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The best wide-format printers are more powerful than traditional desktop printers. They can print detailed images, create outdoor signs and print on fabrics. The best choice offers a variety of print sizes, high print resolutions and fast printing without the need for too much office space or piles of cash. We checked two dozen models from six different manufacturers to determine the best wide format printers that meet the needs of various small businesses.
Without stand: 38 x 20 x 9 inches
When trying to find the best wide format printers for small businesses, it is difficult to accept the fact that most top models are behemoths worth thousands of dollars. However, when we discovered Epson SureColor T2170, we were shocked by its simple plug-and-play compatibility, reasonable footprint, and the same reasonable price of well under US$1,000, making it any wish to add a wide format An excellent choice for small businesses to print capabilities into their arsenal.
As the wide format printer that can attract the widest range of small businesses, Epson SureColor T2170 has an attractive price point. Although the suggested retail price of most similar machines is above US$1,000, the SureColor T2170 can be purchased directly from the manufacturer for US$749. In fact, most retailers who sell wide-format printers list this machine at the same price, which is more in line with high-end multifunction printers in terms of out-of-pocket costs.
Seeing that this is one of the most affordable machines in our research, we are not surprised to learn that Epson does not provide leasing options for small businesses with tight capital. Other retailers offer promotional financing options for the machines, but if the balance is not paid in full, these options usually have specific deadlines and threats of interest.
One of the other main characteristics of wide-format printers is their large size. The larger the print format, naturally, the larger the machine must be to accommodate it. The T2170 has a maximum printing width of 24 inches and is small in size. It can be placed on a dedicated desktop or a dedicated stand without taking up too much space in the office.
According to Epson, the T2170 is 38 x 20 x 9 inches without printer stand, and 38 x 28 x 36 inches with printer stand. Of course, a machine with a stand is also heavier than a machine without a stand, weighing 84 pounds or 60 pounds, respectively.
According to Epson, the core of the T2170 is an inkjet printer with variable ink drop technology, which means it can "produce up to three different [ink drop] sizes per line." This flexibility in how it applies ink allows for more detailed printing. The T2170 supports standard-capacity ink cartridges—50 ml for black and 26 ml for color—the replacement cost of each color ink cartridge is US$25.95, and the replacement cost of black is US$43.95. At the same time, the high-capacity ink cartridges provide 50 ml of each color and 80 ml of black ink, at a price of US$43.95 and US$59.95, respectively.
The T2170 can output completed print jobs at a maximum resolution of 2,400 x 1,200 dots per inch (dpi). In draft mode, its printing speed is 325 square feet per hour, but Epson estimates that it can complete a 22 x 34 inch drawing in 43 seconds. Like most printers, the T2170 has a natural duty cycle and can print up to 833 A1 pages (594 x 841 mm) per month.
Although most of these specifications are good for the overall performance of the machine, we noticed that the machine does not have any type of hard disk or memory storage, and we have not received any information about the machine's processor.
Some features of T2170 increase its overall functionality. Its feature set may match its relatively low price tag, but its slim packaging still brings quite a few surprises.
Relying on the simple setup process of the printer, Epson estimates that it will take 30 minutes for the average user to take the machine out of the box until it is ready to print out high-quality prints. One of the reasons is the intuitive 4.3-inch LCD color touch screen, which adds a smartphone-style control scheme to the already easy-to-use wide-format printer.
When printing, the T2170 utilizes what Epson calls the PrecisionCore MicroTFP print head, which can provide "precise droplet control." According to the company, this feature provides "excellent clarity, as well as the commercial-grade reliability of nozzle verification technology." If the prints use Canon's UltraChrome XD2, users can expect pigment inks to "produce durable, quick-drying prints."
We also found that what is impressive is that the T2170 can accommodate paper rolls up to 24 inches wide and paper up to 11 x 17 inches through the automatic document feeder of this model.
The SuperSpeed USB connection of the T2170 is compatible with the Fast USB 3.0 specification. In addition, this model supports wireless LAN connection via 802.11 b/g/n connection, which powers the machine’s Wi-Fi Direct function. For companies that prefer to run broadband connections over physical cables, the T2170 supports wired Internet connections through its 1000BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 10BASE-T Ethernet ports. When connected to the Internet, the printer uses advanced network security and encryption to protect your files and network from external intrusions.
