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Tool Plotter.jpeg
Manufacturer HP
Model DesignJet 600
AKA {{{aka}}}
Location Blue Room
Team Craft & Textiles
Induction Required No
Booking {{{booking}}}
Status Defunct
Tools:   all pageslistPower ToolsBroken tools     {{}}

This page is about the HP DesignJet 600 plotter.

HP DesignJet 600

Roll-fed 600dpi plotter using (original) DeskJet Black Ink cartridge printheads.

The standard memory installed in this plotter is 4MB, upgradeable to 20MB to enable larger / more complex plots to be printed.

Serial and Parallel interface connected to the Embroidery PC (GLaDOS) using a short pll cable with a usb adaptor.

Switching on

Before switching on, make sure that the paper roll is in place, positioned against the right-hand alignment mark, and not torn so as to prevent the printhead from moving.

Switch on, button at the left-hand side. The button detent is broken, but it can be held in by sliding the shim of wood tied around the housing over the switch. The printer will go through an extensive self-test routine, which includes sweeping back and forth across the paper to see how wide it is.

When ready, the display will say so.


There is a driver installed under Linux on the Embroidery PC.

Note Note: Windows only has 32bit drivers available, so if you want to print from your own laptop, good luck! :)

Alternatively, the plotter will run on either 32 or 64 bit XP (the last Windows OS that supports the plotter) using AutoCad 2000 which can be downloaded from as an ISO file. You will need to run Plotter Wizard and manually find the DesignJet 600 drivers built into the software. Once you have run Plotter Wizard plug your laptop into the USB to 32 pin cable at the back of the plotter, XP should automatically detect a DesignJet 600 or if it doesn't run Windows printer wizard and manually select the device from the built in list. However, I have found that AutoCad 2000 won't accept PDFs a workaround is to convert files to PDF and print directly to the plotter from these avoiding the need to use AutoCad.


The DesignJet 600 takes a pair of ink-cartridge / printheads, type HP26 (or equivalent). A supply of remanufactured ones is currently available (in the green shopping back, under the plotter).


Printing is possible from a .PDF file under Linux on the Embroidery PC. No changes to settings from the printer's own control panel are necessary.

There are probably more printer settings that need to be checked when printing on a device like this, where the paper size is not obvious. The paper roll is A0 (841mm) width, to check that this is the current selection when the print dialog is opened from the application that you want to print from.

The only other option to check is under printer / advanced options, where there is an option to 'print as bitmap image'. This should not be selected, as it slows down transmission of the data increasing the possibility of errors (e.g. an A4 document printed at 400%, which was the test piece, requires the transmission of 210MB of data in 'bitmap image' mode, compared with under 2MB otherwise using the plotters internal intelligence.

After a job is completed, the plotter waits for over a minute (see the display) for the ink to dry before cutting the paper (this is for when transparency film is being printed). Do not try and manually feed or cut the paper during this time - it will take you longer than this to re-load and align the paper once more.


The printer now has a JetDirect card installed and has been assigned the IP on the space's network. Ensure plotter is switched on and has ethernet connection plugged in.


A spindle needs to be fabricated to keep the paper roll from drifting in position.  

Links and references