Having your own wide format printer is highly recommended, especially if your office regularly prints blueprints, banners and other large documents. Over time, this option is going to be more economical than hiring a copy shop.
Wide or large format printers are not cheap, though. This is the primary reason why some companies opt to outsource their printing needs instead of buying and doing the printing in-house. However, purchasing is not the only way for you to own this device.
Nowadays, there are companies like Office Technology that lease wide format printers. Leasing is easier on the pocket because you don’t have to make a large, upfront payment just to own a printer. What you do instead is pay a small amount monthly or quarterly throughout the course of your contract.
Once you’ve settled whether you are buying or leasing a large format printer, the next step is to choose the printer model. Admittedly, this can be a very daunting task given the countless options available in the market. However, for as long as you know what you need, you would immediately find the right wide format printer for your office.
If it’s your first time to purchase a large format printer, below is a guide you can use to help you pick the printer that’s going to meet your requirements.
Type of Wide Format Document
Are you mainly going to print photos for exhibits? Are you making banners or rigid signages? Knowing what your end product is can help you narrow down your options, helping you identify the best type of printer platform for your needs.
Roll-to-roll or RTR printer is a good choice if you are going to mainly produce banners. The flatbed type is recommended for rigid signages. However, you should also anticipate your future needs. If you’re currently printing banners only but think you’d be producing rigid signages eventually, then it wouldn’t be wise to get an RTR type. It’s better if you get a hybrid large format printer so you’d be able to produce a variety of products.
Size of Wide Format Documents
Large format printers can print documents of varying width, anywhere between 17” to 100”. You need to take into consideration the size of the materials you’re going to print. The ideal model is the one which exactly matches the size of the products you are creating. If you print documents which are 36-inch wide, it does not make sense to get a 24-inch model.
When deciding on the printer size, your goal is to have zero or minimal paper wastage. If you need to print 20-inch banners and you need to choose between a 36-inch and a 42-inch model, it’s more economical to pick the 42-inch. Getting the 36-inch printer would mean wasting 16 inches of paper as compared to only 2 inches for the 42-inch device.
You must also consider the footprint of the equipment. The wider the document it prints, the bulkier the device is. So, before choosing a bigger printer, ascertain that you have the space for it.
Speed of the Device
You do not just want a large format printer that can print the materials you need. The device must be able to keep up with your volume requirement.
To determine which device is right for you in terms of speed, you have to know how many documents you need to print in a day or week. Give this information to the sales specialist and ask for recommendations. Also, when inquiring about the wide format printer’s speed, make sure that what’s given is its speed when printing at an acceptable quality not in draft mode.
If you think that your print volume is going to increase in a few months or in a year, it’s best to pick a device that would be able to accommodate your future needs. Keep in mind, a slow printer can hamper productivity in your office and significantly affect your profits. Hence, getting a fast, large format printer is highly important, especially if you have a high print volume and observe a quick turnaround time.
Need help choosing the right wide format printer for your needs? Call us at 01 460 4444 today and talk to our sales specialists!