Epson provides a standard one-year warranty, including on-site repair (usually the next business day after request) or replacement of the whole machine. In addition to the standard maintenance plan, the company also offers Preferred Plus Premium Service, which adds a two-year warranty at a higher price. Other support packages provided by the manufacturer can provide up to five years of support for the printer.
In addition to maintenance services, Epson operates a toll-free telephone support hotline from Monday to Friday. The company's website also has a rich knowledge base that can help users find solutions to problems at the same time.
The HP DesignJet T830 is our best wide format printer choice for detailed applications. The 36-inch model of T830 has a line accuracy of 0.1% and a print resolution of 2,400 dpi. It is an economical choice for users who need a machine that can provide a variety of complex printing from ultra-precision blueprints to complex. Photos and prints.
Canon Colorado 1650 provides tremendous versatility in large format printers. Due to its technological advancement and the use of UVgel technology, Colorado 1650 provides flexible printing, you can fold and move without affecting the image. The prints it produces using UVgel technology are one of the many reasons why we believe the Colorado 1650 is the best large-format printer for outdoor signage.
Although the price varies from dealer to dealer, the price of the Colorado 1650 ranges from US$60,000 to US$70,000. Unless your business can afford the one-time purchase cost, leasing may be a better option.
This printer is one of the most expensive printers we have reviewed. However, considering its size and versatility, the price is reasonable. Its ability to produce large, durable outdoor prints is unparalleled in the industry, making it the most expensive choice.
The Colorado 1650 measures 119 x 43 x 52 inches and 1,631 pounds, making it a behemoth. If you are a small business that occasionally prints outdoor signs, this printer is not for you. If you are a medium-sized company that wants to print a large number of outdoor signs, size and price are not that important. The printer may require its own room or occupy a large portion of the room where you place it. Due to its size, it can print photos up to 64 inches.
Colorado 1650 uses UVgel 460 ink with a printing resolution of up to 1,800 dpi. The 1 liter bottle of printed matter uses the standard CMYK color scheme. The printer uses ultraviolet light to produce an instant drying effect at low temperatures. According to Canon's website, UVgel technology can help solve some problems, including controlling ink dots.
The printer uses UVgel print heads-two for each color. The roll width on the printer is up to 64 inches, the printing margin is 0.21 inch, and the roll weight is up to 110 pounds. This is a very heavy printer, and many materials are also heavy. The setup process definitely requires several people, so printers with certain materials may be used.
Colorado 1650 has six different printing speeds:
Colorado 1650 is designed for efficient use of ink and can print quickly on such a large machine. Waterproof printing is very suitable for making eye-catching outdoor signs. The short wait for printed matter is a reward for companies that want to produce a large number of outdoor signs. Matte printing is another selling point of the printer: these colors allow you to create outdoor signs that look stylish regardless of the weather.
According to Canon's website, FLXfinish technology allows you to print on different materials and different colors. Thanks to this technology, Colorado 1650 can print on porous and uncoated materials.
For maintenance, the printer will automatically monitor itself and continuously look for nozzle failures through its PAINT function. When it detects errors, the printer can automatically repair them within a few seconds. This keeps the printer moving without unnecessary idle time. Thanks to its automatic maintenance system, the machine is more reliable.
In terms of software, Colorado 1650 supports several different types of raster image processors (RIP). According to the Canon website, it supports APIs from ONYX Thrive, Caldera, and third-party RIP vendors.
You can refill the printer's ink during the printing process to increase its overall efficiency-if you pay for a printer of this size, you want it to work as efficiently as possible. The automation function also helps to improve the efficiency of the printer.
Most of the maintenance is automatic, and there is also an automatic media feed. For small and medium enterprises, not having to continuously monitor printers is a huge asset. Employees can work on other items while waiting to print without having to pay close attention to the printer to fix errors.
After the initial purchase, the printer’s efficient ink usage and automation will keep future costs at a fairly low level. For large format printers of this size, Colorado 1650 does a good job of reducing variable costs.
