Plotter Printing

plotter printing

Information Technology Services has two production-quality HP T7200 plotters that Northeastern students, faculty and staff may use. Located near the Digital Media Commons (DMC) on the second floor of Snell Library in room 268, large-format plotter printing is a managed service, staffed by ITS Service Desk staff who are able to assist you with the printing process during defined hours of operation. Cost is determined by the size of the printout, and varies depending on the overall dimensions, color and quality of the plot; costs will be deducted directly from your Husky Dollar balance.

Access

Northeastern students, faculty and staff may use the large-format plotter printers.

The plotter printers are located in 268 Snell Library, near the Digital Media Commons (DMC). This is room will be unlocked and staffed by an ITS Service Desk staff member during scheduled hours (see hours below).

Plotter printers utilize Husky Dollars to print; they are not part of the Northeastern Printing Plan. Plotting costs will be directly deducted from your Husky Dollar balance. Funds added through myNEU via NUPay will be available in 24 hours. Funds added from the Student Accounts Office in Richards Hall are available immediately.

Get Started

Print jobs are sent from a Northeastern-managed Quick Print computer in 268 Snell Library that has the virtual printing software installed with the specific large-format print queues. Plotter print jobs can be sent to four different print queues:

  • Plotter_Grayscale_Draft
  • Plotter_Grayscale_Final
  • Plotter_Color_Draft
  • Plotter_Color_Final

Sample printouts of each combination are posted in 268 Snell Library.

The preferred file format for plotting is a vector or high-resolution PDF. The plotters are loaded with 36″ wide rolls of plain bond paper, so format the plot size and orientation accordingly.

Files should be either saved to an external disk or as an email attachment prior to arriving at 268 Snell Library. Practice good file best practices by using CMYK colors, and vector drawings when possible. Try to control the file size of the PDF, as larger files can take a long time to print. Make an effort to reduce file size when exporting a PDF file to be printed. You may download and review the original Adobe Illustrator file used to produce the test plots, for example to match and calibrate colors.

In 268 Snell Library, students, faculty and staff will have access to a Quick Print station. Open the file you wish to print and send it to one of the four large-format print queues. Once a print job has been sent, simply choose one of the swipe-to-print stations on top of the plotter printers, swipe your Husky Card at the card reader, and select your file and print.

Within the plotter room there is a cutting mat and a T-square available for use for those who wish to trim their plots. You must bring your own cutting tool(s), such as an X-acto knife.

Availability

The plotters are located in Snell Library’s Digital Media Commons (DMC) in 268 Snell Library, which is around the corner from the existing color and large-format printers in the DMC.

Costs are calculated by area and depend on quality and colorspace. Below is a list of cost by queue, including the cost of common sizes ARCH E (36”x48”) and ARCH D (24”x36”). The default paper size for all queues is ARCH D, no margins (24”x36”), but this can be manually changed to any size. NOTE: Be sure to check the preview to ensure the correct orientation and scaling options – if one dimension is larger than 36”, the plotter will scale down the PDF.

Plotter_Grayscale_Draft | $0.0029/in2
Good for linework, but some fine detail may be lost and solid tones may show banding.

  • 24”x36” will cost $2.51
  • 36”x48” will cost $5.01

Plotter_Grayscale_Final | $0.004/in2
Best for crisp linework, fine hatch patterns and solid gray tones.

  • 24”x36” will cost $3.46
  • 36”x48” will cost $6.91

Plotter_Color_Draft | $0.004/in2
Good for drawings with color highlights, however some renderings may look washed-out.

  • 24”x36” will cost $3.46
  • 36”x48” will cost $6.91

Plotter_Color_Final | $0.0052/in2
Produces a fully saturated plot for photos and renderings, but the final results can have odd color shifts.

  • 24”x36” will cost $4.49
  • 36”x48” will cost $8.98

Hours

Regular Semester Hours
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

268 Snell Library is monitored by the ITS Service Desk staff in Snell Library. Please seek out an ITS Service Desk Staff member for assistance. Hours are subject to change, and may vary during Finals Week.

Support

For assistance with plotter printing, contact the ITS computer lab staff or the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP).

FAQs

Plotter Printing – FAQs

How To

How To: Print a standard-size project to the ITS plotter printers

How To: Print a custom-size project to the ITS plotter printers

Updated March 2017