 for the high-production HP PageWide XL 8000.

What’s best for you will largely depend on your peak printing volumes, your printing applications and your budget.

With the CSDS price guarantee, we will match any authorized HP dealer’s price on current printer models with the same level of service. Contact our store for details.

For more in-depth advice on how to choose the best printer model for your specific workflow, get in touch with us.

The HP DesignJet T830 24″ MFP:
The most compact large-format MFP

How much does the shipping cost for a plotter?

Shipping charges are included in the final price for online plotter sales. California customers receive complimentary delivery, hardware set-up and basic device training on most plotters by CSDS factory-trained and authorized service technicians.

How long is the shipping time for a plotter?

Typical shipping time is 1-3 days. Installation time may vary.

How much tax do you charge for plotters?

We don’t charge any sales tax on online plotter sales, except for California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Do you provide installation for plotters?

Yes. California customers receive complimentary delivery, hardware set-up and basic device training on most plotters, by CSDS factory-trained and authorized service technicians. Installation for all other models is available for a nominal fee. See store for complete listing of models.

What are the common sizes of Plotters?

Large-format printers typically start at 24 inches in printing width (much larger than the standard 8.5″ x 11″ office copier page). Although our products can reach up to 64 inches in width, other common sizes include 36 inch, 44 inch and 60 inch.

The world’s fastest large-format printer is the HP PageWide XL 8000, which can print media up to 40 inches wide at 30 D (24″ x 36″) prints per minute! To learn more, watch the video below:

The HP PageWide XL 8000:
The fastest large-format printer in the world

What types of Plotters are available?

Each category of large-format printer has its advantages and disadvantages based on your specific application.

Here are the benefits of the large-format printers that we carry:


Technical Printers

Technical printers are ideal for AEC applications that require high-accuracy lines and low cost of operation, such as CAD drawings, Construction plans and complex schematics.

Since they’re primarily made for the A/E/C community (Architectural/Engineering/Construction), technical printers are often designed to be fast and efficient with fine line quality, sharp detail and high-resolution.

HP DesignJet XL 3600 HP DesignJet T1600 HP DesignJet T730
Print Speed 180 D prints/hr 180 D prints/hr 84 D prints/hr
Print Volume 2,500 sq ft per month 1,500 sq ft per month 450 sq ft per month
Print Resolution 2400 x 1200 dpi 2400 x 1200 dpi 2400 x 1200 dpi
Media Width 36″ 36″ 36″
Cost of Operation Low Medium High
Integrated Scanner Yes No No
Color Printing Yes Yes Yes
Number of Rolls 2 1 or 2 1


Graphic & Photo Printers

Photo printers are great for art applications that require vibrant colors, a large color gamut, and photo-realistic images. This includes art prints, professional photography, point of purchase graphics, posters, renderings and more.


Latex Printers

Latex printers are for applications that require durability and weather-resistance, such as outdoor banners and signage.


HP PageWide XL Printers

The HP PageWide XL printer series is for high-volume applications that require speed and productivity.

How to choose the best Plotter?

With the wide variety of printers on the market and a vast array of features to choose from, it’s not always easy to determine which large-format printer is best for you. To get you started, below are a few key factors to consider:

  1. PostScript or Non-PostScript?
  2. How is communication handled in your organization?
  3. Do you print technical or graphics?
  4. What type of medias do you print on?
  5. Who will provide your printer support?
  6. What is your printing volume?
  7. What percentage of your ink usage is done in color?

To have one of our Printing Specialists assist you in making an informed decision, please fill out the form below:

Choose my Plotter2

What are my options for buying Plotters?

At CSDS, we offer six main options when placing a plotter in your office:


#1) Facilities Management (FM) – “Low cost, no hassle.”

This option resembles a rental agreement, in which you pay a monthly fee based on your printing square footage. It includes the printer, all paper, all ink and the service contract, all for one manageable “cost per print.” Although you don’t own the printer, you still get the full use of it until the end of the rental term. This is a great option for companies that are constantly upgrading their equipment (say every 3-5 years) in order to get the latest and greatest features. It’s also useful for those that are looking for an expense (as opposed to an asset) on their accounting books. Another major benefit is that you don’t have a large expenditure to acquire the equipment.