The versatility of the Colorado 1650 also makes it one of the top wide format printers on the market. It can print on several different materials, including self-adhesive vinyl, polyester textiles and paper. This makes it an ideal printer for outdoor signage because you can print on different materials using a durable color scheme.
Given its size and price point, this printer makes sense for medium-sized companies that want to create a large number of outdoor signs. Companies hoping to hold regular events and/or make outdoor banners can benefit from this printer. It is reliable and consistent, and can produce high-quality prints on a regular basis. The ability to print on different materials is a rare asset in the printer industry.
In our research, we found that many large format printers can create prints for indoor use. It is difficult to find a wide-format printer with a print effect suitable for outdoor use, but the Colorado 1650 meets the requirements.
If you encounter printer problems, Canon will provide good customer service options. If you have any questions, you can submit a service request online, send an email, or call a customer service representative. They responded quickly and fully.
The printer comes with a one-year limited warranty, which is the standard warranty for Canon large format printers and other printers in the industry.
Roland Texart XT-640 dye sublimation printer is our best choice for fabric printing. This large format printer can print any prints from 10.2 to 64 inches wide, and its versatility makes it the industry's first choice.
The printed matter can be transferred to clothing or merchandise. The printer's versatility and dye sublimation transfer make XT-640 an excellent choice for companies that print large quantities of goods or clothing.
As expected, this large printer is expensive. The purchase cost is US$29,995 and the lease fee is US$600 per month for a period of 60 months. Depending on where you bought it from, the lease terms may vary.
Price and features keep standard small businesses working in the office out of the customer base, but clothing stores, Etsy stores, and businesses that produce large quantities of goods should consider using Texart XT-640.
The Texart XT-640 measures 111.7 x 32.7 x 65 inches and 471.8 pounds, which is the larger side of existing wide-format printers. It can print at a speed of 1,098 square feet per hour, which is approximately 18.3 square feet per minute. (This is the maximum speed of the printer-not all printing requires such a short time.) It supports media up to 110 lbs.
The printer uses Texart ink and comes in four-color and eight-color packaging. The multiple colors listed below can help the printer produce eye-catching fabrics and clothing materials:
By using so many different colors, especially fluorescent colors, XT-640 produces jaw-dropping prints. These prints are very suitable for transfer to fabrics, because different colors create gorgeous patterns on clothing and merchandise. Most of the printers we research do not offer the same variety of colors as this Roland model. By adding fluorescent, orange, and violet colors, you can create unusually bright and vibrant prints.
The maximum resolution of this printer is a respectable 1,440 dpi. This is not the highest resolution printer we have seen on the market, but it is sufficient for printing clothing. This type of printer does not require the same resolution or accuracy as a printer designed for map making or line drawings.
To save power, the printer has a setting that allows it to turn off automatically. This is helpful if you plan to use the printer intermittently. The printer does need about 5-20 minutes of warm-up time after turning on, so turning the machine on and off may cause some delays in the production process.
When ordering the printer, you will receive a stand, power cord, media holder, media holder, RIP software, separation knife replacement blade, and manual. This is a set of standard items received with the printer order.
Roland Texart XT-640 is specially designed for sublimation transfer printing. Unsurprisingly, this is where it excels. If you want to use dye sublimation and transfer these prints to commodities or different fabrics, then this printer is a good choice.
Sublimation printing requires the use of transfer paper. By printing the design or color on special transfer paper, you can move the design to the desired fabric. This process usually involves heat transfer, because sublimation inks rely on heat to produce the desired color. Your initial print may not accurately reflect the eye-catching colors in the final product, because the thermal transfer of transfer paper and fabric will bring out these colors.
Compared to using other printers, transfer can make the entire printing process more complicated, but creating a colorful design on fabric usually requires more difficulty. With XT-640, the extra work is worth the end result.
We think this is the best wide-format printer for fabric printing, because you can transfer your design to items such as sportswear, soft logos, and even sofa cushions. The versatility of fabric printing makes it an excellent choice for anyone producing clothing, merchandise or furniture designs.
The printer uses dual print heads and seven ink drop technology, both of which are designed to speed up the production process while ensuring efficient and effective color creation. With this printer, you can get high-quality prints in time.
