Large Format Printer

There are many reasons you may need to use a large format printer. These may include producing tradeshow graphics, signs and banners, fine art, architectural drawings or any specific application that requires you to print big items. Large format printers are often referred to as wide format printers as well. They are no different from a standard home office printer and will output text and images directly onto paper or indeed other materials such as fabrics or plastic. You will find that your typical office printer will generally print sheets that are 11″ x 17″ or smaller. However a large format printer can output pages up to a maximum of 104 inches in width.

You will find that large format printers are also offered by the same manufacturers who produce normal printers for use in the office or at home. Amongst the most popular are Canon, Lexmark, HP and Epsom. Large format printers will usually come as an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Inkjet printers are proving to be more popular however both forms of technology have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. The price you can expect to pay for a large format printer will very much depend on the size, features, quality and the actual usage.

If you are looking to print fine art photography or perhaps even graphic posters, banners or signs, you will find that a large format inkjet printer will produce exceptional image and colour quality. However architectural and engineering drawings will be far better suited to the black and white capabilities of LED or large format laser printers.

The majority of large format printers will print 24 inches to 60 inches however the 72 inch variety is becoming far more common nowadays. You can load the machine with either individual sheets or roll paper. As mentioned there are certain large format printers, such as the HP Designjet 10000, which can produce prints of up to 104 inches. You would do well to remember though, the larger the size of print required, the more money you can expect to pay.

Typically most large format inkjet printers will use 6 to 8 ink cartridges. This will enable you to replace each colour individually. This may seem like a great money saving idea, but unfortunately replacement ink cartridges can be extremely expensive. Your costs will also depend very much on the type of ink that you decide to use. Amongst the most expensive are water-based inks. These are well known for providing exceptional coverage for indoor graphics and art prints. You may opt for the less expensive solvent inks which work very well with vinyl-based printing and outdoor signage.

In order to purchase a large format printer you can expect as part with a fair bit of money. If you are simply looking for an entry-level unit this will typically retail somewhere from $800-$1000. However if you are looking for a top of the range, quality, industrial machine you can expect to pay as much as $10,000. You are also able to purchase high quality mid-range large format printers which will retail in the region of $2500-$5000. You must always remember that you will have to foot the continuing costs of maintenance, ink and paper.

When you purchase a large format printer you should thoroughly check all the necessary drivers and software, which are often referred to as a RIP. This is to ensure that your new large format printer will work with the rest of your equipment. Also take some time to check whether it has any special features such as built-in paper cutters or even support for numerous paper sizes.

If you are in the market for a large format printer one of the first decisions that you will need to make is to consider the actual person who will be operating the printer. It is important to remember that not every large format printer has the ability to be networked and if this is something that is important to you, please check with the vendor first. Another important consideration is that if you are aware that the use of a large format printer will become far more important to you as an individual or a business in the future, then you should purchase a model that can handle the specific usage in the years to come. A large format printer can be considered an essential purchase for many businesses however you are now aware that they are fairly expensive. Therefore it is essential that you make the right decision prior to purchasing.

This Large Format Printer Review is Written/Updated on Sep 26th, 2011 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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