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Please note that use of SOA Technology Lab Services including equipment checkout, printing, plotting, and digital fabrication is restricted members of the SOA community (faculty, staff, and students).

The Technology Lab has 6 plotters and 6 paper types (please see Materials Costs for more information), which can accommodate prints up to 36” wide (4mm margin) with varying lengths up to 300ft*. For best results, please submit all files as Flattened PDFs** and panel larger prints into several plot files.  

Please note:

  • *Plots over 72" are not advised and will not be refunded nor reprinted for free.
  • **Plots submitted in any format aside from Flattened PDF are not eligible for refunds. 
  • Plots on plain paper that are full-bleed or have significant ink-filled areas (see below) on the edges will become over saturated, causing the paper to tear. Plots like this are not advised on plain paper and will not be refunded nor reprinted for free.
     
  • Plots are submitted to the QUEUES on HOLD by default, and will begin printing based on when they are submitted to the online system, NOT based on when they are released at the Technology Desk.
  • Make sure you have flattened your PDF and the file you're submitting is an optimized file.
  • You must see a Technology Desk staff member to release your job to the plotters, and the charges will then appear on your What I Owe page.
  • Plotting through the https://plot.soa.utexas.edu webpage is possible from anywhere with a connection to the internet and with a connection to the UT VPN.


 
How to Submit a File (ON Campus & OFF Campus)

  1. ON CAMPUS:
    1. Using ONLY Firefox on either the Mac or PC, access our plotter server through the following link and log-in using your EID credentials.
      1.  https://plot.soa.utexas.edu
  2. OFF CAMPUS:
    1. Make a secure connection to the UT VPN, using your EID credentials, by visiting https://vpn.utexas.edu   
      1. Details for connecting your computer to the UT VPN:  https://www.utexas.edu/its/vpn/

2.  Click the green “Add” button and upload your PDF file.


3.  After file has loaded, more information about the file will appear to the right.  Ensure that the size of the file is correct and that at least one side is less than 36”.  

4.  Select the paper type Queue in the drop down menu.

5.  Click the green button with the arrow in the bottom right to finish submission.

6. Monitor your plot submission by choosing the green "Job Monitor" button to the upper right.

How to Release a File

Stop by the Service Desk to ask us to release your prints to the plotter.  Any plots not retrieved by Friday at 6PM will be recycled.

Plotting Tips

Need to print a large PDF file? Optimize it to shrink the file size, which will get your print through the queue faster and with fewer problems.

If you want to print from Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, DON'T DO IT! Instead, save the file as a PDF, open it in Acrobat Pro, optimize it, and print from Acrobat Pro. This controls the file size and provides a way to reduce printing errors such as rotated and cut-off prints.

Step 1. Open your PDF in Acrobat Pro. Click Advanced, PDF Optimizer.

Step 2. Change "Make compatible with" to "Acrobat 7.0 and later"

[Note: people with Acrobat 6.0 and earlier won't be able to open your file if you send it to them.]

Step 3. Click Images on the left. Change the two Quality settings to "High".

[Note: in some cases you may need to choose Maximum quality to better preserve image quality; however, the trade off is usually a much larger file size and a longer print time.]

Step 4. Click Discard Objects on the left. Make sure everything is checked

Step 5. Click Discard User Data on the left. Make sure everything is checked

Step 6. Click Clean Up on the left. Make sure everything is checked

Step 7. Click OK. Choose a location to save your optimized file. Don't save over your original filename, in case you need to go back and adjust settings. Add the word "opt" to your file name so you know it's been optimized (example: elevation-opt.pdf). Now print the new PDF.

Note: Printing your PDF file as a new PDF file, resolves most common issues.

 

Plotting Sheets of Vellum

You can plot a sheet of vellum to use for classes or studio. In order to have the sheet print, put a period, dash, or other unobtrusive mark in the top left and bottom left corners of your desired file size.