Seven dot sizes-you won't find it in many printers-help the XT-640 create detailed prints with amazing color displays. Whether you are making a sweatshirt or a product, being able to transfer bright colors to different fabrics is a big advantage. Taking into account the excellent color gamut of the printer, using multiple dot sizes to display different colors is a wise decision of Roland, which helps XT-640 generate high-quality graphics images.
The unique feature of this printer is its four-ink and eight-ink modes. If you are in a hurry, you can use the four-ink mode to quickly print out more basic prints. This mode of automatic batch ink change system is especially worth mentioning: after a pack of ink is used up, the printer will automatically change to new ink to keep the printing process running quickly. If you want more details and colors and don't mind waiting longer, the eight-ink mode will be more effective.
Printer Assistant for iPad is another feature you might like. Combined with automatic ink switching, this feature allows XT-640 to print without continuous monitoring. This can save the company valuable time, because employees do not have to worry about frequent ink replacement or printer adjustments.
To use the iPad printer assist function, you only need to download the free application Roland Printer Assist in the App Store. This allows you to manage the printer from the iPad, which is a convenient way to meet printing needs without the need to monitor the printer from the side.
The new media feed is another selling point of this printer. It accepts all kinds of thin paper to thick paper, which is an important function if you want to transfer printing to fabric. When paper is loaded into the machine, the printer uses vacuum to keep the paper flat.
XT-640 is one of the better sublimation printers on the market. Image quality, color range and versatility are the best you can find. Although high prices may discourage some small businesses, renting printers can reduce the financial burden. This is a top wide format printer, and its many features make it stand out from the competition.
Roland provides a two-year warranty for this printer, which is one of the best warranties of any printer on the market. To ensure that you get the free warranty for the second year, you need to register your printer within 60 days of purchase, and you must exclusively use Roland ink during the warranty period. Both are standard warranty requirements, and some companies include the same guidelines to get a warranty of only one year. Although you may not buy a printer because of its warranty options, the extra one-year free warranty is a nice bonus in addition to the other features of the printer.
Depending on your needs for wide-format printers, the price ranges from US$1,000 for the basic model to US$100,000 for the flagship integrated printing system with all functions. In between is a model world with multiple widths and various functions, such as the ability to scan, automatically cut paper, and print on various stocks.
Considering this level of upfront cost, the hardest decision is which model to obtain. The following is a summary of the main criteria that should enter the decision-making process.
Depending on the company and printer model, you may be able to rent a wide-format printer. It depends on your business needs and the cost-benefit analysis of buying or renting printers. If you wish to use a wide-format printer to print signs and banners for major events within a few months, you may find that leasing is a better choice. If you run a professional photography shop and want to print often in the next few years, then buying may be your best option.
Renting a printer gives you the opportunity to test it within a set time frame. If the company doesn't send you a model for you to try, leasing can give you the opportunity to use the printer without having to invest thousands of dollars in a model you might not like in the future.
Another benefit of leasing is the regularity of new brands and models entering the market. If you buy a wide-format printer, you may find that your model has multiple iterations within 5 years, lagging behind the latest products in the industry. The lease allows you to upgrade the printer after the lease expires. Not all businesses need or want the latest and greatest models, but you need to consider this before you buy a large format printer.
The most basic definition of a wide-format printer is a machine that prints on large paper, although some models can print on plastic, vinyl, fabric, or flat media. Depending on the use case and business needs, wide-format printers can become very large—in some cases more than 12 feet wide. Therefore, the price of wide-format printers can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. [Is a multifunction printer more suitable for your needs? Check out our recommended printers and copiers for small businesses. ]
When researching wide-format printers, you may also often see the term "large-format printers." In most cases, these two terms are interchangeable. Some companies may call them large-format printers more frequently, but the meaning is the same. We use these terms interchangeably throughout the review.
Our research found that most printer companies use "wide format" and "large format" interchangeably. When talking to a sales representative, if you use one or two of these terms, you will not encounter any confusion.
Consumers are a little confused about the difference between wide format printers and plotters. Both wide-format printers and plotters can create high-resolution images, but they generate these images in different ways.
