Analyzing a Wide Format Printer Purchase

Wide Format Printers – Salt Lake City Print Floor

Many of our customers have told us how they have gotten rid of their plotters or wide format printers after finding out about our printing services and prices. ¬†Depending how much wide format printing your construction, contracting, or architectural firm does, the ROI on¬†a wide format printer just might not add up… especially when compared to the low-cost and convenience of doing your printing with

Let’s take a look at some of the expenses you need to take into account when considering purchasing, or continuing to operate, a wide format printer:

Wide format printers come in a variety of brands and sizes. ¬†For most engineering and construction industry purposes a 36″ wide format printer is the most common¬†size. ¬†A 36″ wide printer can handle the¬†standard size architectural and engineering ANSI and ARCH print sizes. ¬†Such printers come in two types:¬†ink jet, and¬†toner. ¬†Toner printers have historically been the¬†most commonly used in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) industries because they print faster and handle large printing volumes better – great for black and white CAD drawings. ¬†Toner printers have traditionally had a longer lifespan of 6-10 years, while ink jets historically have only lasted 3 -5 years. ¬†This said, ink jet technology has improved significantly in recent years; making ink jet printing faster and less expensive. ¬†Machines like the new HP PageWide printer allow for color or black and white printing on the same machine. Wide Format toner printers generally cost anywhere¬†from about¬†$11,000 up to $65,000. ¬†The HP PageWide runs from about $25,000 for base model up. After the initial cost of purchase for a¬†wide format printer,¬†the next considerations are operating expenses, floor space, maintenance, and time spent on in-house print production. ¬†Toner cartridges and ink cartridges can be very expensive and it is important to carefully review these costs and the efficiencey of printers in consideration before purchase. ¬†Electricity and time are other important considerations. Most wide format printers have a 30 second or longer warm-up time, and can use a significant amount of electricity. ¬†Wide format printers have a number of moving parts not too mention hardware systems that can wear out over time or be compromised by viruses and IT security breaches. ¬†Final considerations are in-house time spent on print set-up, manning the machine, and floor space. ¬†These are all significant expenses that often tend to get overlooked.

We are confident that when¬†contracting, construction, architectural, and engineering firms carefully analyze all of the expenses associated with in-house wide format printing, and compare those costs with the prices for ordering their prints through, they will find that they just can’t beat our prices…. not to mention our convenience, speed, quality, or¬†expanding industry focused software services. ¬†We operate HP PageWides and top-of-the-line Oce printers in all our print facilities across the country. Our print floor teams have years of experience turning out quality monochrome and color prints quickly. ¬†Why not let us handle the printing, so that your business can remain lean and focused on building and design?

To help with a more detailed analysis of wide format printing costs we have compiled a few good resources on the subject.  To learn more follow the links below:

Oce’s “Nine Considerations When Buying a Large Format Printer”

“Wide-Format Printer Maintenance”

“Plotter Technology Comparison”

“Is it Worth Buying a Large Format Printer?”¬†(Geared toward photographers)

“So You Want a Large Format Printer”

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