Architects need a reliable wide format printer. Each build requires multiple schematics that must be legible and accurate. Otherwise, the business could end up with a costly disaster mid-build. Government regulators also keep a close eye on standardization when processing paperwork and approving builds.
Standard printers can’t print large enough sizes to accommodate the larger size required of blueprints. ARCH C-D and ANSI C-D require a wide format printer, and these standard sizes are required by many city and county building ordinances.
Moreover, it’s not just residential architects–architectural firms working on industrial and other business structures have even tighter regulations. That’s why these firms need best-in-class equipment that can handle the fine details and precision of blueprint printing without breaking down.
This guide is meant to walk through the features available in best-in-class wide-format printers on the market today. Let’s dive into the features to look for in a blueprint printer.
1. HP DesignJet T2600dr
Smaller firms often suffer from a lack of space in the office for new equipment. However, production printing no longer requires a massive amount of square footage in your workspace. The HP DesignJet T2600dr is the most compact, quiet MFP on the market. The 36-inch, all-in-one printer boasts up to 86% less noise than comparable printers, making it ideal for close quarters.
Working with a smaller team usually means the time available to learn procedures for new equipment is limited. The user-friendly nature of the T2600, paired with the 15.6-inch interface and HP Click software, makes for easy PDF printing. Store your files in shared folders accessible by your teammates and create a collaborative print & scan experience. To meet modern workforce requirements, the T2600 allows you to print files or share print jobs from your phone or any cloud-based device.
From printing precise lines and fine details to boldly colored 3D renders, the T2600 delivers performance on a compact scale. Plus, with speeds up to 180 d prints per hour, automated scanning, and the automatic print stacker, deadlines are no issue.
2. HP DesignJet T7200
HP’s DesignJet T7200 production printer is a blueprint workhorse, printing at 1320 ft/hr. This 42-inch wide format printer has a built-in 320 GB hard drive and 64 GB virtual memory. Most blueprints only need black-and-white monochrome printing. The T7200 excels at black-and-white prints but is also capable of printing in full color, and its speed ensures no bottlenecks at the printer.
Blueprints require larger formats, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the prints should suffer. Fonts of 11pt to 20pt are still routinely used, and some go even smaller. The last thing architects need is for the construction crew to misread vital measurements and have nobody notice until the cement dries or the marble veneer doesn’t fit.
The T7200 has 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi, along with HP SmartStream software and HP Crystal Preview Technology. This ensures crisp lines and highly detailed blueprints in any size. It also streamlines workflows for a more efficient print room.
3. HP DesignJet XL 3600
HP’s DesignJet XL series offers a wide technical production portfolio, with each printer fitting a specific need and offering robust capabilities. The HP DesignJet XL 3600 MFP stands out for its compact size (36-inches) and almost immediate print speeds of getting the first page out in just 29 seconds flat.
Offering the same quiet, compact design and easy-to-use features of the HP DesignJet T2600, the XL 3600’s interface makes batch PDF printing and access to shared folders simple.
The “fastest first page out” speeds of the XL 3600 make it a great match for demanding environments requiring quick print turnarounds. The MFP also offers the lowest running costs, printing both mono and color prints at the same price while using up to 10 times less energy than other comparable printers.
4. HP PageWide XL 8000
The HP PageWide XL 8000 is the fastest, large-format monochrome printer ever. Since its release in 2016, the XL 8000 is the only large-format printer of its kind capable of delivering print speeds of up 30 D/A1 size print per minute, or 1,500 D/A1 prints per hour. Print on HP and third-party media up to 40 inches—covering American ANSI and Architectural page size standards.
Along with breakthrough print speeds, the XL 8000 offers up to 50% in total production cost savings. Get the lowest cost for printing color technical documents, cut finishing costs in half and see up to 10 times lower energy consumption!
With a lightning-fast processor, native PDF management, and HP SmartStream software, the time required to start printing is cut in half. The production stacker and online folder, maximum of six rolls, and dual ink supplies with auto-switching help to free up your operator and keep production moving.
Finding the Best Wide Format Printers for Architects
ImageNet specializes in managed print services for large format printers and other office equipment. Our wide format printing partner, Digital Media Warehouse, works with businesses of all sizes and all industries to provide affordable performance that’s personalized to the needs of each client. One architect’s best-in-class wide format printer is another’s wasted money without the proper due diligence. Our managed print services go beyond the sale to ensure the equipment’s lifetime value and function is optimized every step of the way.
Contact an ImageNet consultant today to find the perfect wide format printer for your blueprint needs.