Plotters use vector graphics to create images, while wide-format printers use pixels. If you want to create extremely detailed prints with a large number of lines, a plotter may be just what you need. For example, construction companies that produce blueprints for architectural design often use plotters because they can create accurate and detailed lines. Architects and engineers may also prefer plotters because they can draw lines accurately. This does not mean that traditional large-format printers cannot accurately draw lines, but plotters can eliminate the possibility of small errors.
Buying a wide format printer for your small business is a big decision. These machines usually require a lot of office space and a lot of financial commitment, whether it is a one-time payment or through other financing methods.
When you choose to buy or lease a wide-format printer, the most important things to consider are your potential use and your business needs. If your company only needs to print high-quality posters up to 24 inches, you probably shouldn't fund a $70,000 wide-format printer that can print on vinyl or fabric. Naturally, the same concept works in reverse. Understanding your printer needs is essential to ensure that you do not waste office space or money.
Here are some other things you should consider when choosing a wide-format printer.
These printers match the best office machines with resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dpi (dots per inch). Although the basic model uses four to five inks to draw images, other models can print up to a dozen different colors and simulate Pantone standard colors.
Most use a combination of durable pigment-based inks and vibrant dye-based inks. There are also wide-format printers that rely on latex ink (for outdoor use) or dye sublimation technology (for photo quality output).
One big difference from more pedestrian printers is that wide-format models can print on a variety of materials, including plain paper or bond paper, transparent films for backlit advertising, and polypropylene and vinyl materials for outdoor installation. You can print huge photos on matte or glossy photo paper, and you can even use many of these printers to print on fabric.
Scientific and engineering wide-format plotters produce monochrome prints, while the difference between using color for graphics-oriented models is rapidly disappearing. This is due to the lower price of general-purpose wide-format printers and the increasing use of color in technical drawings, such as highlighting areas of interest or making 3D renderings.
Most of these printers use PostScript and other popular printer languages, and they include an Office or Adobe plug-in, so you can enlarge any document or image created on your desk for large-format printing. Some applications can grant permission and accounting for printer use, so you can charge certain budgets or departments.
If needed, some manufacturers will require you to pay additional fees for software that enables these additional features. For example, it is not uncommon for automated workflows to be optional additional features.
Wide-format printers are heavyweight printers in the printer field, weighing up to 1,000 pounds, although some printers need to be placed on a table. Many include a stand and a tray to catch the prints. Then there are the anchor printers that can easily measure 7 x 5 feet. They are built around a huge cabinet and usually installed in their own room.
Most newer models have a touch screen for interacting with the printer. Some flagship models include a powerful processor such as an Intel Core i7, up to 64GB of RAM, and a large hard drive or flash memory for graphics.
Considering small and medium-sized enterprises, we look for printers with stylish designs but not too bulky. Some of the printers on our list are difficult to move, but their other elite features give them a place in our review.
Finding the right large format printer design for your business requires a thorough understanding of your needs. Some of these printers require multiple people to set up, and moving them is almost impossible. If you have a team of 5-10 people who want to use the wide-format printer only a few times a week, look for a smaller, more affordable option. Some smaller wide-format printers can still produce high-quality prints. If you can find an option with good print quality and a reasonable price, there is no reason to buy a large printer. On the other hand, without a larger model, some companies will not be able to carry out their work. If this is your case, it may be worthwhile to use the entire room or entire corporate area for the printer.
Speed is essential for wide-format printing. There is nothing worse than waiting for the print job. There is nothing better than completing the print job quickly (correctly) and the printer continues to the next task. The more you use a wide-format printer, the cheaper and more valuable it is for the company. If the printing is not accurate, the cost will be high. Wasting ink on large prints can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The performance rating considers both printing speed and accuracy.
Wide-format printers can not only print oversized prints, but can also create exquisite and detailed output for a variety of purposes, from active graphics to oversized checks for lottery winners. The downside is that the more details you need for printing, the slower the printing speed. High-end photo paper or canvas that requires more ink will be slower.
