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Definition: drum plotter

A type of pen plotter that wraps the paper around a drum with a pin feed attachment. The drum turns to produce one direction of the plot, and the pens move to provide the other. The plotter was the first output device to print graphics and large engineering drawings. Using different colored pens, it could draw in color long before color inkjet printers became viable. Contrast with flatbed plotter.

The First Drum Plotter
In 1959, the CalComp Model 565 was the world's first drum plotter. It had one pen and could handle media up to 11" wide. (Image courtesy of CalComp, Inc.)