This means that even if buying a brand new printer isn’t in your budget, you’re still able to get the job done. One additional benefit of this option: if your printer goes down, service is included for free. Learn more here.


#2) All Inclusive (AI) – “High-productivity, no hassle.”

The AI is similar to option #1, except you own the machine. With this option, you buy the plotter and then buy an AI contract to cover the cost of service, paper and supplies. This is a great option for large corporations that have high print volumes but don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of handling their own ink and media purchases or dealing with service contracts and maintenance issues. Instead of of paying a fixed monthly fee, you’re only charged by the copy or by the click. This program can be added to your existing plotters at any time.

Benefits of the Facilities Management and All Inclusive options

The key benefit of these two purchasing options is that they allow you to pay by the print or “click” so that you only pay for the actual printing you do as opposed to paying for supplies like ink and paper that may go unused or expire while sitting on your shelf. They also provide you with hassle-free methods to keep your printing assets in working order. They operate based on pay-per-print plans, and our computerized control system tracks your usage by product to generate reports for your accounting department. Supply replenishment is done automatically.


#3) Buy Used – “Maximum affordability.”

This option is ideal for new companies who have very limited budgets and immediate printing needs. This option prioritizes affordability over all other considerations. All used products sold by CSDS have undergone a thorough refurbishment and come with 90-day warranties.


#4) Buy New – “High productivity”

This is a great option for companies with decent budgets that want the reliability of a new printer along with total control over their printer activities, from the ink and media supplies to the service and beyond. You own the printer, including a 1-year warranty.

Benefits of Buying New or Buying Used

One benefit of these two options is that companies with the budget to afford them are able to take advantage of the Section 179* tax benefits available from buying or leasing them.

*Consult your tax professional.


#5) Leasing

Why lease machinery instead of buying?

Leasing machinery using a “true lease” (10% buyout or FMV*) allows you to deduct all of your payments from your taxes for the full length of your lease contract. It is a great tax write-off, but please talk to your tax professional to get the whole picture as tax laws change frequently.

We’re currently offering to place the new HP DesignJet T1600 PS printer with customers on a “cost-per-copy” basis for just $99/month.
Additionally, the HP T2600 PS model is available for $199/month. Contact our store for details.

What’s the difference between a $1 and a 10% buy out lease?

At the end of the 10% buy out lease, you’re given the opportunity to either purchase the machinery or end the lease. (The leasing company will take possession and sell it to someone, and you are free to purchase a new piece of equipment). Each payment that you make on a 10% buyout lease is a deduction on your taxes. Plus, when you make your 10% purchase at the end of the lease, you get to claim depreciation deductions*. (See your tax professional for changes to this year’s tax laws.)

At the end of a $1 buyout lease, you simply give the leasing company $1 and the equipment is yours. This is an excellent way to purchase, with the only drawback being the tax deduction: you’re only allowed to make a one-time tax deduction because this is not considered a “true lease.” According to the tax laws, it’s a “direct purchase.”
*Consult your tax professional.

*What’s a Fair Market Value Lease (FMV)?

A Fair Market Value Lease (FMV) lease, also called a True Lease, is a lease where the federal income tax incentives (including depreciation) related to the equipment are retained by the owner (the lessor) and passed on to the user (the lessee) in the form of lower lease payments. The purchase option in a True Lease at maturity is usually stated at Fair Market Value (what the used machine is currently selling for in the open market).

Benefits of Leasing

What makes leasing a great option is the low upfront cost and the option to buy. There’s also lots of flexibility with this option, such as12, 24, 36, 48, or 60 months terms. This option helps give small companies a more affordable option to access some of the more expensive plotters, while also providing tax benefits.


#6) Trade-ins

You may qualify for trade-in credit on your old plotters that are 24” or wider, working or not! Contact us for details.

What features are available for Plotters?

Multi-function Printing

Plotters come in different forms, which gives you many features to choose from for your specific printing needs. To begin with, there’s the common large-format printer which is a simple, single-function option that’s capable of printing and nothing more.