Although the current speed demon can draw approximately 5,000 square feet per hour in draft mode (for inspection, proofing, or mark printing), most speeds slow down to less than 500 square feet per hour in the final print. This is still fast enough to draw out dozens of D size (24 x 36 inches) prints per hour.
Some printers are connected to mobile phones or tablets. This can make the printing process more efficient. Many of the best wide-format printers provide Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to work with mobile phones, tablets, and other technical devices. When making a purchase decision, consider the connectivity of your mobile device.
All wide-format printers can use plain paper, heavy bond paper and photo paper, and automatically adjust the amount of ink to prevent bleeding and missing dots. Many go a step further and can be printed on less common stocks, such as film for backlit advertising or vinyl for outdoor banners or posters. Some devices can even print old-fashioned appearances on textiles or simulate the appearance of new textiles.
Just like an office printer with multiple paper trays, in order to support a variety of media, a larger printer can hold up to four independent paper rolls, which can be switched at any time as needed. However, most entry-level wide format printers have only one roll.
Most inks are either water-based or solvent-based. The former is usually more expensive and will degrade if left outside. Solvent-based inks are lower in cost, waterproof, and resistant to fading, so they are a better choice for outdoor applications. For companies wishing to make outdoor banners or signs, eco-solvent printers are a good choice.
The color of the ink comes from dyes or pigments, but this is only a small part of the formula. Dye inks are made of organic compounds and are usually very bright, but are usually transparent in a thin layer and degrade in bright sunlight. For example, over time, the orange portion of the banner may end up being pale yellow. Pigment inks are made of opaque minerals, which provide better coverage. They look duller, but tend to last longer.
The third type of ink includes a curing agent, which is used to cure the liquid ink before it leaves the printer. After the ink is applied to the paper, strong ultraviolet rays are irradiated on the ink, and it is cured in less than a second. Dry to the touch, suitable for outdoor use.
These are some other types of ink:
Buying a wide-format printer is only the beginning of the cost. Like every printer, if you use it every day, the cost of ink, paper, and waste containers will increase. Depending on how and how often you use the printer, you may need to replace the print head.
The good news is that these wide-body printers use ink cartridges as large as 700 milliliters, so they are cheaper per ounce than desktop printers, and paper rolls are actually quite cheap on a square foot basis. No matter which printer you choose, printing this special material in-house will be cheaper than outsourcing it to a local print shop. For example, printing a 24 x 36-inch photo on plain paper costs about $2 to print internally—one-tenth of what a print shop might charge.
Some printers save more ink than others, thereby reducing your future ink cartridge costs. This is an important consideration in finding the best printer for your business, as the cost of ink per cartridge can be as high as hundreds of dollars.
Another factor worth considering is how you handle the material, especially the ink. Ink waste is generally considered hazardous, which means its disposal can be tricky. EPA lists some options for disposal methods, such as using registered hazardous waste transporters to transport waste to approved disposal areas. This process may include sending certificates and notices with the materials. This can be time-consuming and difficult, and it is worth checking the ink you are using before making a purchase or lease decision.
Although the main function of wide-format printers is to print images and text on various surfaces, today's machines have additional features that can make the whole process faster and easier. Depending on the model you are considering, you can take advantage of the following advantages:
With the four-digit and five-digit price tags of these printers, you can expect top-notch help and phone, email, or live chat support of your choice. This is usually what you get. Larger companies will provide dedicated support technicians and various online resources on standby 24/7, including videos, tips, FAQs, and downloads.
Some companies also provide on-site maintenance. Many of these services can be provided within one working day after you submit a maintenance request. You don’t want expensive printers to sit idle, so this service is important to many small businesses.
However, although a one-year warranty is still the standard for this business, some vendors only provide a short 90-day warranty for their hardware and software. Their expectation is that you will purchase a service contract that includes on-site repairs. This may cost thousands of dollars a year, but it may include installation and initial setup. Other companies provide multi-year warranty, but this is rare.
You can also rent or rent wide-format printers from various brokers or third parties. Most provide the same service, but with a monthly fee. There are generally two types of leases: shared leases or fair market value leases. First, you lease the equipment for a period of time (about 36 months), and then buy the equipment for $1. In FMV lease, you also need to pay a monthly fee within a certain period of time, during which you can purchase equipment through the final balloon payment or upgrade with a new lease.
