Plotter recommendations?

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    Barbara Peterson

    I am looking into large format plotter / scanners that can print or scan drawings up to 36×48.  What do you use and / or do you have any recommendations?

    Thank you.

    Timothy Whitten

    I’ve been doing some research on this subject. HP is coming out with new/better technology page-wide printing) in summer/fall of this year (2015), so I’ve elected to delay my search until that happens. Some of the prime candidates available now are 4 or 5 years into what is typically an 8 to 10 year support cycle, after which the manufacturer drops support of the product. Since we typically keep our plotters for longer than 10 years, I want to get in on the support cycle closer to the beginning.

    Barbara Peterson

    Agreed. But in this case, “we” need to do a “ton” of scanning of older, needed documents that were never in a pdf format, and if we sent them out for scanning, we could have paid multi-fold for a printer or two. 

    Barbara Peterson

    Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out this summer.

    Alan Ray, RLA

    hp makes the most reliable large format printers….my opinion since the 80’s…

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    My former employer bought an HP T3500 with color scanner a couple of months ago. I’m not sure what he paid for it, but he is very happy with the results from the scanner. I looked at some fine lined color maps that he had printed and was impressed.


    I used to work at a large format printing business at the University I attended. We had Canon plotters, and a KIP laser printer. The KIP prints very quickly (around 10 seconds per 24×36) and has a scanner.The KIP we had was black and white only, and was perfect for CAD drawing sets. They offer a colour version too that prints almost as quickly. I have fond memories of the KIP, even though ours was very old it was a solid work horse and very inexpensive to print on a per squarefoot basis.

    The Canons were excellent, but were significantly more costly on a per squarefoot basis but also offered full colour presentation quality prints on a variety of different papers. We often would feed custom sheets (thicker Strathmore, Canson or Vellum usually) into the printer for presentation drawings. They turned out beautifully.

    I would recommend looking into which companies have service technicians available in your city, as no matter what you get you will highly likely eventually need to get the printers serviced at some point. Also check on local availability of ink and paper.

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