Additionally, there’s the option to choose a more complete solution known as the multi-function printer (MFP) which is capable of printing, copying, scanning and sharing files. This option is more expensive due to the additional technology and capabilities that are included.

Despite the higher cost, MFPs still make up 85% of all printers sold today. If you want to enhance your workflow by sharing documents more efficiently, this added functionality could be the key to improving the way you communicate with your co-workers and other professionals outside of your workplace.

Adobe PostScript Software

Another standard feature that’s available for many plotters is the Adobe PostScript software. Since most applications use a mixture of vector and raster images, the complexity involved may cause certain details to go missing from printed documents. In these cases, the Adobe Postscript driver and an HP DesignJet printer with the embedded Adobe Postscript 3 RIP is recommended to get the best printing results.

Nearly all HP DesignJet printers that have the embedded Adobe PostScript 3 RIP offer the ability to queue and print PDFs without ever opening the file. For example, you could print ten different PDF files without ever having to use the driver. This can be a huge time-saver in an office where PDF files are frequently shared and printed.

Additionally, PostScript ensures that your printing results will be similar across computer and printer platforms and the PostScript 3 RIP enables your HP DesignJet MFPs to scan documents to the PDF file format. Since most HP DesignJet printers cannot be later upgraded to PostScript capabilities, the decision to add PostScript capabilities must be made at the time of purchase.

Software programs that use Plotters to print designs

Plotters are often used by AEC and GIS professionals in order to print out their designs from software programs.

Some of the most commonly used programs are made by Autodesk and ESRI:

  • Revit: a building information modeling (BIM) software for architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers and contractors. The software allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model’s database. Revit is 4D BIM capable, with tools to plan and track various stages in the building’s lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition.
  • AutoCAD: a computer-aided design (CAD) software application used across a wide range of industries by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, town planners and many other professionals.
  • ESRI: an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. ArcGIS refers to ESRI’s suite of GIS software products, which operate on desktop, server, and mobile platforms. ArcGIS also includes developer products and web services.

Plotter software applications

ESRI software

HP Software Solutions for Plotters

HP’s large-format plotters may include several convenient software solutions including:

  • HP Click
  • HP Smart app for mobile
  • HP SmartTracker (optional)
  • HP Mobile

HP Click
software simplifies your printing workflow:

  • Free up your time with radically simple and fast batch PDF printing: Use a drag and drop interface to submit multiple jobs in any order. Resize and rotate drawings before printing.
  • Using HP Click along with an intuitive touchscreen provides features such as automatic nesting, manual rotation and real-time previews.
  • Gain reassurance that the print will turn out as you expect with one-click printing.

HP SmartTracker
software is a powerful, consolidated data tracking and reporting software that helps you analyze your printing costs and enables reimbursement.

  • The Accounting tab – Tracks every job that goes through the device and assign costs to it. The information can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Cost Assignment configuration – Allows you to add your hard costs or what you’d like your reimbursable amounts to be. This is great for billing your clients if you have billable print jobs.
  • ROI tracking software – Calculate your return on investment.

HP Mobile
printing saves time and makes it easy to access and print large-format documents from multiple devices including your tablet, smartphone, laptop or printer touchscreen:

  1. Select your device (choose the operating system that your device is running on)
  2. Connect your device to the printer network
  3. Choose your printer and print settings

The HP Smart app helps you easily print and share jobs from the cloud on your smartphone:

  1. Download the app to your phone
  2. Access photos and print from your phone
  3. Scan files with your phone’s camera and share them
  4. Order ink directly from within the app
  5. Enable fast, easy printing with simple Wi-Fi setup from your phone

HP printing software may also provide other features such as the ability to:

  • Instantly create and print professional looking posters with HP Poster App
  • Set palette and pen settings for CAD (computer-aided design) workflows
  • Print directly from Word, Excel or PowerPoint with the Microsoft Office plug-in
  • Operate in the cloud

What are the options for Plotter supplies?

Paper Options

Plotter supplies

Since CAD professionals aren’t usually concerned with graphic-quality prints, they often use the inexpensive 20 pound “check plot” paper when they want to check their plans before discarding them.

