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Plotting Advice

Self-Serve Plotting

Self-serve options are available for three media types. 36" plain bond and 36" heavyweight bond are available 24x7 on the HP800 plotters outside the Media Center in the south hallway. 36" mylar is available for self-serve overnight plotting after the Media Center is closed. These plotters remain inside the Media Center – self-serve jobs are plotted unattended overnight and available shortly after the Media Center re-opens. Jobs can be sent and paid at any time. Jobs sent to the 24x7 plotter will begin printing immediately after payment; jobs sent to the overnight plotters will display "Ready" after payment and begin plotting as soon as the overnight plotting period for that day begins (normally within 1-2 hours after closing).

The following plotter selection is available on any College lab computer and the "Send" station outside the Media Center:

  • A&A MC - Bond - 36" HP800 Hallway the 24x7 plain bond plotter
  • A&A MC - Heavy Bond - 36" Hallway the 24x7 heavy bond plotter* temporarily unavailable
  • A&A MC - Mylar - 36" HPT1120 overnight mylar plotting

Once sent, the job will appear in the Release Station queue. To reduce confusion, the plotter names on the Release Station will show the media type for the job. As above, jobs can be sent at any time and paid for and released at any time -- they will plot when their destination plotter is available.

Self-serve jobs are not refundable.

Below are a few commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers.

Q: "What do I do if my print doesn't come out and the MC is closed?"
A:  Please email mediacenter@umich.edu if this happens. Do not try to repair the problem on your own. Self-serve printing being a top priority will ensure that we will do everything possible to rectify the issue as soon as possible--generally first thing in the morning when we open. Emailing us with this info alerts us to the complication and allows us to hop on it as quickly as we can. It is helpful to include the following information: which printer you are trying to use, the name of your file, roughly what time this occurred and what occurred--even if it's nothing. If this happens during regular business hours please come alert staff as soon as possible. 

Q: "Can I load my own paper if I'm self-serve plotting?"
A:  No. You should NOT open the printer or remove the MC loaded paper. Opening the printer or pressing the buttons on the panel can cause all print jobs to stop on that printer. Supplied papers should be approved by MC staff prior to dropoff to ensure the media is compatible with our machines. All supplied paper large format jobs should be printed through our dropoff process inside the Media Center. 

Q: "Can I combine copy cards on one print job?"
A:  No. You cannot use 2 copy cards to run one job. 

Q: "If I have multiple copy cards with balances on them, can I combine them?" 
A:  Yes. You can consolidate balances of multiple copy cards onto one card as long as the combined balance is still under the $50 cap of what the copy card can hold. You would bring these to the cash register and ask the cashier for assistance.

Document Specifications

When dropping off a file for printing, please make sure your Adobe Acrobat file is scaled to the size you'd like it to print. To check your file, open it in Adobe Acrobat and hover your cursor over the lower left-hand corner. The file dimensions should pop right up.

Job Submission

Files are accepted for printing during normal operating hours via removable media such as USB/Flash drive or CD. We do not accept external Hard Drives or SD cards for file submission. You can download a job ticket from this site, or we also have them printed out for your use. You would fill one out, including your contact information, file name, and printing specifications. Tape your USB drive containing your file to your job ticket and drop them into the provided wire basket for processing. 

File Format

Using a generic file format (TIFF, JPEG, Acrobat/PDF) can also help avoid problems opening your files.

Preflight Your Files

Please be sure to check your file in advance for errors and include all linked files and or fonts used in your document. A good way to do this is to open the file on a different computer to make sure all necessary information was copied to the disk. Missing fonts and files can reduce image quality, cause portions of the document not to print, or cause font substitution errors. If we encounter errors, we will not print the file until you resolve the problems.

The more prepared your files are, the faster we can print them!