Wide-format printers have many uses, and a variety of products can be manufactured through them. For example, architects rely on these printers to create high-quality blueprints and site designs for projects, while photographers use wide-format printers to create a large number of high-resolution prints of their work.
The most common use of wide-format printers is in marketing. With the help of these machines, marketers can quickly and relatively inexpensively place large-scale color advertisements on public squares. If you see large signs, banners, or promotional window advertisements, you may have seen the results of wide-format printers.
Together with different grades of paper products, wide-format printers can apply text and graphics to various media, such as vinyl, PVC, fabric, metal, and ceramics.
Under the right circumstances, large-format printers can bring great benefits to your business. For example, if you run a printing plant, the benefits are obvious. However, other uses are equally beneficial to certain businesses. The benefits largely depend on your needs for the machine.
Production companies use the vinyl application capabilities of wide-format printers to create colorful, realistic backgrounds without the need to build physical scenes. If your company exhibits at a trade show or produces accessories for its customers, having its own wide-format printer allows you to produce high-quality banners and signs. As long as the cost does not exceed the practicality of the machine, the wide-format printer is a powerful tool in the corporate arsenal.
For wide format printers, it is best to use the least compressed file type, so you should use TIFF. Although they are usually much larger than the corresponding JPEG files, TIFFs are lossless image files that can provide higher fidelity graphics with minimal compression.
As with most printed materials, it is best to use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) as the color format. Another major format, RGB, is very suitable for TVs and computer monitors, etc., but CMYK uses ink dots of different sizes to display images when printing.
An inkjet printer is a printer that can effectively eject tiny droplets of ink onto a sheet of paper or other media to display images. Most home and small office printers are inkjet printers.
When considering inkjet printers or laser printers dedicated to processing photos, you must remember how both work. Inkjet printers eject the appropriate ink droplets at the correct ratio to print the image onto the media, while laser printers use toner, which means that it either only prints in monochrome, or it is more expensive to print the color version.
As long as you use coated papers designed specifically for photos, you should always see better results from inkjets, especially because they provide deeper black levels and have a wider range in color packages.
Unlike ordinary printers, it can submit almost any document or image onto ordinary printing paper, and usually requires specialized software to create larger files for transmission to larger media. The best software for preparing artwork and graphics for wide-format printing can handle vector formats such as EPS and Adobe Illustrator (AI). Raster images, bitmaps, and other file types are also viable options, but if you need to make any changes, they often cause other problems.
As for the type of software you should use, Adobe's InDesign and Photoshop are the main tools for large-format printing. They are all excellent programs for designing large images without compromising clarity. If Adobe's program is not your style, please consider alternatives such as CADlink SignLab, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 and EasySIGN.
There are many reasons why small businesses want to invest in wide-format printers. In the right circumstances, they can be a huge investment, such as for an architect's office that needs to obtain a highly detailed blueprint immediately or a signage company that needs to print fabric banners for upcoming promotions of a client's brand. We surveyed some small business owners to find out which printers they use and like.
Stephen Light, co-owner of Nolah Mattresses, said that the Roland Texart XT-640 printer and its sublimation printing process are very suitable for his company's needs. He said that because of its four-ink and eight-ink modes, the process allows the machine to print "high-quality images with a wide color gamut." "We like to use Roland Texart XT-640 dye sublimation printers to print logos on our products, especially our wide mattresses."
The dye sublimation process of this machine is important for Nolah Mattresses, because other methods "will not be vibrant and vivid," Light said. "Because the color will be dim, the brand logo will not have a significant impact on people viewing the product."
Some small business owners need the versatility of wide-format printers. In such an example, Matt Scott, owner of Termite Survey, said that his company’s reliance on Canon imagePrograf Pro-1000 makes its output variability the most, from 6 x 4 glossy printing to borderless A2. The poster has a matte finish. He said that this machine can achieve "professional-quality picture completion" for all these projects.
"This powerful picture printer can produce anything," he said before touting the machine's inkjet cartridges. "From the front of the device, you can see and view 12 ink shades, and you can change one at a time, instead of trying to buy a brand new package when one is used up."
