Tips to Choose the Right Large Format Printing Services
With so many different print applications handled by large format printing machines, choosing the perfect printer for your needs can take a bit of consideration. Since large format printers are often built for specific applications, you have to actively match your needs to the printer specifications to identify the best model for you. Otherwise, your printer purchase could end up falling short of the mark in the long run. You can avoid selecting the wrong printer type and model by learning about the differences between the various machines on the market today. Here’s what you need to know before you head out to choose a large format printer.
Consider Color Needs
You can narrow down your large format printer choices by determining whether you want to produce prints in color or black and white. You can reflect on your intended finished products or works of art to make this decision. If you are aiming to produce full-color posters, or presentations, for example, you will want to choose a color printer. To produce lasting technical documents or building plans, choose a black and white printer with the ability to utilize tear-resistant, waterproof media.
Performance and Speed
Weigh the output specs to determine which printer performance and speed characteristics suit your purposes the best. Although the print specs tell you the overall speed of the unit, it does not reveal the whole story. You must also consider the time each large format printer takes to process the files and warm up before printing. If you need the machine to produce rapid fire print jobs with little delay between documents, make sure to look for a model that processes the next file while printing the current job. The print speed on black and white printers is usually static, while color printers may vary in speed, depending on the complexity of the document or hue combinations.
As print speeds increase, image resolution and overall print quality often decrease linearly, especially in full-color machines. You have to look past the dots per inch, or DPI, to determine the print quality of each large format printer. At a certain point, the DPI stops mattering as much as the quality of the original scan and the way the large format printer interprets the file. The type of media you plan to use also influences the print quality when
using color printers. Glossy media, including photo paper, can decrease print quality despite the overall capabilities of the printer.
You will need to determine your tech knowledge to identify a large format printer with the right usability factors. Look at how much time and effort each printer requires for routine maintenance, including changing ink, toner or paper. Consider how often each model requires troubleshooting and repairs with regular use. Also, determine if you prefer a touchscreen or simple button interface on the printer itself. Although you will use a computer to perform most printer functions, you will need to utilize the controls on the machine on occasion. Decide if you want a highly customizable machine or one that runs with little or no user input. Remember to look at ergonomics of the machine, especially in high production environments.
Once you determine all of the other factors, it is important to identify your overall large format printer budget. If you plan to purchase a large format printer outright, and can find the right model in your budget range, make sure to double check the cost of ink or toner to avoid a terrible deal. Some brands may price their large format printer low in order to sell their ink and toner at a high markup. If you need more printer than your budget can handle, consider leasing the large format printer you need. With a printer lease from CES&R, you do not have to worry about printer repairs or replacement in the future.
If you still cannot identify your ideal large format printer model, contact the team at CES&R for assistance. Our printing professionals will provide you with answers to your questions and expert guidance during your search for the perfect large format printer.
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