In cases where they want to present their plans to a customer, they usually use 24 pound bond since it makes their prints look nicer and provides crisper lines than plans printed on 20 pound bond. CSDS also offers a huge selection of high-quality media in numerous sizes.


When CAD plans need to last for use in county or state records, they’re printed using matte black which is a “true color” pigment-based India ink. This means that it won’t fade, making it suitable for archival and able to last up to 200 years.

In the case of temporary prints, the other ink colors are used. Unlike matte black, they’re dye-based and contain water, which means they will fade faster in the sunlight. Despite this disadvantage, these inks are better for the color gamut and also cheaper per click.

Free Delivery on local orders over $50

When you place an order in our web store, you get Free Delivery* if your total is at least $50 and your shipping zip code is within 30 miles of one of our 3 California store locations.

*A fuel surcharge may be applied to your order. Contact us for details.

Plotter Protection

Whenever you buy an expensive piece of equipment, a warranty should be considered to protect your investment. Not only are you protecting the physical product, you’re maximizing your ROI by ensuring your company’s continued productivity.

Each of our new plotters comes with a 1-year warranty that can be extended within the first 180 days after purchase.

Additional 3 and 5 year extended warranties are available. CSDS customers in California also receive one complimentary Preventive Maintenance (PM) service during the year by our in-house, factory-trained and authorized service technicians. Service outside of California is provided by HP or its affiliates.

If you decide to get a warranty after that period, you’ll have to buy a Post Warranty on a year-to-year basis, which can be a slightly more expensive option.

The benefits of Extended and Post Warranties include:

  • parts, labor and travel expenses are included
  • you receive priority service (next business day)
  • you receive Preventative Maintenance to protect printer functionality
  • next day air on parts at no charge

Not only do Post Warranties cover all of the previously mentioned benefits, but they also protect you from the hidden expenses of downtime, which could reach thousands of dollars.

Without the priority service that the Post Warranty provides, it could take longer for technicians to arrive and inspect your plotter. If you need replacement parts, shipping times could force you to outsource your printing, which could cost thousands more.

Our Post Warranty coverage entitles you to reduced rates on our reprographic services, giving you an affordable option for printing while your plotter is being repaired.

Finally, the Preventative Maintenance that comes with Post Warranties ensures that your plotter is ready when you are by checking the printing and ink systems, the scanner function, image quality, printer cleanliness and performance, firmware status and more.

All of these factors combined will all but guarantee that you don’t have any preventable issues with your plotter, so that you can have peace of mind knowing that everything will work as it should.

How the World’s most secure Plotters protect your Data

hp printer security

HP Cybersecurity Defenses

Security threats target every level of your device, including:

  • hardware
  • firmware
  • software
  • manageability infrastructure



The most secure component of your system is the hardware, which is why it’s been the foundation of HP security since 2014.

HP Endpoint Security Controller

Enables self-healing, manageable solutions that are independent of the BIOS and tamper-resistant. This extends hardware-enforced protection into the Operating System, building a chain of trust. The end result is cyber-resilient protection against unexpected attacks, including malware of the future.



Device security starts with the BIOS, which is the first million lines of code that run when you turn on your device.

Once the BIOS gets corrupted, the hackers “own” your plotter and all other protection is useless. Antivirus, anti-malware, and OS firewalls will not detect an infected BIOS!

HP Sure Start Gen4

The only self-healing BIOS, which defends against firmware attack and disrupts malware persistence, preventing an attack after a reboot.

Run-Time Intrusion Detection allows only HP code to run, preventing malicious code from executing.


The Operating System

HP Sure Run

Provides self-healing protection to your Operating System by restarting the device automatically if malware disables your firewall or anti-virus software.

HP Sure Recover

Restores devices to the latest OS image, protecting you from malware and allowing you to recover from a blank or wiped hard drive.

HP Sure Click

Secure browsing solution that keeps web malware from breaking in and infecting your device– just close the browser tab, and the malware is gone!


Visual Hacking

91% of visual hacking attempts are successful and that 52% of sensitive information is visually hacked.