Other companies rely on latex inks for printing. Tyler Roark, president of Kentucky Printing, said the HP Latex 115 printer speeds up the production process while being "more environmentally friendly." He also likes that latex inks are generally not as prone to clogging the print head as other inks.
"Latex ink also has extremely high ink durability, which means that we don't necessarily need to go through an additional lamination step to produce products suitable for outdoor use," Roark said.
Due to the nature of this category, it is impossible for us to personally evaluate every printer on the list. To gain insight into these wide-format printers and how they can benefit small and medium-sized businesses, we contacted some of the top companies in the industry to understand which models are best for our use cases.
Despite several attempts with some of the largest manufacturers, we basically cannot receive data directly from the source. Only one company provided the data we requested. For companies that did not respond to us at all, we resumed other data collection efforts, such as collecting information from their websites and specification sheets. If pricing is not available, we will try to obtain prices from third-party vendors.
After compiling a list of eligible machines and their defined functions, we determined the best choice: best for small businesses, best for detailed applications, best for outdoor signage, and best for textile printing. We obtained this data, recorded the advantages and disadvantages of each machine, and weighed them against each other. The following are the main criteria we use to evaluate each wide format printer:
The coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding shelter-in-place orders are still valid in many parts of the world. Therefore, the wide-format printer industry has to make changes to ensure the safety of its employees.
Several major players in the industry have pledged to maintain a safe working environment during the crisis, choosing to take the risk of maintaining profits to ensure the safety of workers.
HP President and CEO Enrique Lores wrote in a recent press release: "As a business community, we are all focused on managing the unprecedented coronavirus with a sense of urgency and deep care. (COVID-19) situation." "I know our team has been in regular contact with you. In this difficult time, I personally reached out to express my support for your team."
Leaders from Xerox, Canon, Roland, and other companies work with HP to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. In addition to following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some companies have extended warranty periods, developed work-from-home plans, provided remote support options when possible, and restricted domestic travel.
If your small business uses wide format printers in some way, it is best to contact your service provider or equipment manufacturer to find out how your small business will be further affected.
February 2021: Despite the many challenges and setbacks brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the wide-format printer industry is expected to grow substantially by 2026. The industry's value in 2018 was US$8.2 billion, but it is expected to reach US$11.6 billion by 2026. Companies that are mainly involved in this growth are Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Epson, Fuji Xerox, Agfa-Gevaert and Konica Minolta. Although there is increasing interest in consumer printers in the digital environment, the demand for commercial wide-format printers continues to grow in the advertising, marketing, and textile industries.
May 2020: Due to the pandemic, companies around the world have readjusted their expectations for 2020, and Xerox is no stranger to this concept. According to WideFormatOnline.com, the international company has lowered its 2020 revenue and profit forecasts due to the virus.
The news came after its first quarter earnings fell by 14.7%. Officials said that the global lockdown and social distancing measures severely reduced the company’s earnings, with revenue in the first quarter falling "to 1.86 billion U.S. dollars... [while] operating cash flow of 173 million U.S. dollars from continuing operations fell year-on-year US$49 million a year; US$150 million in free cash flow decreased by US$57 million."
Xerox Holdings said in a statement: “Our operations are negatively affected by a series of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which are not within our control.” “Such restrictions (such as extensive quarantine and The blockade) restricts our ability and our channel partners’ ability to sell, install, and repair equipment for customers, and has a negative impact on our operations and financial performance."
Just two months ago, due to the growing threat of COVID-19, Xerox shelved its plan to acquire HP for $35 billion. As the disease is expected to continue for several months, it is not clear when this effort will restart.
In any case, Xerox CEO John Visentin pointed out the financial decisions the company has made in the past and why he believes it will tide over the difficulties.
"Although Xerox has implemented lockdown measures quickly on a global scale, which has a direct impact on our business, the disciplined approach we have implemented in the past two years is to act quickly to retain cash, continue operations, and provide many of our customers. The support lays the foundation for the front lines and applies our manufacturing and R&D expertise to help save lives," he said. "I am extremely proud of the dedication and originality of the Xerox team during this special period."