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#11592 by wtango
Wed May 17, 2006 7:58 am
Good morning. Our office is looking to replace our 8+ year old HP 1120C printer. We use it for 11x17 (Tabloid) size check plots and non-critical color printing.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a newer model for replacement? If possible it would be nice to get scan/copy/fax capabilities in the unit, but not critical.

#11643 by wtango
Thu May 18, 2006 12:47 pm
I should have added that we now do all of our critical color work (brochures and marketing material) and full size (Arch-D or 24x36") Construction Document printing through a local print shop. It was getting too expensive and time consuming to operate, maintain and wrestle with our old HP Design Jet 250C plotter.

The printer we're trying to replace now is our in-office check plot printer, one that can print in color up to Tabloid size (11x17") or 13x19" , priced hopefully below $500 USD.

Maybe it is unrealistic to hope to find something for that price, but I thought I'd ask people on this forum who might have similar requirements to our office, and knowledge of many printers above the usual photo-printing and home office models found at the local Office Depot or Best Buy.
#11779 by nrboss
Wed May 24, 2006 6:45 am
We have been using an HP1700 and are looking to replace it due to repeated problems with the display panel. We have also read that the 2800 model is not the way to go since it is made from the same base of parts as the 1700.

We are still looking so if anyone has had any success with a 'check plot printer' that does 11x17....please let us know too!
#11782 by Philip Hart
Wed May 24, 2006 9:13 am
We have been extremely happy with the Epson Stylus Photo 1280. It is very reliable and, in high speed mode, can churn out 11x17 prints pretty quickly. You can buy one for less than $400. The cost of cartridges should be factored in, though. The 1280 has the further advantage of superb photo printing when you use high quality photo paper.
#11789 by Ted B
Wed May 24, 2006 11:51 am
I recently replaced my HP1220c with a HP9800 13x19" color printer, and have been very satisffied. The cartridges last longer and I have been able to sucessfully refill them with standard "Jettec" ink from Staples for the last 6-moinths without having a cartridge or color. I also spent an extra $80 for a reverser so that I can print both sides of the sheet. It can also do super-hi-resolution photo-printing with special 6-color cartridges; but I haven't tried that yet. Figured it might come in handy for presenattion drawings at public meetings.

With the rare excpetion of a hand-drawn sketch, everything that leaves my architecture office is on 11x17" paper. I haven't issued construction documents on 24x36" in almost three years. Tabloid is so-much cheaper to have copies-made...and it's more convenient to handle and file.
#11790 by MtnArch
Wed May 24, 2006 12:16 pm
Ted -

What scale do you usually do your drawings at? How big are your projects? How many sheets do you usually generate per project?

Most of the projects we work on are fairly large (a current one is a 25,000sf 2-story building that's 180ft long). It would seem that buildings this size would be hard to display on an 11x17 sheet.

Just wondering ...
#11811 by Ted B
Thu May 25, 2006 4:31 pm
Most of my firm's projects are residential or residential-scaled, so we're doing floor plans and elevations at 1/8" or 3/16". One thing we found was that you need to use fairly-fine linewidths on the pen-table, and the key was buying better than standard bond paper to keep the line-work and lettering crisp. Regular 20#/86-brightness paper will bleed-out slighty. I buy at-minimum 20#/92-brightness paper than rated for inket-use. Most store-brand 11x17 is laser-rated. The Hammermill inkjet extra-bright is good, and so is the Xerox "primary Image" inkjet paper.

The key is making the lettering and dimensions readable at the reduced scale when you make the transition. It might require then a few more larger-svale details or partial plans/elevations...but your saving tons of money on repro at the smaller scale. A few years ago, when I was senior architect at a major developer, we figured we saved $750,000 a year in repro and shipping costs between the engineering dept. and estimating and purchasing dept. Basically I get about 50% of a 24x36" drawings information on an 11X17"-sheet.; so I have twice as many sheets...but I get copies for $0.17 / sheet vs. $3.65 / sheet as engineering-copies. Around here, a service bureau will charge approx $10.00 / sheet to plot 24x36" .pdf's or HP-Plot-files. The smaller sheet-size allows you to up the data-density, even though you might have to use four sheets instead of one for a set of building elevations.

Some companies have converted-over to the 11x17" as the "official size", other dual-scale the drawings with the 24X36" as the "official size" and the reduced-scale 11x17" as the distribution size for everyone who does need or want the full-sized sets.

The other nice feature is that since many of my clients have at-least one 11X17" printer somewhere, I can give them a burned-CD with the .pdf's as their record...and I know they can't change the drawings...until giving them the CAD-files for their records as as-builts.

In almost 10 years, I have not had a building department reject or refuse to accept 11x17" drawings as long as they were legible and to-scale...and that the "scale" is indicated on the drawings so that technically the set is not a "reduced copy".
#11824 by Dick Eades
Fri May 26, 2006 11:31 am
My two latest projects are 11ksf and 13ksf per floor. One is eight floors and the other is six. The eight story job took 40 sheets on 24x36. I use 11x17's for in-house check sets but those are done from 24x36 pdf's. They are convenient, but I can't see converting everything over to 11x17 as the final output size. I could attempt to convert one of my present projects as an exercise, but that would take more time than I am willing to invest in that experiment and the company I work for is against the idea. Maybe when i'm sitting around with plenty of time and money and nothing to do...yeah, right.
#11828 by MtnArch
Fri May 26, 2006 1:14 pm
My gut guess is that unless it is a fairly small project (ie. a small TI) it may not be worth my time (either) to try it. I will monitor it and try it when I get a chance.

Thanks, Ted, for giving us the lowdown on how you do it!
#11845 by Ted B
Sun May 28, 2006 7:53 pm
Glad it helped.

While 11x17" is fine for small projects, or even larger ones like townhouses where you can break it up into components or sub-groupings; I tend to agree that for large floor-plate buildings you still need the traditional 24x36", or even 30x42" and 36x48". A number of the local civil-engineers still use 36x48" originals for sitework and underground improvements.

I still might buy a 24" or 36" color plotter if I saw one cheap enough; but for the moment I have a repro-center down the street who can "plot" them for me on their high-resolution 6-color plotter/printer up to 3-ft wide and almost any length...for a price. But for public meetings, etc.; it's just a reimbursible expense anyway for "renderings and repro". And you only need one or two originals.

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