Home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Plotting on Campus

Plotting is available on campus to provide large format printing for projects and class. Below is a list of available plotters on campus. (Please note that not all labs are open to all students)

Architecture and DesignCAD Lab AD CAD - Basement
Architecture and DesignPOD Lab AD POD - Top Floor
Hayward HallIndustrial Design Lab 012
Hayward HallGraphics Labs 100, 104, 108, 110, 103
Smith HouseLandscape and Architecture 109
Seed CenterDesign Lab 108


Plotting Guidelines

Philadelphia University faculty, staff, and Non-Architecture and Design student will have to pay the standard $.99 per square foot to print to the plotter.

Money for plotting can be added to your Campus Card by clicking here. Funds will be deducted from your campus card when printing.

Additionally, Philadelphia University does not provide paper for plotters; however, plotter paper can be purchased from the Philadelphia University Bookstore.

Philadelphia University Architecture and Design students are allotted 50 square feet of free plotting for each enrolled semester. (Fall (September), Spring (January), and Summer (May)).

After the 50 square feet are depleted then Architecture and Design students must pay the standard $.99 per square foot to print.


Detailed Plotting Guide

When printing images from Illustrator, Photoshop, or any image editor that is NOT AutoCAD, it’s important to reduce file-size as much as possible.

Steps to avoid unnecessarily large files:

1. There is no need to design your images at a DPI higher than 160. The printed image will not look any different, nor suffer a quality loss if your image is printed at 800 DPI or 120 DPI. Editing an image at 800 DPI (or another high DPI) is unnecessary because the printer nor your eye will distinguish it from a file with a resolution of 120 DPI. It will slow down your computer and just cause headaches.

Steps to reduce file size on export, and generally make plotting smoother:

1. File -> Save As… -> PDF (Photoshop PDF, Illustrator PDF…)

2. This does NOT flatten your image – you will greatly reduce file-size further by: a. Uncheck “Preserve Editing Capabilities” b. Uncheck “Layers” These may seem like innocuous check-boxes, but they reduce file size DRAMATICALLY. Even removing editing capabilities can take a file from 650 MB to 20 MB.

3. Be sure to click the Compression tab on the left, and then tell the file to use Bicubic Downsampling to reduce any file larger than 120 DPI – TO 120 DPI. This will guarantee the proper DPI to keep your file small!

Remember, your digital file must travel from the computer, to the Pharos print server, to the plotter. The larger your file, the longer it will take to transfer, and the longer it will take for the plotter to process. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your plot files under 50 MB. And remember, even if your file IS under 50 MB, if the resolution is higher than 120 DPI, the plotter will take a very long time to process the image. Their internal computer always expands your data to its maximum DPI.

Please click here to download our plotting guide. For a visual guide on how to print please download this PDF. It will visually describe how to transform a document into a PDF that will work with the Plotters. This is also detailed above in the guidelines.


For further assistance, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 215-951-4648 or by Email at HelpDesk@PhilaU.edu