gday guys can you please tell me what a plotter does and do I need one ? sounds a dumd question but I can get one on ebay for around 350 dollars how big a size can it print ect,will it save cutting out details for lettering cos I hate siting there with a scalpel for hours doin that.any help would be good thanks
Well lettering as you guessed, logo design masks, stencils, all kinds of things. Almost an airbrushers best friend, especially when working on metal. Program the plotter to cut, save the set up, and it cuts the same repeatedly. Great for heavy masking jobs where you may need 3-4 of the same mask.

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size depends on the size of the plotter, many can cut to full width and up to 48" long or more.

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A plotter can cut out shapes (letters), you need vector images for this though (images that contain the data the plotter needs to know where to cut). For most common logo's these can be found on the internet and there is software (coreldraw a.o.) which can be used to make your own designs (letters you can just type).

The height it can plot depends on the size of the plotter (for that price I gues 75cm-1 mrt) the length depends on the length of the roll of meaterial you use :)

Few words of caution when buying one online:
-These things generaly are not plug and play make sure the needed software is also there.
-Some plotters only plot drawings made with a program that comes along with the plotter. These generaly have only the basic functions enabled and you need to pay (generaly not cheap $350+) to upgrade them.
-A lot of plotters you find for sale online are there because the manufacturer didn't update their software to work on newer windows versions (generaly they only run in xp)

I personaly would only buy one online after having seen it working or getting somekind of guarantee.
Well last week i bought myself a Cameo Silhouette, despite off warnings, sorry Haasje. ;) I must say the amount of details it cuts, and the plug and pray software worked perfect, it's amazing. No i'm not from Tell sell. ;) I'm very happy with the results and don't regret it. But a certain level of skills in Photoshop and illustrator is necessary in my opinion.
Hey! I found one of those Silhouettes on Craigies and they want 100 smacks for it. Is it worth it? Hey Di, can u post some of the results?

Lines n Dotz, Lines n Dotz!!!
The plotter you speak of is really a vinyl cutting plotter. There are plotters that do not cut but only print. An example might be a plotter used to make blueprints. They are pretty sophisticated devices and have a wide range of cost and use. The more you pay, the better the motors, accuracy, capability, cutting force etc. I have a KNK Maxx Air 24" vinyl cutter which cost about $1,200 but it can do a LOT more than the inexpensive ones like a Silhouette.

I think for airbrushing the chief use is to cut frisket or stencil for masking. Here is a page with some of the things that a good vinyl cutter can cut. This should suggest some of the many uses for these machines.
Hi I have a Graphtec 5000-40 which can cut upto 15in wide by 20 or so feet long. Price 1,200.00 Plus it has a pen that you can put in the blade carrier and trace with it. The Cameo is made by Graphtec and it is more of a craft and hobby cutter but can do a great job as well and it comes with its own software. My self I would not buy a used Cameo I would pay the extra and by new and a warrenty as well. Just my opinon.
Awesome. I might pick it up but I will say that I've been burned on Craigies b4.

Lines n Dotz, Lines n Dotz!!!
Do any of you use your cutters to make pounces? We use to do it all the time. You had a special carries that had a spikey wheel, turned down the speed and lifted the pressure. But that machine had a rubber roller that the material ran on. All jobs that were bigger then the vinyl, we made a pounce for, applied application tape to the sign, pounced out the letters and cut them out by hand and then spray painted it in. Those jobs tought me a lot of how to cut and have a steady hand.