HP has a solution:

HP Sure View Gen2

  • The world’s only integrated PC privacy screen
  • Protects against visual hacking at a 45 degree angle, allowing you to work freely in public spaces without looking over your shoulder


Manageability Infrastructure

HP Multi-Factor Authenticate Gen2

  • fingerprint
  • password
  • optional facial recognition: login with a look

HP Device Access Manager

Allows you to control who is authorized to access files and programs by limiting access to drives and ports.

HP Image Assistant

Allows you to compare your HP factory image to your corporate image in order to uncover the latest drivers, components, and BIOS updates.

HP Manageability Integration Kit Gen2

The first-ever certified Microsoft SCCM plug-in. It allows you to enforce company security policies with ease.

The kit includes image creation, security management, and BIOS management capabilities to help ensure that every device stays protected.

Ten Facts about HP Printing and Sustainability

HP Sustainable Impact Report HP has been a pioneer in engineering ink and toner cartridges with recycled content. Working with Planet Partners over the last 27 years, the company has enabled customers in over 60 countries to recycle HP ink and toner cartridges for free.

HP continues to support a circular economy with its consumer and business products, recently reinventing its printer suite to include closed-loop recycled plastics, with HP ENVY and Tango printers comprised of 30% closed-loop recycled plastics.

The company will build a new plastic bottle washing line in Haiti that will allow it to convert locally collected waste into recycled material for use in HP products. This investment continues HP’s longstanding commitment to diverting ocean-bound plastic and contributing to a lower-carbon, circular economy. For more information on HP’s sustainable workplace study and its commitments to the environment, please visit the press kit here.

In March 2019, month the company pledged to make every page printed forest positive, carbon neutral and part of a circular economy with innovation that helps protect the world’s forests, reduces carbon emissions and uses more recycled materials.

Here are ten highlights of HP’s sustainability achievements so far:

hp sustainability

  1. HP was one of the first 65 companies to have their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
  2. Since 2000, HP has utilized more than 199 million pounds of recycled plastic in 3.9B HP Original ink and toner cartridges – even diverting 716,000 pounds of plastic from reaching the ocean (the equivalent of more than 25 million plastic bottles) and re-purposing it into HP cartridges.
  3. A decade ago, HP became the first IT company to publish a forestry policy: the HP Environmentally Preferable Paper Policy.
  4. In 2016, HP achieved 100% zero deforestation associated with HP-branded paper, nearly two years ahead of schedule– marking a milestone towards the company’s vision for a forest positive future. They also reached 65% of their zero deforestation goal for paper-based product packaging through 2018.
  5. Two years ago, HP introduced the first HP Original ink cartridges made with plastic bottles sourced from Haiti. To further advance its commitment to a circular economy and more sustainable supplies, HP also announced a $2 million investment to expand its ocean-bound plastic supply chain.
  6. Last year, HP reduced their packaging material by 2,000 tonnes, which avoided production of 6,500 tonnes of CO2, saved $9.3 million and made use of 15,500 tonnes.
  7. HP received the 2019 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for computing, printing and imaging technologies that deliver energy efficiency every day.
  8. HP R&D teams invest up to five years engineering each new generation of toner and ink cartridges to deliver quality printing: 100% of toner cartridges and 80% of ink cartridges contain recycled content.
  9. HP’s vision is to deliver carbon neutral offerings; HP customers have reported a 33% annual reduction in carbon emissions, energy consumption, and cost per device with HP’s Managed Print Services.
  10. HP has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on forest protection, restoration and management.

Contact CSDS today for more information about Plotters

If you think that a large-format printer might help your business become more organized, efficient, and cost-effective, we can show you the best practices to follow for optimal results.

Can’t afford to pay for your plotter up front? Don’t hesitate, leasing is available! Contact us now to learn more about other payment options.

Call CSDS at 800-243-1414 to ask a question, request a quote, or receive a product demonstration. One of our Printing & Imaging specialists will be in touch to share their expert opinion on which solutions will work best for your company’s needs.

For more information on the topics mentioned above, please send an email to solutions@csdsinc.com.