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Printers have come a long way since the early dot matrix models familiar to anyone over the age of 40. Today's printers create sharp, vivid graphics on a variety of media. Wide format photo printers, also known as large printers, are used to create posters, signage, banners, and many other large graphics. Sizes typically range between 18" and 60", though they may go as wide as 100". Super wide printers, also known as grand format, print on media wider than 100". Though you typically find wide format printers in professional copy shops, any organization that does high volume printing or has its own graphic design department may find it more cost-effective to house its own large printer. This includes sales offices, retailers, and architecture firms.
Benefits of Wide Format Printer
The biggest benefit of wide format may be the droplet technology used by these printers. The droplet technology system means that any pixel per square inch is indistinguishable. In other words, whether you print in normal, enhanced, or high-speed mode, you still get sharp, fine results.
This allows businesses to feel confident when printing company logos or photographs because, regardless of print sizes, the printouts will look professional, clean, and polished. With a wide format printer, distinguishing between graphics and text is simple, as both of these come out clearly, even when printed on a single sheet. Another advantage of wide format printers is that you don’t have to worry about running the print several times. Instead, the printer prints a large image to allow for a perfect fit in one go.
Large format printers also print on a wide variety of media. In addition to traditional paper prints, you can print crystal-clear images on vinyl, wood, glass, corrugated metal, fabric, and more.
Points to Consider before Buying Wide Format Printer
- Speed: Speed helps determine cost of the printer as well as quality of the prints, so consider your needs carefully. If the printer is too slow, it reduces productivity. If you need to get through a certain number of prints per hour and the printer can't handle it, you reduce quality. Consider a wide format printer with bidirectional printing control and four print heads because these can speed up the printing process.
- Printing options: What do you print the most? Whatever the size and media you print on, you obviously need a printer with those capabilities.
- Features: This includes borderless printing, built-in cutters, energy-saving mode, and USB ports.
- Size: You need adequate space for a large format printer, both to house the machine and offer ample room for operation.
Sample Prices of Wide Format Printer
Wide format printers cost significantly more than traditional printers, in terms of both cost and operation. That's why, unless their print needs are consistent, most organizations choose to use copy shops for their large print items.
Pricing also varies widely based on a number of factors. First, of course, is the manufacturer and model. Size also determines purchase and operating costs, so look for the smallest printer that adequately handles your needs. Next, the printer's speed plays a large role in price, with faster printers costing more. The printer's standard features also affect cost, as well as any extra features you choose. Finally, the ink type plays a role in price.
Even though large printer prices range from as low as $900 to over $12,000, following estimates should help you in budgeting.
- A wide format 17” Canon iPE510SKU printer costs ranges between $1,200 and $1,400.
- A 24” Canon iPF610SKU wide format printer costs $2,200 to $2,400.
- The HP Design Jet t120SKU wide format printer costs $1,200 to $1,400.
- A 44.02” HP Design Jet PostScript T1300SKU wide format printer averages $8,000 to $8,500.
- A 60” wide format printer, from any top brand, averages between $9,000 and $10,000.
- HP Office Jet 7000 wide format printer averages $1,200 to $1,500.
- The iPF670 by Canon, 24" CAD Printer averages $1,000 to $1,200.
- The imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 - 17" printer costs from $1,200 to $1,400.
- Canon iPF6400SE - 24" wide format printer can costs from $1,600 to $1,800.
- The iPF680 by Canon - 24" CAD printer costs from $2,000 to $2,200.
- The iPF610 - 24" CAD printer costs from $2,100 to $2,300. It can also be leased at a price of $60 to $80 per month.
- Canon imagePROGRAF PRO 2000 24" wide format printer with a PF 10 print head can, high capacity ink tanks, and a 320 GB hard drive costs from $2,600 to $2,800.