Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Guest0
How to Choose a Good Wide Format Printer
Choosing a good wide format printer entails a lot of considerations on your part. With a plethora of choices available in the market, you need to give it a careful thought before making a purchase. For some people, this may be a daunting task given the wide range of options to choose from. This article will guide you in selecting the right wide format printer for your business.
What is a wide format printer?
A wide format printer is a computer-controlled printing machine that offers support for a maximum print roll width of 18” to 100”. It is used to print banners, posters, trade show graphics, wallpaper murals, and other large format artwork or signage. Wide format printers generally use inkjet technology to produce the printed output.
Criteria for Choosing Wide-Format Printers
There are many considerations that you need to bear in mind when choosing a wide-format printer to purchase for your printing business or company.
Colored or Black and White
Choosing between colored or black and white will depend on the type of print output and how the machine will be used. If you are engaged in a business that prints posters, photos, technical documents, drawing or presentations, then the logical choice is a colored printer. If you are after speed as you want to produce as many copies as possible, then go for a black and white printer as these machines generally print faster than colored printers.
If you are after the robustness of print quality, black and white wide format printers is the best choice. However, colored printers now offer alternative solutions to deliver robust print quality. There are now colored printers that are based on color toner, pigment ink, or special media.
When choosing between colored or black and white printers, you need to consider the print costs as well. The cost of printing black and white on a colored printer is comparable with a black and white printer. Handling the cost of printing on a colored printer can become extremely difficult once customers start printing colored outputs because of the availability of a colored printer.
When it comes to the cost of the printer, do not look at the price tag alone. Yes, you might have saved precious dollars on a cheap printer. However, if the printer cartridge is an expensive one, then in the long run you might be spending more. In addition, if the machine breaks down frequently or is not able to cope with the printing demands of your business, then the savings you got will become meaningless with the maintenance cost.
When looking at the printer cost, consider the cost of the consumables such as ink, toner, media, and service. These are hidden costs that can make the investment for a printer much more expensive than you perceived it to be.
Speed and performance
When looking at the speed and performance, look beyond the technical specifications. The amount it takes to send a job to the machine and producing the final printout should also be a factor to consider. You can have the machine tested so you can measure the performance of the printer. Remember that it will take a few minutes for a wide format printer to be ready for printing. With black and white printers, the print speed is constant. However, with a colored printer, the speed will vary depending on what is being printed.
When it comes to image quality, the first thing that always comes to mind is resolution. However, a high resolution image does not always guarantee excellent quality. The quality of the image can be crucial as it could make a huge difference in terms of getting a bid or order. The important thing is to make sure that any dotted or fine line should be printed clearly; otherwise, it could have a huge impact on the final output.
Convenience with wide format printers goes beyond touch screens and other features. It is not just all about user interface. You should also consider other features such as ease of adding an ink or toner, loading paper, and other activities involved in operating a wide format printer. These are important considerations especially when your business relies on productivity and speed in processing. Just imagine the amount of time you will lose just by loading the paper or changing the toner or ink.
When buying a wide format printer, the assumption is that you plan to use it for several years or so. When investing on such machines, you want one that offers a long-term solution. When looking for a printer, you would want one that will have features that will allow you to add hardware such as a scanner, extra memory, additional paper rolls, and others. Upgrading for the future is a must as your requirements expand and buying an additional equipment to allow these upgrades may be costly.
Aside from producing copies, you will also be doing other tasks related to the printouts such as collecting or collating prints, scanning, folding, enveloping, and other related tasks. You will also be changing toners and cartridges from time to time, and so you need enough space to do these things.
Service and Support
This is an important consideration when buying a wide format printer. Make sure that the equipment manufacturer who sold the machine to you offers technical support and customer service.
You would want to immediately troubleshoot the printer in case something goes wrong. Failure to resolve any issues in the soonest possible time would mean loss of income for the period that the machine breaks down until the time it gets fixed. Maintenance is also important as you need your printer to be up and running all the time to ensure that your business will continue with its operations.
These are just some of the considerations that you need to bear in mind when choosing a wide format printer. The most important factors you need to consider when making a choice are your budget and the needs of your business.
About the Author:
John Arkin is a seasoned freelance writer and author contributor. He loves writing about technology. His favorite subjects include 3D Printing, Epson wide format printer cartridges and ink cartridges, office equipment technologies such as printers, copiers and mobile phone apps. He has also written about printer ink cartridges and edible printing. He loves driving his drones and using his calligraphy tools. His friends call him Jarkin.