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lowvolt

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Everything posted by lowvolt

  1. I have a DesignJet 250C with a JetDirect EX ethernet interface. I'm running Vectorworks 9.5 on an Apple Cube with OS X 10.2.1. After installing the latest editions of gimp-print and ghostscript, plotting was easy to set up through Print Center. I used the pcl-750 driver. Printing works through Page Setup and Print... just like any other Apple printing operation. I believe that this driver will work for any large format designjet from the 200 through 700 series but I only have tested it on the 250C. CUPS with gimp-print and ghostscript makes printing setup a breeze. I think this is a great example of Open Source Software in action. The only problem was that the ppd generated by the installation did not have the correct settings for Hardware Margins or ImageableArea. I was able to edit the ppd file for all of the page sizes supplied, and now, the images are the correct size, centered on the page, and fill the allowable ImageableArea. The page area shown on VectorWorks is the correct size as well. I can e-mail the ppd to anyone interested in trying it on any of these hp plotters.
  2. Gimp-print-4.2.4-rc1 is now available with support for HP DesignJet 230, 250, 430, 450, 455, 488, 700, 2500, and 3500 plotters. Gimp-print and ESP Ghostscript for OS X 10.2.x are available at http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3 I've tried the 250 version and it now produces the correct margins for my 250C plotter. There is no longer any need to manually change the ppd to get the correct results.
  3. lowvolt

    Gimp-print supports more hp plotters

    My only experience with HP plotters is with the hp250C using an HP jetdirect EX interface. In that case, you put a US letter size paper into the plotter and hold the "test" button on the jetdirect for about 5 seconds, after which it prints a lot of information about the interface including the IP address. I think that the jetdirect interfaces come with a standard preset IP address but it's been a long time since I changed mine to use DHCP and I no longer remember what the standard setting was. My guess is that it's somewhere in your plotter manual if the jetdirect is built in.
  4. lowvolt

    DesignJet 230 w/ Mac

    I use a JetDirect EX connected to an HP 250C. The software is gimp-print-4.2.5-pre1 and EPS ghostscipt-7.05.5 which are available for free download at http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3. The software requires OSX 10.2.x to work. The software installation is simple. Once installed you setup the plotter through Print Center. A driver for your plotter is included with Gimp-Print. Advantages with gimp-print are, the plotter is available over the network and, no dongle is needed. I also use the Linux version of gimp-print on a different machine to plot as well.
  5. lowvolt

    Older DesignJet Plotting with OS X.2

    Kurt, I looked at the printer manual again and found some information in section 3 that may help. Paraphrasing, if "inked area" is selected, then you get the behavior you are seeing. If "software" is selected, then the plotter will use the page size specified by your plotting software but only if the software sends a page size instruction in HP GL2, otherwise, it defaults to "inked area". There is another possibility. For example, if you are using Arch page sizes you can select "Best" in the Arch page size selection on the HP "Setup Sheet". In this case the plotter will always put out a page size with standard Arch dimensions but, it will be the size which is large enough to contain the inked area of the drawing. You can't specify the page size directly. If the drawing is smaller than a D size but larger than a C size, the plotter will give you a D size sheet but if the drawing is smaller than a C size and larger than a B, you will get a C size sheet. If you want a particular Arch paper size regardless of the drawing size, it appears that your only choice is to select Arch "Best" on the setup sheet and then either put a border on the drawing or even just a couple of small gray dots at diagonally opposite corners of the printable area for the paper size you want. I don't know if it's possible for Vectorworks to tell the gimp-print system to tell the plotter to use a specific paper size. Ron
  6. lowvolt

    Older DesignJet Plotting with OS X.2

    Kurt, Peter is correct. The printable area as shown on the drawing in VectorWorks is very accurate with the latest versions of gimp-print. It is directly related to the ImageableArea variable in the ppd. The ImageableArea variable depends only on the paper size and the printer hardware margins and thus is fixed for each page size. It does not change as a function of the graphics being plotted. The paper cutting must be a function of some setting in your plotter. I downloaded the User's Manual for your plotter. I see on p 1-21, the Setup Sheet page, there is a section 7 for setting page size. In that section, there is a selection for "inked area" or "software". From the behavior that you are observing, you must have it set to "inked area" rather than "software". Try changing that and see what happens. Ron
  7. lowvolt

    Older DesignJet Plotting with OS X.2

    Kurt, It looks as if there are two problems to solve here. First, regarding existing drawings, I think that you have to "activate" the new PPD. My experience has been that, if I change something in the PPD, I had to open an existing drawing, go to Page Setup... , pick a different page size, go to Print... and actually print a Preview at the new page size, then go back to Page Setup, reselect the desired page size, and then finally print at the desired page size. Only then will the drawing print using the latest PPD. It seems as though print setup data is carried along with the drawing based on the name of the paper rather than the date of the PPD. Could you try this with one of your drawings and let us know what happens? With regard to the paper cutting size, I have no solution. My plotter is sheet feed only. I did set up a dummy 455ca plotter so that I could examine the PPD. I didn't see anything there relating to paper cutting. If you have a small image, say taking up only the first half of the desired page, does your plotter cut the paper at the end of that image, or, does it cut it at 0.67 inches before the end of what would be the desired paper size? The ImageableArea variable used in the PPDs is the paper size minus the hardware margins. Those are 0.2 inches side to side and 0.67 inches end to end. My guess is that it has something to do with the plotter setup but, I don't have a roll feed plotter to examine. Let us know what you learn.
  8. lowvolt

    Older DesignJet Plotting with OS X.2

    Good News! The latest version of gimp-print 4.2.4. which supersedes 4.2.4-rc1 now generates the correct margins for hp plotters and includes page sizes such as 'ArchD transverse' which allows D size plots to print on 36 wide sheets. There is no longer any need to manually modify the ppd. Another point. When I was experimenting with printing and changing PPD's, I found that it was necessary to "activate" ppd changes for each drawing. By this I mean that if a drawing had been previously set up to print to ArchD for example, I had to go to Page Setup and select a different page size and then go to Print and actually print a copy (to save trees, you don't need a hard copy, preview print will do), then, go back to Page Setup and select the desired page size again before making an actual print. It seemed like the old ppd data was carried along with the drawing and did not get changed if the name of the ppd was the same even though the actual ppd file data had changed. Apparently, the change in the drawing data doesn't occur until there is a difference in the drawing page size name at the time of printing. Also, there are now specific ppd's for a range of HP plotters. The following two quotes are from the release notes. " The following HP DesignJet large-format plotters are now supported: DesignJet 230, 250, 430, 450, 455, 488, 700, 2500, and 3500. Other DesignJet printers may work with one of these drivers." " Transverse versions of the US CAD standard paper sizes (ArchA, ArchB, ArchC, ArchD, and ArchE) have been added. This permits printing e. g. ArchD size (24x36) plots on 36 inch wide paper." The latest versions of gimp-print and ESP Ghostscript, which is also required, are available for download at http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3#4.2.4 Finally, in my case, the plotter is a designjet 250c with a jetdirect EX interface connected to my intranet so it is accessible over the network.
  9. lowvolt

    Printing Problems

    To Sullymon64 Re: landscape printing. Your thread on landscape printing with HP plotters has vanished but I found the following this morning on the VersionTracker announcement for gimp-print-4.2.4. "# Transverse versions of the US CAD standard paper sizes (ArchA, ArchB, ArchC, ArchD, and ArchE) have been added. This permits printing e. g. ArchD size (24x36) plots on 36 inch wide paper." That is one of the fixes for the latest release of gimp-print (gimp-print-4.2.4) that has been added since 4.2.4-rc1.

 

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