Difference B/w Flatbed and Drum Plotters

If you want to learn about plotters, its types, and the major differences between flatbed and drum plotter. Then you are at the right point. Let’s begin to read it.


A plotter is an output device that is used to generate high-quality graphics images in a variation of colors. Plotters are also used to create and produce maps, architectural drawings, graphs, and charts. A plotter performs his work by drawing lines on paper using pens mounted in a mechanical arm.

Types of plotters

Two important types of plotters are as follows:

  • Flatbed plotter
  • Drum plotter

Flatbed plotter


The flatbed plotter is also an important type of plotter that is used to create or draw multi-color images. It holds pens for sketching images. A table like surface is used to place the paper. Software instructs the pens to go down on the paper. The pen then moves on the paper for designing and creating images. Most flatbed plotters hold one or more pens with a variety of diverse colors and widths.

Drum plotter


Drum plotter uses a rotating drum or cylinder. The drawing pens are fixed on the drum.  When the drum rotates, the pens move to the left and right. This movement draws the desired image.

Furthermore, the benefit of drum plotter is that the length of the plot is almost infinite. In order to draw very lengthy images, the roll paper can be used. The width of the image based on the width of the drum.

The major differences between Flatbed and Drum Plotter are as follows:

Flatbed PlotterDrum Plotter
It is used to draw images to a limited lengthIt is used to draw images with almost unlimited length
Flatbed plotter uses a table like surface to draw imagesDrum plotter uses a rotating drum or cylinder to draw images
It uses one or more pens with different colorsIt uses more than one pens with multiple colors
A mechanical arm is used to hold pensPens are mounted on the drum
Movement of pens depends on the software instructionMovement of pens depends on the movement of the drum or cylinder
The flatbed plotter is less costly than drum plotterThe drum plotter is more costly than the flatbed plotter


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