How to add New Plot Devices

Free tutorial how to add New Plot Devices in AutoCAD

You can select installed plot devices to use on a Layout

(or the Model) when you use Page Setup

  • but you must have a *.pc3 file for the desired device before you

can select it as the device to plot to.

All *.pc3 files are stored in the AutoCAD2000\PLOTTERS folder by default & new pc3 files can be made with the Add-A-Plotter Wizard

  • you can open the Windows Control Panel and double-click on the Autodesk Plotter Manager to open this folder.
  • or you can use Plottermanager in AutoCAD instead.

The Add-A-Plotter Wizard has many options (beyond the scope of this module) but you must first choose one of three plotter types.

Select My Computer if your plotter is connected to your computer (not a network plotter) and it is not a Windows system printer.

  • this is similar to the second option where a Network Plotter Server is shared by several users connected on a network.
  • you will need an Autodesk HDI driver to use this type of device (whether it is installed on your computer or on the network).

If you already have a Windows system printer (e.g. a laser printer to make check prints) you can select System Printer.

  • then you can apply different default values to use for AutoCAD (compared to using this printer in other Windows applications).
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The objective is to eventually add a new pc3 file to the PLOTTERS folder or to configure your Windows system printer for AutoCAD.

If you distribute your drawings to others you should remember that they may NOT have the same pc3 plot device files on their systems.

  • they will get a warning when they use Page Setup on a layout if the pc3 file that was used last in the layout is not available.
  • to avoid this situation you can select None as the Plot Device on all layouts before you Save drawings for distribution.

You can control whether or not the page size in a layout should be kept when you change devices.

  • this setting is controlled by the PAPERUPDATE system variable and you can change it on the Plotting tab of Options
  • choose either Keep the layout paper size if possible or Use the plot device page size in the General plot options.
  • see AutoCAD Help for more information on PAPERUPDATE.

Devices can have unique printing areas for the same page size.

  • changing devices can result in your plots moving on the page.
  • parts of your drawing may even be clipped in final plots if you select a different device with a smaller printing area.
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