HP 7470

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The HP 7470 was a small low-cost desktop pen plotter introduced by Hewlett Packard's San Diego division in 1982.[1] It was the first small-format plot that moved the paper, rather than the pens.[2] It used a revolutionary "grit wheel" design which moved the paper held in place by a wheel with embedded grit and a pinch roller.

The HP 7470 had two pens, one on either side and plotted on ANSI A (8.5 x 11 inch) or A4-sized paper.[3] It was much less expensive than the previous flatbed design. It was very heavy but had 4 pens. The HP 7475 used a rotating carousel with six pens. That plotter was used in greeting card kiosks. This design was also scaled up for very large pen plotters. These were driven by the HP-GL plotter language which used ASCII commands such as PA 300, 4500;PD;. The plotter had three electrical interfaces: HP-IB, RS-232, and HP-IL for HP handheld calculators.

Pen plotters became obsolete with the adoption of ink-jet printers, and processors fast enough to rasterize complex images. Houston Instrument and other manufacturers would follow with similar plotters.


  1. ^ "HP 7470". HP Computer Museum. Retrieved Feb 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ "HP 7470A Plotter - Computing History". www.computinghistory.org.uk. Centre for Computing History. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  3. ^ Rosch, Winn L. (1983). Two Computerized Draftsmen. PC Mag, Ziff Davis, Inc. pp. 288–308. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 

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