Many factors are converging to redefine how engineering firms operate in the new millennium. Recently, the engineering industry has taken a turn toward a more digital environment, with many companies using virtual platforms and new technology to connect teams, touch base with clients, and keep projects more cost-effective.
And around the world, small- and medium-sized engineering firms are struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
These changes are helping to shift engineering firms’ priorities toward greater efficiencies and the development faster, clearer project plans to stay competitive.
That’s where a high-quality wide format printer can make a real difference. Modern wide format printers are built for the kind of precision and reliability that is not available in a typical desktop model, and they have the ability to produce durable documents in a wide variety of media for exceptional versatility.
But, with so many choices available, how do you choose the right one for your firm? Let’s take a look
The Engineer’s Guide to Choosing a Wide Format Printer
There are many factors that go into choosing the correct wide format printer for your firm, including available floor space, who will operate the device, and the need for fast or durable output, among others.
- Where Will Your Machine Be Located?
Wide format printers are often much larger machines than their desktop counterparts, so they will require a greater amount of functional space in order to be properly utilized. Also, some printers may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during use, so they should be positioned away from areas where others may be working.
- How Fast Do You Require Output?
You should have a good idea of how many plans and drawing sets your company produces, how often they must be produced, and — importantly — how quickly you typically need them. While some entry-level printers may be fine for low or slow turnaround jobs at 11-108 square feet per hour, if your company produces a high volume of wide format work, you may want to purchase a printer that can handle this level of usage. Some wide format models can print anywhere from 645 to 1140 square feet of material every hour.
- Who Will Be Operating the Printer?
Does your company have dedicated IT or printing personnel who will be running your wide format printer or will engineers take care of each printing job themselves? Either way, you should be prepared for a learning curve — both in operation and in maintaining the equipment.
For this reason, it is important to purchase a machine from a reputable dealer that can provide training, support, and troubleshooting as your staff adjusts to a new way of printing.
- What Kind of Media Will You Need to Use?
If you are producing construction drawings or blueprints, you will want the ability to use media that is able to resist water, dirt, and other environmental hazards that can affect the readability and durability of your plan sets on site.
Additionally, you need sets to remain clear, bright, and easy to read over time, which can require specific pigment-based inks. Pigment-based inks are not only water-resistant, but they produce crisp prints for outstanding clarity. Use of these inks alongside durable media can eliminate the need for costly lamination of plan and drawing sets.
Doing Better Business Has the Right Wide Format Printer for Your Needs
At Doing Better Business (DBB), we partner with leaders in the print and imaging industry like Ricoh and HP to bring you the widest variety of wide format print devices to fit your needs — and your budget.
Our picks are engineered to deliver high quality, durable wide format print products consistently and reliably so you can spend more of your time designing and less time dealing with plan production.
Our team of print and imaging experts can help you assess your challenges and business goals to make the perfect choice for your company’s specific needs. Then, we can help train staff on how to use your printer, as well as provide ongoing maintenance, troubleshooting, and support when you need it.
Get the right wide format printer for the job — and your budget. Contact a representative from Doing Better Business and explore our wide range of state-of-the-art wide format printers.